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American Experience: Oklahoma City

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Oklahoma City traces the events that led McVeigh to that day and recounts the stories of the survivors, first-responders, U.S. Marshals, FBI investigators and journalists who covered the events. The film provides an in-depth and provocative exploration of the white supremacist, extremist militia movement that rose to prominence in the early 1990s and still makes news today.

I was in middle school when this happened, but I still remember sitting down after school and turning on the TV to see what was going on, it was the first mass murder event that I was personally around for and at the time I was in a place personally that made the whole situation black and white. The bad guys did a bad thing and that was bad, but the good guys figured it all out and at the end of the day everything was still right in the world. As we know now, the bombing at Oklahoma City was just a response to the murders at Ruby Ridge and Waco and it’s a much more complicated story than just mentally ill people doing terrible things because they’re sick in the head. McVeigh planned and executed the attack because he felt that there was no other way to answer the perceived injustices that were happening and no one else was making any headway against the onslaught his people were experiencing. Regardless of how real that onslaught was, it was perceived and as with other things believed, it doesn’t matter if it’s truly real, the belief is enough to motivate.

This documentary was a good look into the events, but I would love to know more about McVeigh’s thoughts on the matter and hear more on what the feds are doing to combat the perception that they’re out to kill every christian and take their religion and guns. The recent stand offs between ranchers and federal authorities is a great example of how other stand offs should have been handled. The federal government has a great capacity for patience, if only its leaders would utilize it.

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