Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said it's hard to fathom the federal government would have a muted reaction to the armed stand-off at a federal building in Oregon if the occupiers were black or Muslim.
A small militia is occupying the headquarters building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a spontaneous slumber party in rural Oregon as part of a protest against the federal government and the imprisonment of two Oregon ranchers.
"Yeah, I don't know what the heck you call them, you call them burglars. You call them terrorists. One thing that they are not is militia," the former Maryland governor said on KDTH radio this week. "People, who with armed force and the threat of armed force, take over buildings. Whether they are federal buildings, state buildings, country buildings, or private buildings, this is lawless and criminal behavior. I hope that they will come to their senses and this can be resolved without any bloodshed."
The armed militia occupying the building are mostly white middle-aged men.
"This is not the way we act as Americans and I dare say that the federal government's exercising a lot of restraint here," continued O'Malley. "It's hard to fathom or it's hard to imagine if the people taking over buildings by armed force were Muslim or black, as some commentators have said, it would be the same reaction. Some hopefully this will get resolved peacefully they are not militia they're acting in criminal ways, this is criminal behavior."
O'Malley remains languishing in the presidential polls.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
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