On this edition of Parallax Views, long-time friend of the show C. Derick Varn and gadfly Freddie DeBoer join us to revisit the siege of Ruby Ridge. In 1992 federal agents had a stand-off with a radical, right-wing, Christian anti-government Weaver family. The patriarch from the family was charged with illegally modifying a firearm. Arguably, however, this would not have happened without federal official urging him to do so in what many would say was a case of entrapment. The 11 day stand off ended in the death of Randy Weaver’s wife Vicki Weaver, 14-year old son Sammy Weaver, and the Weaver family’s dog Striker as well as a U.S. Marshall. The story involved agencies like the FBI, ATF, and others and would serve to further radicalize the along with the Waco incident involving the death of the Branch Davidians led by David Koresh. What followed in the events of the incident was a trial. Additionally, Waco and Ruby Ridge likely were the “powder keg” so to speak that would inspire Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing. Should federal agencies be held to any account for the events of the siege? What to make of the admittedly extremist nature of the Weaver clan? Freddie and Derick discuss all of this with me and attempt to unpack the case while also commenting on issues like blowback, the relevance of the Weaver case today, civil liberties, the apocalyptic mindset of the Weaver family at the time and their religious motivations, escalation vs. de-escalation, the role of “macho” interpersonal relations and state sanctioned violence in these incidents, the Waco mini-series starring Michael Shannon, whether Randy Weaver a white supremacist, whether highlighting Ruby Ridge is an example of privilege white privilege, not glamorizing the Weavers while discussing this case, the Jan. 6. riots, the personality type attracted to policing, COINTEPRO operations, Col. Bo Gritz role in the Ruby Ridge stand-off and its de-escalation, the figure of Kevin Harris and his role in Ruby Ridge, Freddie’s criticisms of the Ruby Ridge sniper and the orders he was given, the question of unconstitutional “Rules of Engagement”, the use of lethal force by police and its expansion in the 1990s, domestic terrorism, the killing of George Floyd, the potential to accelerate a problem where trying to fight, the creation of right wing martyrs, the militia movement, the radicalization of the right and QAnon as a quasi-religious movement, moral simplicity in American political discourse, the Central Park birdwatching incident involving Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper (no relation), the militarization of police, consumption as a bad substitute for political identity and the feeling of political powerlessness in America today, the cancel culture debate and boycotts, structural problems vs. individual problems, the effects of capitalist atomization, intense tribalism, feeding one’s political enemies to the National Security State, entrapment cases, the Michigan militia case and the kidnapping of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Pennsylvania Dutch and Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option, and much, much more!
THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE.