I haven’t been following the entire Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada, mostly because you can’t get the straight story from any of the major news outlets. Fox News and several members of Congress want to paint him as a hero for state’s rights, while liberals and folks like MSNBC are calling him the equivalent of a domestic terrorist and criminal.
From what I gather, the entire standoff has been going on for a long time and all of these extra media attention isn’t going to help clear up matters too much. What also doesn’t help is this quote from the New York Times taken directly from one of Cliven Bundy’s various press conferences. It would seem that all this extra media attention has revealed quite the racist streak in the defiant rancher:
He said he would continue holding a daily news conference; on Saturday, it drew one reporter and one photographer, so Mr. Bundy used the time to officiate at what was in effect a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty hateful. No denying it. And it’s funny to see how people are already starting to scatter, like Rand Paul and several others supporters:
A spokesman for Mr. Paul, informed of Mr. Bundy’s remarks, said the senator was not available for immediate comment. Chandler Smith, a spokesman for Mr. Heller, said that the senator “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Abbott, Laura Bean, said that the letter he wrote “was regarding a dispute in Texas and is in no way related to the dispute in Nevada.” (via)
So regardless of how you feel about Bundy’s rights to allow his cattle to graze on protected lands or his calls for armed rebellion against the federal government, I think we can all agree that those are some pretty heinous comments to spew out. And if you agree with him, I think you should check your calendars and take a long look in the mirror.