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Commentary

Leftist Narrative Crumbles After Key Fact About Armed Men Involved in Standoff Revealed

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In Wakefield, Massachusetts, an armed group that apparently believes it is not subject to the laws of the United States engaged in an hours-long standoff with police in the early hours of Saturday morning.

On its Twitter account, The Associated Press reported that nine suspects were taken into custody after the incident, which closed down Interstate 95 — the major north-south artery for the entire East Coast — in both directions on the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

No member of the group — carrying long guns and clad in military fatigues — was wounded in the standoff.

Naturally, too many Twitterers jumped to quick conclusions.

(Note: All tweets below were live as of 10 a.m. EDT Sunday. The individuals who posted them might have second thoughts at some point.)

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“‘The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’ orders,'” one user wrote. “And they all somehow lived.”

What did he mean by that? Other users made it a bit more explicit. “Just curious @AP, but why such a poorly written article? You neglected a physical description, RACE, you know… the important s**t. We all know if they were Black men, pics, names,ages, and bullet holes would be posted,” another user wrote.

“Since no one was killed during apprehension it’s safe to assume that it was a vehicle full of white men loaded with weapons,” yet another wrote. “Just saying. Police can actually defuse situations when they want to, huh.”

“I couldn’t find pictures but I’m going to assume being white was a strong factor in them leaving the scene alive,” another take went.

And it went on and on.

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And it went on and on:

That last one is a bit of a portent. It probably would have helped if “WordBurn Steinem” (and we all thought “Moon Unit Zappa” was bad) had burned through a few words of the AP’s story. The seventh paragraph includes quotes from a member of the group leader declaring:

“We are not antigovernment. We are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we’re not Black identity extremists.”

The “not Black identity extremists” part should have been a tip off that this was not a Klan gathering.

As it so happens, the people behind the standoff on I-95 streamed the encounter, which also would have given those Twitter critics a first-hand look for an answer to their question, had they bothered to put in a little effort:

“We are not antigovernment. We are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we’re not black identity extremists,” a man wearing military-style equipment said in one of the videos. “As specified multiple times to the police that we are abiding by the peaceful journey laws of the United States.”

That narrative also crumbled quickly.

The videos were streamed from an Instagram account of the Moorish Constitutional Convention Committee and a YouTube account for the Rise of the Moors. The Rise of the Moors is a “Moorish sovereign citizens” group, according to The Washington Post.

Should these Twitter users publicly apologize for jumping to conclusions?

Sovereign citizens believe themselves to be citizens of their own sovereign nation-state and therefore not subject to the laws of the United States or any other country. One assumes, given the group’s title and self-description — the website describes them as “Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders” — that the membership is pretty uniformly black.

According to Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason, some of the individuals involved had military gear on and were brandishing long guns and pistols when the state police came across their cars pulled over on I-95 at 2 a.m. Saturday. The vehicles were on the side of the road with hazard lights flashing, the AP reported. At least one of the two vehicles had run out of gas.

“You can imagine 11 armed individuals standing with long guns slung on an interstate highway at 2 in the morning certainly raises concerns and is not consistent with the firearms laws that we have in Massachusetts,” Mason said, according to the AP.

“The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’ orders, claiming to be from a group ‘that does not recognize our laws’ before taking off into a wooded area, police said,” according to the AP’s report.

“Mason said the suspects surrendered after police tactical teams used armored vehicles to tighten the perimeter around them.”

None of the members of the group had licenses for their firearms because they didn’t believe they were subject to the laws that would require them to obtain them.

“I appreciate that perspective,” Mason said. “I disagree with that perspective at the end of the day, but I recognize that it’s there.”

Mason said the group was headed from Rhode Island to Maine for “training.” According to WBZ-TV, the man who was livestreaming was Jahmal Latimer, also known as Talib Abdulla Bey — the group’s leader.

Police say they’re working with prosecutors to determine the appropriate charges for members of the group.

Getting back to the tweets that snarked: “They must be white people, amirite? Only reason they’re alive.”

What’s truly shocking is that there have been plenty of object lessons in why you shouldn’t do this leap to assumptions with Twitter hot takes. The most conspicuous of these was Hemal Jhaveri, a former race and inclusivity editor for USA Today.

The “former” part was introduced after the Boulder, Colorado, mass shooting in March. Jhaveri tweeted that “it’s always an angry white man. always.” Unfortunately for Jhaveri, it was not an angry white man but an angry Middle Eastern man, which prompted her firing.

The error of Jhaveri’s ways went unnoticed by these individuals, from the looks of it. No doubt most of these tweets will come down in the days to come, assuming the individuals who tweeted them remember they replied.

However, don’t expect any kind of apology from our friend “WordBurn Steinem.” Instead of learning his/her/their/xir lesson, Steinem merely switched narratives in the blink of an eye:

Much like love, being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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