Appearances Matter

The photo below is from a news article about the nice folks in North Dakota protesting the oil pipeline. It’s not my photo and this will stay here until someone from AP asks me to take it down.

This photo is copyrighted by Associated Press (Tom Stromme/Bismarck Tribune via AP)
This photo is copyrighted by Associated Press (Tom Stromme/Bismarck Tribune via AP)

In the attached article, it states that the protesters, “have created a self-sustaining community,” which I assume refers to the community pictured.

I don’t know much about this pipeline or the protest involving it. I’m distrustful of American media, they are strongly biased and blatantly spin things to match their agenda, so I don’t really believe most of what they’ve written about the pipeline. I also haven’t been to North Dakota so I don’t know what’s really going on there. I’m not going to take a side in the argument (either way) over whether or not there should be a pipeline. These are generally very complicated issues with lots of negotiation involved where we rarely hear the whole story from either side.

This protest looks fishy though. Once again, I assume the protest camp mentioned in the article is the same one they’re showing a picture of; if not, shame on them, that’s misrepresentation. I count several SUVs and pickup trucks. There’s even what looks like a Penske truck. Without doing a thorough analysis, there are clearly more large vehicles pictured than there are small vehicles.

Large vehicles use a lot of gas.

These people are protesting an oil pipeline.

Oil pipelines bring oil places so we can make gas.

The people protesting need a lot of gas.

It would seem to me that neither is the protest self-sustaining, nor does it make sense for them to protest an oil pipeline. In fact, I would bet that some of them have bought gas, fairly recently and likely quite a bit of it given their cars, in a place that would be served by the very pipeline they’re protesting. In my mind, this is akin to defending your right to protest against the First Amendment.

Once again, I’m not taking a side in the matter. I’m simply stating that appearances matter a whole lot and that it looks very bad for these people to be parking gas-guzzling vehicles at a protest site for an oil pipeline.

Apparently, it’s well within their rights to do what they’re doing, as long as they keep it non-violent. I’ve written them off though. In my mind, they’re hypocrites. Hypocrites don’t deserve a voice in a public forum. Through their actions, they’ve lost any moral imperative they may have had in this argument.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this.


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