If you haven’t read his highly offensive comments about “the Negro,” take a look (via the New York Times):
“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.”
Ironic that a man who’s refusing to pay fees he owes to the government for his cattle illegally grazing on public lands is trying to slam African-Americans for “government subsidies.” He’s essentially arguing that he should be allowed to have his cattle feed (for free) on land that he doesn’t own. In other words, he wants the government to subsidize his cattle’s food.
But outside of that irony, his comments showed me how little many conservatives have actually evolved since the days of slavery and the Civil War. Beyond the reprehensible nature of his comments, he’s basically saying that African-Americans aren’t equally capable of taking care of themselves, so they’d be better suited as the property of white people rather than as free human beings with equal rights.
Oh, and can someone explain to me what decade this fool is living in? Who’s still picking cotton by hand in the United States? And what the hell does picking cotton have to do with not being in jail?
But these comments, and his stance that the federal government doesn’t exist, are more or less the same kind of mindset that conservatives had during the days of slavery. Just like those states who supported slavery didn’t recognize the federal government’s authority during those times, Bundy (and many conservatives like him) often don’t recognize it now.
And before Republicans go off on their rant about “Lincoln was a Republican,” it’s important to recognize that I’m referring to conservatives, not political parties. The same people who supported the Democratic party when it represented the ideology of racists are the same people who now support the Republican party.
How often are conservatives, or their politicians, caught saying or supporting something that is inherently racist? Whether it’s Rush Limbaugh calling President Obama a “magic Negro,” Glenn Beck saying Obama has a “hatred for white people,” someone on Fox News referring to Obama with some kind of negative stereotype about African-Americans or the numerous comments by Republican politicians questioning the legality of the Civil Rights Act (or even speaking at events hosted by known white supremacist groups). I don’t think a week has gone by in years where I didn’t hear some conservative saying something blatantly racist.
And while many who supported Bundy will most likely back off from doing so, or “magically” just pretend like he no longer exists, it doesn’t deny the fact that this anti-government movement that drives conservatives is derived from the same mindset as those who defended slavery, supported segregation, opposed interracial marriage and stood against the Civil Rights Act.
It’s a mindset that’s based on ignorance, foolishness, paranoia and hate.
So, while Cliven Bundy became a conservative hero for “standing up to the federal government” and epitomizing exactly what conservatives say they’ve supported for years – his racist comments show just how little many conservatives have evolved since the days of legalized slavery and the Civil War.
Watch his comments for yourself:
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