I was alerted to this story this evening in the NYT on rancher Cliven Bundy which featured a quote I was told was racist, and therefor I should apologize for ever criticizing the Bureau of Land Management’s handling of this and other situations:
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.
“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.”
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.”
A few things. First, to take the quote at face value it’s odd and sounds offensive. You’re talking about government overreach and you go into this story? Secondly, I hope no one is surprised that an old man rancher isn’t media trained to express himself perfectly. He seems to be decrying what big government has done to the black family — which big government has negatively affected not just the black family, but all families regardless of ethnicity — so perhaps he included that in his remarks against big government? I’m just trying to figure out how he even got to the point of discussing it and yes, it’s justified to have a healthy suspicion of the New York Times. I’d be more inclined to believe that the left’s outrage is genuine had it been consistent (to say nothing of Harry Reid). Notice how the NYT immediately went to the politicians involved. If Bundy is a racist, that is awful, but what exactly does that have to do with the BLM? I’ve been saying for weeks that this isn’t about one rancher. It’s about government overreach. It’s about a paramilitarized bureaucratic entity responding to collect a bill in dispute due to arguments over state ownership and open range laws. It’s about a bureaucratic entity bypassing state and local laws — which I discussed with Judge Andrew Napolitano on my program — in court procedures and law enforcement.
Does Cliven Bundy’s remark make Tommy Henderson, Raymond Yowell, Kenni Patton, and other ranchers in Nevada and north Texas racists then because they also have issues with the BLM? So dissent with the BLM is racist like dissent with Obamacare is racist? Again, this isn’t about one person, but the left would love for it to be so. It’s easier to kill a spider by cutting off the head.
*UPDATE: here is the link to Bundy’s remark, which is what I’ve been wanting to see since this development broke. I like to confirm remarks before reacting, which apparently angered the left. Again, as I said before, it was an awful remark. But Bundy’s horrible remark doesn’t change that the BLM is overreaching.
**UPDATE: Also read Politico’s Jonathan Topaz’s Smear Attempt
***UPDATE: Kira Davis’s video: