We Saw Cliven Bundy’s Paleoconservatism from Miles Away

nevada-ranch-wannabeNobody should feign surprise that Cliven Bundy is a raging racist and dreams of slave plantations, just as nobody should be surprised that a white man who owes one million dollars in back taxes would claim that black people in low-income housing are the real moochers. I referenced in my article about him yesterday that his anti-federal government, States’ Rights tirades were merely disguised anti-black people tirades. So there’s no surprise that he is an abject racist. What is surprising is how loud and bold he became about it – and how soon. But if you give a loud, ignorant white man a big enough microphone for a long enough time, he’s gonna say some shitty stuff. Anybody that Fox News, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, and Rand Paul supports so unapologetically should be held suspect from the get-go. There should be no doubt that these paleoconservatives know and appreciate their own – and they sniffed out Bundy’s Paleoconservatism from the first whiff of federal defiance.

If they could, they would seek to have every person of color singing field songs while providing free labor, every white woman providing babies, and every LGBTQ person disappeared.

According to the New York Times (Trigger Warnings for racism and slavery apologism):

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro.” 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.”

Of course Bundy feels qualified to speak about Black families because he studied race theory, post-colonialism, African diaspora history, African American history passed some poor families a couple times and he saw some hanging around on their porches. I’m guessing black people can’t hang out in Paleoconservativestan?

I’ve been to Oklahoma several times and saw white people hanging around on their porches and I often never wondered if they’d be better served by picking cotton sixteen hours a day, getting whipped for slight provocations, being hunted down for refusing to take any more, and being forcibly removed from their families. Bundy complains about black people not having family lives even though families are with each other. Didn’t he just say that he saw them hanging out? Oh, and I didn’t know they sent their own to jail. I thought that might have to do with a racist criminal justice system.

Fook this sh*t. I don’t know how to pick cotton and I doubt Bundy would ever want to.

Given Bundy’s Paleoconservatism and extreme racism, is it surprising that his supporters would suggest using female family members as body shields in case federal agents went cracking down? That these militia men are actually cowards who get their shine-ons from thinking of bullets and bombs piercing human flesh is no surprise, and that they think so lowly of women that they would offer them as human sacrifices for their ego wars with the federal government is no shocker. But for them to say it out loud, to propose coercing female family members to lay down their lives – that’s some chutzpah there, and not the good kind. This is violence against women, but it should come as no surprise. Racism, misogyny, and homophobia are interconnected.

Let’s take another of Bundy’s supporters, Rand Paul. Randie, of course, became famous for arguing with Rachel Maddow about why the Civil Rights Act was such a bad thing. And he’s the son of Ron Paul, of the infamous White Supremacy/anti-gay Ron Paul Letters. Rand, as we’ve documented time and time again, is highly misogynist, somewhat racist and ableist. And, I know, total shocker, he like Bundy is a Southern Apologist. But unlike Bundy, he knows he needs to not go Full Racist. As long as he makes it seem like he’s not for slavery, just blaming the Civil War on the North. As long as he appears to reach out to black students while telling them they should come back to the Party of Lincoln. As if black college students going to historically black universities are not aware of their own history.

Clive Bundy’s Paleoconservatism and racism should come as no surprise, as we said earlier, because that’s what views like States’ Rights are – racism. States’ Rights is a claim to relive the unquestioned supremacy of the White Male in the household and workplace. So pining for the good ol’ days of slavery and Jim Crow are fundamental aspects of States’ Rights ideology. If they are not very careful, the States’ Rights supporter – the PaleoConservative/PaleoConfederate – will boldly proclaim their desire to return things back to the way it was. Like Duck Commander Phil Robertson, who wondered loudly why Black workers are being denied the glory days of Jim Crow when they were happily singing work songs and who’s only apparent use for women apparently is for their sexual organs, and who loudly proclaims disgust at the idea of human beings who practice sex in non-vanilla ways.

What these men believe should not amaze. The fact that they’re saying it out loud should be pause for concern. Because for some reason, they believe that the world belongs to them and that we owe them. There are millions of others being emboldened right now to also share their violent anti-black, anti-brown, anti-woman, anti-trans, anti-homosexual, anti-human thoughts with us, in word or deed or (like Rand Paul) policy. Fighting this will not be easy – these hatreds are an integral part of our history and our present. These paleoconservatives will not just die out, for there are new ones waiting every generation. Get rid of Ron Paul and we still got Rand Paul and whatever kid he’s inspiring right now.

How do we progressives change the game so they’re no longer controlling the narrative?


When he’s not riding both his city’s public transit system and evil mayor, Jasdye teaches at a community college and writes about the intersection of equality and faith - with an occasional focus on Chicago - at the Left Cheek blog and on the Left Cheek: the Blog Facebook page. Check out more from Jasdye in his archives as well!


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