Strange Ideas about the Government

So, last night, our ex-juggalo friend posted on Facebook one of these things that’s been going around about how you can’t trust the government. Which, fine. And it starts out all about this guy who had “what you might consider some strange ideas about the government” and then launches into a large diatribe about all the things this guy with strange ideas about the government was put through–entrapment, vilification, the murder of his wife by government agents.

So, right at that point, I realize who this rant is about. And I keep waiting for the rant to acknowledge why people might both feel that dude had a gross injustice committed against him AND not be very excited about using him as an example of how normal people are oppressed by the government. The first time reading through it, I didn’t catch it. So, I read through it again and there, in the part where the rant talks about him being set up for buying illegal guns it slips in his affiliation with the Aryan Nation. But it’s phrased in such a way that it’s also not clear if dude had Aryan Nation affiliations or if that was part of the government set-up. So, that’s it. A brief, ambiguous mention.

And I thought about making a comment. Because I think it’s possible to believe that Randy Weaver got a raw deal (to put it mildly) and that it doesn’t mean he gets to be an unambiguous hero to aggrieved white people, such as our ex-juggalo friend. In fact, I think one of the more minor tragedies of Weaver’s life is that this horrific thing happened to him and, because of who he is, who gives a shit?

But the comment I wanted to make, which I’m afraid I don’t quite have enough nuance for, is that I felt like the rant was a kind of backdoor support of Weaver’s racism, since the whole point was that Weaver had all these “strange ideas” about the government, but look, it turns out he was right, which kind of implies that Weaver might have seemed to have a lot of “strange ideas” about a lot of things, but we should be open to the possibility that he’s right.

But then, you know, I kind of chickened out. Because it was just one of these chain-letter things and I’m 95% sure that our ex-juggalo friend knows nothing more about Randy Weaver than he read in that rant. And I wanted to make an argument like “What happened to Weaver should never have happened, is completely inexcusable, and should have been punished. He’s still wrong, and evilly so, about minorities. He’s nobody’s hero.”

But you know, it turns out that the 5% weighs heavy. I know too many people from back home who are kind of traditionally racist. And I’ve been burned too many times by old high school friends who seem completely normal suddenly posting something about how we should just shoot Mexicans and take their jobs like they shoot “us” and take our jobs. And this dude is an ex-juggalo. It’s not like he’s got a track record of non-dumbass beliefs.

So, I just hid him instead.

I can’t bear to find out that he knows exactly who Weaver is and thinks he’s right.

4 thoughts on “Strange Ideas about the Government

  1. I realized recently how completely different I am from those people with whom I was friends a long time ago. Their FB feeds bombard me daily. I think they are a bit taken aback that I’m not, if not a conservative Christian, that I’m at least a Regan Democrat. The signs were there of course, like when I returned from my freshman year and one of my friends casually used the N-word while driving me to his house. I knew they were taught bedrock protestant conservatism, and I knew we were likely masking over our differences just to make it out of high school. I just wasn’t prepared for the extent to which they’ve embraced it all.

    It’s like they are alien to me, which gives me an idea . . .

  2. Yeah, I think that’s exactly it. You find a group in high school you can make it though those times with.

    I wonder if we were always strangers to each other–if they always had these beliefs, it just didn’t come up–or if they had these beliefs but I was different back them, so it didn’t seem remarkable or if we’ve all just really changed.

    I don’t feel like I really have, though. So, I have to believe they haven’t either. We just didn’t see each other clearly.

  3. Possibly none of you have changed all that much, but the things that separate you now would have been less important to all of you back then. I think it’s more likely, though, that all of you have changed. It’s just that you personally feel that you’ve just been becoming more yourself, so you don’t realize the changes involved as much as you can perceive the equivalent changes in them. And vice versa.

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