Friday, April 25, 2014

Why Cliven Bundy's Views On Slavery Aren't Really That Shocking.

We've seen the resurgence of "in your face racism" with the election of our first black President. It's almost like some people are so upset at the (perceived, but by no means real) shift in power that occurred in November 2008 they just seem emboldened in their racism and feel no need to even hold back or pretend otherwise. Which is why Nevada Welfare Rancher Cliven Bundy's recent comments on black people being better off during slavery don't really shock me, or for that matter even offend me. They're par for the course.
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s battle against the federal government over land rights took an unexpected detour after a newspaper quoted the 67-year-old grandfather suggesting African Americans were "better off as slaves" because slavery taught work skills and enhanced family life.

Bundy, who has waged a standoff with the Bureau of Land Management, insisting he has a right to graze hundreds of head of cattle on public lands without paying fees, has been surrounded by citizen militias that have converged on his ranch in rural Bunkerville after armed federal officials moved in to remove Bundy’s cattle.

Over the weekend, Bundy spoke to supporters about general issues involved in the standoff. Suddenly, he took a turn and began discoursing on African Americans and public welfare.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said in comments quoted by the New York Times. He 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.”

He added: “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.”

Conservative lawmakers in Washington, who have so far supported Bundy, have blasted his remarks, including Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who had previously referred to the gray-haired rancher as a patriot.
Much like Paula Deen, I'd actually be more shocked that a person his age who lives on the fringes of society wasn't racist. It is what it is.

Maybe ole' Cliven had a point though. I mean, living in public housing is fairly demoralizing and whatnot. Living on a plantation, whith free room and board in exchange for a few leisurely hours of work was much better by comparison. Blacks had a much better sense of work ethic then, and their families were so much closer knit, once you get beyond rape, lynching, forcible separation, the fact that they were liberally traded property and whatnot. Yeah, those were the days!

The funniest part of this whole ordeal has been watching the very Conservatives (including many elected officials!) who got behind Bundy's armed anti-government crusade backpedal faster than Richard Sherman in an effort to distance themselves from this guy. Three days ago they loved the guy more than single white chicks love Jim Halpert[1], now they hate him more than Spotify users hate Flo From Those Progressive commercials.[2]

There's a teachable moment here for everyone, especially talking heads like Hannity, Limbaugh, and Co.

Pick your heroes wisely. They just might not be as heroic as you think.

Question: What's your two cents on this story?

[1] Single white chicks LOVE Jim Halpert! Is there an equivalent "perfect, albeit completely fictitious" boyfriend/husband for single black chicks? Just curious.

[2] Seriously though. You're really getting into your playlist and then, boom! Another Flo ad! Arghhhh. This is the price you pay for totally free music I guess.

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