Oath Keepers

Oath Keeper Who Called for #BlackOpenCarry March in Ferguson Leaves the Group, Plans His Own March; Oath Keepers Say the Original March Will Proceed

Dueling demonstrations?


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Oath Keepers

Two weeks ago, Sam Andrews announced that the Oath Keepers, a group of current and former members of the military and police who have pledged to refuse unconstitutional orders, were going to sponsor a march of black men armed with AR-15s in Ferguson, Missouri. Now Andrews has left the organization, charging Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes with holding a "racist double standard" for when it's acceptable to confront cops. Rhodes strongly denies this, calling Andrews a "lying sociopath" with a "personal vendetta." And both the Oath Keepers and Andrews' circle—dubbed the YETIs, for You Exterminating Tyrant Ideology—say they still intend to hold a #BlackOpenCarry march in Ferguson.

In other words, we could end up with not one but two armed demonstrations in the town at the heart of recent debates over police violence. That said, both Rhodes and Andrews seem to expect the other man's plans to fizzle: Andrews claims that Rhodes has "no one capable of organizing the march," and Rhodes reacts to Andrews' protest plans with a sardonic "we'll see how that works out."

So what happened?

Andrews has a long litany of complaints about Rhodes' management of the Oath Keepers, not all of them related to the Ferguson protest. But the dispute over the Missouri march reached its boiling point after Newsweek quoted Andrews saying this:

"They don't know how to react to the abuse, so they throw rocks and bottles and do other silly stuff, but we are flying black Oath Keepers in from around the country to educate the black leaders and the people of Ferguson that not only can you open carry, you should open carry," he says. "The peaceful protesters, the lawful people which make up the vast majority of protesters, should be quietly standing there with rifles, saying: 'We're not going to take this abuse anymore.'"

"It's one thing to say, "I hate you, and I throw a rock at you,'" he continues. "It's another thing to stand there and say, 'Don't screw with me anymore,' and be able to back it up."

This led to an email exchange in which Rhodes said he was "getting backlash from within the gun rights community itself, because of the erroneous perception that we are intending on arming the rioters"; he told Andrews he should "emphasize us training and organizing the peaceful, law abiding to protect themselves and stop the looting and arson themselves, not confront the cops."

"He could not take constructive criticism," Rhodes contends. "All we were doing is saying, 'Look, Sam, don't make it sound like we're gonna arm violent people who were rioters. We're gonna arm the good people of Ferguson, to stand up for their rights against the police and to control the hoods.'" Invoking a notorious recent crime in the town—the death of Jamyla Bolden, a nine-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet while she did her homework—Rhodes says: "The false choice we're being presented with is, either you put up with thugs running your streets and killing nine-year-old kids and looters and arson, or you get a police state. And we think there's a third way, it's the Founders' way, which is the people themselves being the militia."

Andrews charges Rhodes with hypocrisy, complaining that the man "was perfectly willing to 'confront the cops' at Bundy Ranch, but is unwilling to say that when it is black people arming themselves to 'confront the cops'"; he argues that Rhodes refuses to acknowledge "that St. Louis County and St. Louis City police are serial rights violators on a daily basis." Rhodes insists that he was only talking about what Andrews should emphasize, and that he would not object to armed Ferguson protesters who conduct themselves like the armed protesters at the Bundy standoff. ("At the Bundy ranch, thank God, no shots were fired," he says.) When I ask whether he thinks the St. Louis police are indeed "serial rights violators on a daily basis," he replies: "Of course they are. It's a problem across the country. Not just against black people, but against everybody. They start acting like thugs behind badges." But the chief goal of the open carry march, he believes, should be to encourage self-policing. "Whether it's fair or not, if people are looting and there's arson going on, that takes the focus away from the issue at hand, which is police abuse of power. To keep the focus on where it should be, we want the people of Ferguson themselves to make sure that they stop the looters."

The bottom line for Andrews is that "the law enforcement side of [Rhodes'] board and membership are racist, and he does not want to lose their money." Rhodes rejects that idea angrily and accuses Andrews of sounding like the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that frequently paints the Oath Keepers as a bunch of dangerous extremists. In Oath Keeper circles, being compared to the SPLC is a mortal insult.

So what will happen with the marches? Andrews claims his demonstration is "already organized" and that he expects "hundreds" of people to be a part of it, but he did not respond to my inquiries about when it would take place. Rhodes was also unwilling to commit to a date, but he was more expansive on what has to happen before a day can be set.

"We have to see how the response is in the community," Rhodes says. He has started asking black members of his group to come to Ferguson to help find local volunteers, going door to door and gauging people's interest. After that, he says, they can call a community meeting, train people in the use of the weapons, get all the necessary permits, and finally hold a march. "But the whole point, really, is what happens after the march," he adds. "It's not about doing something on one day. We want to see them standing up—armed neighborhood watches, in their neighborhoods, to take care of their own neighborhoods. So they don't need any police presence. Hell, they might even be able to disband their police department….If they don't trust them, step up and take care of your own people."

One black Oath Keeper who plans to help is David Berry, a Navy veteran studying political science at UNLV. An Oath Keeper since 2009, Berry is more excited about the self-policing project than the march. "It's everybody's responsibility to make sure we have a safe community," he says. "To be vigilantes about it? No—let's respect the due process of law. But it's everybody's responsibility to be involved." Berry was disturbed by the police crackdown in Ferguson last year: "They went after people as if they were the enemy. And that's something that's pervasive throughout law enforcement, you know, with the extra money they've been getting from Homeland Security and doing military-style training." Blaming the town's riots on "small pockets of people" in the crowds, Berry argues that their activities undermined the cause: "They gave justification to law enforcement to employ certain tactics."

We'll have to wait to see how substantial a march either the Oath Keepers or the YETIs will be able to muster. By the time that's clear, we may also have a sense of how many people besides Andrews are leaving the group. You won't be surprised to hear that Andrews and Rhodes disagree about that too. Andrews tells me that thanks to a host of poor decisions on Rhodes' part, "state and chapter leaders are bailing out of Oath Keepers all around the nation." For Rhodes, meanwhile, any mass exodus "exists only in Sam Andrews' brain."

NEXT: Now Come Fears of Copycat Shooters, Kentucky Clerk Still Refusing Marriage Licenses, Dozens Found Dead in Truck in Austria: P.M. Links

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  1. Gun nut on gun nut crime! Love it!

    /all sorts of people

  2. So is Rhodes backtracking on what bordered on racism or is Andrews just a separatist looking for a reason?

    1. Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People’s Front?

      Reg: Fuck off! ‘Judean People’s Front’. We’re the People’s Front of Judea! ‘Judean People’s Front’.

      Francis: Wankers.

      1. Also, “I will crush your skull like a clam on my tummy.”

  3. Well I, for one, cannot possibly see this going poorly.


      1. Steal it back then!

      2. Dueling discussions?

      3. This is why you need a gun.


  4. White dudes with guns are obviously racist. I mean, the splinter group here called itself YETI! Think that’s unintentional?

    I don’t much care about the internal politics of the Oath Breakers, but I buy the version given by YETI. It doesn’t much matter. It’s not about the Oath Breakers. If you really want to ’empower’ black people, have them take responsibility for their own communities. The progs whine about whether a police department has a certain ratio of blacks when it’s a convenient narrative, but having black dudes hasn’t helped in any city with these issues. Sure as hell did nothing for Baltimore.

    1. Oath Breakers


      1. See, they keep the oath in the spirit of the person who wrote it, but they break it in the spirit of the person administering it.

      2. It’s not my fault. Shit happens. It’s absurd there’s no edit button, and I was going to point out that the article didn’t have alt text as a distraction, but Jesse had to be a non-disappointment here.

        Fuck you all.

        1. Eh, it’s not a big deal. I didn’t know if you were trying to make some point by referring to them as “Oath Breakers”.

          1. Oh, a point was made.

            Just not the one intended.

    2. Talk about a freudian slip.

  5. either you put up with thugs running your streets and killing nine-year-old kids and looters and arson, or you get a police state.

    Sounds redundant.

  6. So on one hand you have a group claiming that the community should police itself – meaning the ordinary armed citizens should fire at arsonists and looters.

    On the other hand you have the police willing to actually shoot anyone that looks like an arsonist or looter – except for actual arsonists and looters.

    I’m not sure what the actual third way is supposed to be. Pretend the courts give a flying fuck?

    1. Well, now, your Honor….you are asking a question that might be a little too close to home.


  8. There’s only one way to settle this: Shootout!

  9. Is this the Oathkeeper’s version of Gamergate? Is this now Oathgate? Or Keepergate?

      1. Oathdome

        1. Two marches enter, one march leaves….

  10. It just occurred to me that Trump’s campaign a Barmecide feast for this election cycle.

    Sure politicians over-promise and under-deliver, that’s their whole thing, but Trump has raised this to an uuuuuge new level.

  11. Justin Amash on Jeb Bush hiring Eric Cantor

    Justin Amash ?@justinamash 25m25 minutes ago
    Jeb actually found a way to make his campaign more establishmenty.

    1. That is suPERRRRRRRRRRRB.

    1. MeThinks that the Intergalactic time-traveling space aliens would defeat an alliance of the middle-ages re-enactors, AND the Civil War re-enactors, TENTACLES DOWN!!! If’n ye wanna FIGHT about it, me an’ my space-time trippin’ BUDS are on our way to bring the fight to YE!!! Lemme just finish these last few “touch and goes” on the runway of reality, and I’ll be right wiff ye…

  12. All right, all you fence-straddlers… WHO do ye FAVOR?!?!?

    The “People’s Liberation Front of Judea”??!?!

    Or the dastardly “Judean People’s Front”?!?! Or the vile “Judean Popular People’s Front”?!?!? Or the unspeakably EVIL “Campaign for a Free Galilee”??!?! Or (Yahweh forbid!!!) the “Popular Front of Judea”?!??!

    Be advised, the hottest places in HELL, are reserved for those who, in a moment of crisis, REFUSE to pick a frickin’ SIDE, Yahweh DAMN it!!!!

  13. Who wants investment advice from Matty Y? No one?

    The only problem is that dividends are terrible. Bad for the economy, bad for business, and surprisingly unfavorable to investors.

    It’s odd then that it keeps happening. It’s like people like companies that pay out dividends and therefore continue to buy shares in them. Very strange. If it were bad and caused more trouble then they’re worth it would have ended by now. Maybe investors and management just don’t know what they are doing.

    In other words, if you buy a GE stove, then GE gets your money. If you buy shares in GE, then GE doesn’t get anything. If your stove is defective and you get a refund, that is returning money to customers. If GE has cash lying around and hands it out to shareholders, that’s not returning money to customers?that’s a windfall.

    So if you invest in something and it pays off, that’s a windfall?

    1. But even so, dividends are a somewhat perverse way to do it. When a firm such as GE flushes cash out in this way, the good news for shareholders is that they get money. On the other hand, the value of the shareholders’ claim on GE’s assets declines. The money in your pocket used to be in GE’s corporate accounts as a GE asset; all that changes when the funds pass from the corporation’s bank account to yours, and you as a shareholder have to pay taxes on the income.

      He realizes that this kind of thing is priced in to the value of a share right? And that the share price just…is, there’s no one right price it has to be at. It is what the market puts it at.

      1. So it’s just plain Evul Profits? Matty mailing it in.

        1. Money is EVIL, unless Government Almighty moves it around!!!

          Econ 101,that is…

    2. In other words, if you buy a GE stove, then GE gets your money. If you buy shares in GE, then GE doesn’t get anything.

      Not exactly true, Matty!

      If you buy a GE stove from GE, GE gets your money. If you buy GE shares from GE, GE gets your money.

      If you buy a GE stove from a previous GE customer, GE doesn’t get anything. If you buy GE shares from a previous GE shareholder, GE doesn’t get anything.

      1. And the people who run GE have shares in their own company and therefore when people are buying GE shares the company heads benefit through increased share value.

      2. Holy flamin’ fuck, this guy has no clue what he is talking about. A third grader has a better understanding.

        Oh yeah. Slate. Progressives.

        Rest easy folks, our president is a proggie too.

    3. 404, BTW

      1. Sorry about that, I was looking at the Google and for a suggested search it said “why dividend investing is bad” curious I clicked and soon found his Moneybox article. Which is titled Dividends are Evil.

      2. My minions are everywhere.

    4. I also love that Matthew Yglesias, who is a moron, thinks he has discovered something that would change the shape of every stock market on Earth, but no one except him has noticed they’ve been doing it wrong the last 100 years.

      1. “I also love that Matthew Yglesias, who is a moron, thinks he has discovered something that would change the shape of every stock market on Earth, but no one except him has noticed they’ve been doing it wrong the last 100 years.”

        Sort of like the trolls show show up and tell us they’ve figured out the NAP actually causes war! And all of us here, who have spent time examining the issue for X years just sort of missed it!

      2. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Yglesias bashed here.

        1. When was the last time he was relevant enough to do something noticeable?

          1. Good point.

    1. You sound like my alarm clock.

  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRnS8FkcXNk

    ^ I don’t know if anyone has seen the show Bloodline on Netflix, but it is fucking incredible. The first two episodes are interesting but not great, but the show gets better every episode. It also has some of the best acting I’ve ever seen on a T.V. series because Ben Mendolsohn and Kyle Chandler are brilliant.

    1. I think it’s spelled “rapist.”

    2. From that trailer, it looks very heavy and dramatic. There’s nothing wrong with that if well done, but it’s very easy for that type of show to overdo it. Would you say it’s on a drama par with, say, Daredevil? Or heavier?

      1. It’s very bleak. The writing is tremendous and the acting is great. Ben Mendolsohn in particular is brilliant. He plays a messed up, drug using, drunk black sheep of the family and he desperately wants to get back in his family’s good graces, but he’s burned too many bridges and nobody trusts him.

        It’s essentially a Greek tragedy. In terms of being ‘heavier’ than Daredevil, they’re both dark but Daredevil is obviously less realistic so I think in that regard Bloodline hits harder.

        1. Interesting. I don’t usually go for “bleak, bleak, and only bleak” which is what this sounds like, but Netflix has been on a real roll with Daredevil, Bojack (which is actually bleak itself, but punctuated with excellent humor), even Between isn’t bad. I don’t watch Orange is the New Black but I hear good things. So I might just try this one because they’ve earned it.

          Because as much as I’m enjoying rewatching all of Entourage right now, I’d like something more serious (and an hour long).

        2. Guess I’ll have to re-start my Netflix for it.

          Ha! Fuck that, I’ll just torrent it. I refuse to do Netflix again after that steaming pile of crap Season 3 House of Cards became.

          1. That’s theft and an NAP violation.

            1. Punishment for the assholes that pushed NN and thus broke the NAP first.

              1. That’s not how it works. The government is the one that pushed NN.

          2. Capitalism for the rest of them…

    3. This looks like Arrested Development, but not funny and upsetting and probably successful outside a tiny niche fanbase.

    4. Looks good. I just hope it doesn’t go to hell like House of Cards did.

  15. A modern hero. Monkeywrenching the monkey state.

    1. I’m eternally amazed at how fucking braindead American leftists are:

      “Chance Boudreaux ? 6 hours ago
      When our Government is lawless regarding immigration, taxation, budgeting, holding itself accountable to it’s own laws, how do you expect the people to treat it with legitimacy? Our Government is losing our consent to be governed.”

      “Supercollider Chance Boudreaux ? 6 hours ago
      There’s always Somalia. Not much government there.”


      This argument was fucktarded the first time it was made and it’s staggering leftists still think it’s clever. It would be like bringing up North Korea when progressives argued for expanded Medicaid. “Hey, you like more government? THEY’VE GOT SHITLOADS OF GOVERNMENT IN NORTH KOREA!”

      Then again, from the people who have thought Faux News is the height of cleverness going on 12 years now, I guess I shouldn’t expect them to say anything too insightful.

      1. Well, the good thing is that he got a thrashing from other posters. Looks like he tries to be their Tony/AmSoc.

      2. If they were smart they wouldn’t be leftists. It is as simple as that.

        Some of them seem quite bright with regards to certain things, but they are like idiot savants. When it comes to social issues, economics, politics, etc. they become drooling idiots. I have noticed that there are lots of fine distinctions and subtle concepts they just can’t get. The example above about Yglesias and his dividend idiocy is a prime example.

        I once had a prog challenge me to define for him the difference between fear and respect. He swore there was none. The look on his face was pure confusion when I said ” If people fear you, when you get down they kick you. When people respect you and you get down, they help you up.”
        He had absolutely no idea how to respond.

        1. Come to think of it, that SOB was just like Tony and shreek rolled into one.

        2. People whose first and foremost go-to action is force don’t generally get concepts like respect, uncompelled charity, and other things where humans interact not out of fear but out of respect/love/kindness/etc.

          That’s why they go right to force. They don’t understand anything else.

        3. “I once had a prog challenge me to define for him the difference between fear and respect. ”

          Wait, what? I don’t think that guy’s problem was that he’s progressive, I think his problem was that he’s autistic.

          1. I was pointing out that, in my opinion, proggieness is a symptom of being stupid.

            Thus my original ‘If they were smart they wouldn’t be leftists’.

        1. So Somalia and North Korea are both conservative paradises?

          I’m confused.

          1. That is because you are trying to work out an answer via rationality…if you let go of that small stipulation you will see the light.

        2. The heart of that argument, and I have seen it a lot in different forms, is that there must be authority controlling every aspect of life and the prog/conservative divide is just about the nature of that authority.

          That is why the arguments they make against liberty and their characterizations of libertarians are so absurd. They have no understanding of either. I don’t think they are deliberately constructing straw men, I think the straw men are the result of them talking out of their ass about something they can’t comprehend.

      3. I’ve been in science for a while now and-prepare the shock face-there are a fair number of proggies in the lab. I’m not talking about PIs, I’m talking about my fellow grunts and foot soldiers. Techs. The proggies aren’t bad techs necessarily. I for one consider myself a mediocre scientist. Thing is, the proggies…don’t advance, and I can see why. When I say they don’t advance, I mean I know one who has been doing this for DECADES and still lives from grant to grant. Others like her leave for ‘science’ positions that aren’t about doing lab work. Busy work basically.

        The thing about the lab proggies is that I find they just aren’t great at higher level thinking. They can solve practical problems like why their gel looks terrible, but they can’t say read a few papers and synthesize a novel observation/point from where those few papers ‘intersect’. For all my mediocrity, I can.

        1. My first sentence was supposed to include the word ‘academia’ next to ‘lab’.

      4. “Supercollider Chance Boudreaux ? 6 hours ago
        There’s always Somalia. Not much government there.”

        God! Progressives are the most provincial, most ignorant, and yet most pompous asses on the planet. It is telling that despite the fact that the Somali civil war ended in 2012, they maintain a vision of Somalia as a Mad-Maxian desert wasteland filled with starving and violent ooga-booga tribesmen who uniformly live in dirt-floored huts, when in fact Mogadishu is experiencing a development boom as resorts take advantage of the city’s long beachfront, bringing wealth into the country.

        1. It’s especially inept considering that Somaliland has been kind of close to the limited government ideal of ours and receives no aid and is the most successful part of that country for decades.

          The civil war is over but they are still fighting the Al-Shabbab right? Thank goodness America bombed them and helped fight them. Another success in the war on AQ.

          1. Al-Shabbab is still active, but from what I understand, they’re really up against the ropes. They hold some territory in the southern part of the country, but it’s being taken from them by the day. That’s one reason why they’ve focused on attacking Kenya recently, because moving up north toward Mogadishu is too difficult nowadays.

    2. “”In order to do this successfully, you only need a pair of balls and a painter’s extension rod,”

      And you people say such unkind things about New Yorkers.

      1. Just returning the favor.

        1. You think New Yorkers dislike southerners? Nothing could be further from the truth.

          No, in reality, most of the people you’re thinking of have no idea anything exists past New Jersey. The stereotypical NYC people that is, many of whom don’t really originate from the area in the first place.

          This dude is long island or possible staten from what i can tell. while he emerges from the same genetic pool that gave our planet The Guido, his species has evolved 2 or 3 stages beyond that primordial stage of development. i have known legions of his type, and i salute them.

          1. “Ma!!! I’m outta protein!!!”

            “Not now chief. I’m in the fucking zone.”

          2. I was joking. I have very little experience with New Yorkers. I only have one or two anecdotes of NY’ers disparaging southerners. Completely unfair to characterize a city of 10M(?) based on two people.

    3. “”In order to do this successfully, you only need a pair of balls and a painter’s extension rod,” Ruth says in a how-to video he published on YouTube.”

      Better plan: drone with a remotely-triggered spray-paint can. Why get caught, and why let the damage be so easy to fix?

      1. Ruins the whole simplicity angle don’t you think? Low cost and low complexity is the winning app here.

        Plus he wanted to be caught and by doing this he has inspired more people than had been a drone ninja.

  16. Buddy the MJ mascot


    1. *headsmack*

      Joe the Camel was slain and they even went after the Mcdonalds cartoon characters. This son of a bitch will have the shortest life in the history of toon planet.

      1. Good. He’s ugly.

        1. He’s pretty ripped for a pot-head.

      2. I bet that, from a distance, people will think he’s a salad-based superhero.

  17. I know you liberals are laughing at this now, but you won’t be laughing when it’s too late. Without people like the Oath Keepers, who man the front line to protect this nation and the principles upon which it stands, the country would descend into chaos.

    It’s unfortunate that a few bruised egos have damaged a great organization, but like most decent men I’m sure they will make amends and move forward for the greater good of America.

  18. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

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