Yesterday, I posted a long article about Cliven Bundy and his friendly band of heavily-armed Oath Keeper militia men (and their human-shield wives and daughters), who are happy to threaten bloodshed and violence against government employees doing their jobs.
UPDATE: There’s video.
Well, having found he really likes the spotlight, Bundy has taken to doing long, rambling daily interviews with his supporters and an increasingly dwindling number of reporters who actually care.
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.
Adam Nagourney of the New York Times broke the story, and it’s that last bit about race that’s the real doozy.
“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.”
(Emphasis added.) That’s right: Cliven Bundy thinks the main problem for “Negroes” is they never learned to pick cotton.
He further believes the whole slavery thing wasn’t so bad. I mean, except when being worked all day in the fields, there’s lots of time for a family life for a slave, assuming of course your master didn’t sell your family members to some other plantation owner hundreds of miles away.
(That was intended as a great heaping serving of sarcastic snark, in case it wasn’t obvious.)
UPDATE: Cliven Bundy has clarified today that he was simply “wondering” if blacks were better off being slaves to the white man rathe than being slaves to the federal government today. Bundy went on to note that he was simply using a phrase that he learned from Glenn Beck, using the word “wondering” in order to (allegedly) not necessarily claim that you agree. Uh huh.
“I’m wondering are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were slaves and they was able to have a family structure together and chickens and a garden and the people have something to do. So in my mind I’m wondering are they better off being slaves in that sense or are they better off being slaves of the United States government in the sense of a subsidy?”
Senator Rand Paul, (KY-Tea Bagger GOP) and Senator Dean Heller (NV-same) had both expressed support for Bundy and his theft-of-resources lawbreaking, but apparently even this was too much for them. According to Nagourney’s article:
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.”
Anyway, I expect there’ll soon be waaaay less coverage of Mr. Bundy in the coming weeks, even on Fox. The conservative right, especially Fox News and the Tea Party and the rest, generally prefer their racist dog-whistles to sound rather less like an air-horn at a church service.