Sovereign law made Cliven Bundy a "patriot" but Korryn Gaines "crazy"
An explainer on the controversial beliefs Gaines may have held.
In 2014, a Nevada rancher named Cliven Bundy led an armed militia in a standoff against federal rangers who, acting on a court order, had begun removing cattle that were illegally grazing on public land. Protesters with rifles blocked a highway and surrounded the agents on the ranch, preparing for battle. Not only did the police decide to back down, but Bundy held a press conference the next day calling the standoff a “success.”
On August 1, 2016, a Maryland resident named Korryn Gaines refused to open her apartment door for police who, acting on a court order, were there to serve her a warrant for failing to appear in court. After an hourslong standoff, police kicked down Gaines’ door, killed her and shot her 5-year-old son.
Bundy, 70, had been ignoring federal orders to remove his cows since 1993 and owed the government over $1 million in fees. Gaines, 23, was arrested at a traffic stop in March, and police bust down her door five months later.
FOX News and other Bundy supporters called him a “patriot” for exercising his rights, and the New York Times’ headline lauded him as “defiant.” Gaines has been called crazy and is being blamed for her own death.
What’s the difference between Bundy and Gaines?
What they have in common is just as important. Both Gaines and Bundy allegedly believed in the concept of sovereign law. The FBI describes the sovereign citizen movement thusly:
“Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the United States. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement.
Other definitions say that sovereign citizens decide which laws to follow and which authoritative bodies to recognize. In Bundy’s case, he decided that he did not have to obey the federal governmental agency, the Bureau of Land Management. His reasoned he has a “preemptive” right because his Mormon ancestors worked the land decades before the BLM was established. In a news conference, Bundy said, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to honor a federal court that has no jurisdiction or authority or arresting power over we the people.”
In Gaines’ case, her March traffic stop was allegedly because her car had cardboard signs instead of license plates. One read “Free Traveler.” The other read “Any Government official who compromises this pursuit to happiness and right to travel, will be held criminally responsible and fined, as this is a natural right and freedom.” Gaines filmed the traffic stop and her arrest and posted the video with this caption:
“Constitutional Law is the only true law. In order to be granted the role as Law enforcement u must take an oath to uphold the Constitution and be granted a DOAO DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY ORDER. The police are not Law enforcement they are Policy enforcers and operate outside of the laws of the Constitution which would make them organized criminals. They enforce CORPORATE Law (to generate revenue, in others words to get money, however in this case they know that i know this and this is them making trouble with me) which is not a true form of the law but so many of us have bended to their criminal ways. Not me.”
So again, what’s the difference between Bundy and Gaines?
For one, the Bundy family is still alive to stand by their beliefs. Cliven’s son Ammon orchestrated his own standoff with police in January after seizing a government building in Oregon. Gaines’ son is just 5 and is recovering from a gunshot wound inflicted by police.
The Movement for Black Lives outlines its demands in a formal platform
For two, it’s in the language history will use to define them. Was Gaines radical or empowered? Disobedient or defiant? Informed or crazy? Bundy was called a patriot and a leader and had the support of politicians like Sen. Rand Paul.
Also, there’s this: How is it that Bundy organized over 100 people in a tactical standoff and beat the feds, but Gaines, one woman in her own apartment, scared the police so much they shot first?
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.
The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.
Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University
On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.
Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'
Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.
On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!
Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'
On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!
Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'
On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!
This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.
Lauren London sparks conversation on how Black parents unintentionally give kids negative outlook on money
At the live taping of “Assets Over Liabilities” at REVOLT WORLD, Lauren London opened up about how witnessing the financial decisions adults made during her childhood fueled her outlook on money.
“Every time I’m in trouble, it’s been Black men that have come to my aid,” Madam DA Fani Willis said at REVOLT WORLD while speaking on the stereotype that they are not dependable or worth dating.