I admit it wasn’t until the last 48 hours that I paid any attention to the strange saga of Nevada cattle rancher, anti-government zealot, and Fox News folk hero Cliven Bundy and his battle with the Bureau of Land Management over the $1 million he owes the federal government and us in his refusal to pay grazing fees.
Nothing new about White men who don’t believe they have to pay for what’s not theirs and should be able to do what they please. Nothing new about anti-government zealots who speak plainly and find they quickly can be transformed from strange cranks to a just cause for militia groups and talk radio listeners.
Nothing new about someone like Bundy who invokes sympathy one day and scorn the next when he opens his mouth and the ignorance comes flying out. Enjoy his time in the spotlight due to the stand-off with the government, Bundy has taken to holding daily press conferences where he can share his wisdom on many topics.
For example, America’s Negro Problem.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Bundy said recalling 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? 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.”
That sound you hear is the collective “D’OH!” coming from every floor of the Fox News Channel headquarters. And it just keeps getting worse. Or better depending on your politics.
“I’m wondering if they’re better off under a government subsidy and their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail and their older women and children are sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do.
I’m wondering: Are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were when they were slaves and they was able to their family structure together and the chickens and the garden and the people have something to do?
So in my mind, are they better off being slaves in that sense or better off being slaves to the United States government in the sense of the subsidy? I’m wondering. The statement was right. I am wondering.”
I’m wondering too. Wondering how fast Sean Hannity, Rand Paul and the rest of the “we’re not racist, we just hang out with racists” right-wing pack will scurry away like scalded dogs from the latest stupidity to spill from this shitkicker’s pie hole?
For the losers, extremists and anti-government nihilists who side with a racist nut like Bundy they are receiving a harsh reminder of the danger of wrapping your arms around an extremist. Now because Bundy is a raving racist asshole doesn’t mean those defending him are raving racist assholes themselves. However, it does indicate their comfort level with raving racists assholes. As my friend Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman tweeted, “Lie down with Bundy-sized dogs and get up with Bundy-sized fleas.”
Like a crash between a bus and a train the sight and sound of an ignorant man with no sense of how ignorant he really is and no inner filter to couch his bigotry in more mainstream language, Bundy is a horrible to behold, but fascinating in how blissfully he plows on without a care in the world. Bundy has probably always referred to Blacks as “Negroes” in public and likely far worse in private.
For him, this is probably as politically correct as it gets.