Cliven Bundy, the aging, white rancher who made headlines after the U.S. federal government tried to seize his property and was defended by militia groups and citizens from around the country, is not an actor. He is not a politician or a TV show host. He is not perfect, and he doesn't pretend to be.
The mainstream media have dutifully done their part in bending to the will of the Obama administration and branding the rancher, whose family has worked the land since before the creation of the Bureau of Land Management, as a "free-loader" who evades owed taxes and grazing fees. And like others with whom they disagree, progressivists have followed him incessantly, not to cover his story of standing up to a tyrannical, overreaching government, but to catch him doing something that will sway public opinion against him.
Adam Nagourney, a reporter for the liberal-leaning New York Times
, got his chance to discredit Bundy at a news conference on April 26.
"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro," Bundy said to a crowd. He talked to reporters about having driven past a public housing project in North Las Vegas in the past, "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."
Taken out of context, Bundy's words certainly seem racist, and they may be (albeit in a lack-of-understanding way rather than hatefulness), but what he is really saying here is not that African Americans were better off as slaves but that the welfare state has caused more destruction to the black family than slavery, racism and Jim Crow laws combined. The word negro
, although viewed as racist today, has historically been used to refer to dark-skinned persons without being pejorative, as used by Bundy, who, we must remember, as 67-year-old white male in rural Arizona, likely grew up in a culture where the use of that term was perfectly acceptable.
As for singling out welfare as a cause of poverty and destruction of the African American family, consider this statement: "The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done, the harshest Jim Crow laws and racism could not have done, namely break up the black family."
I'll agree, that is a nicer-sounding sentence, but it basically states the exact same thing in different terminology. Is it racist too? MSNBC's Ed Schultz apparently thinks so
, despite the fact that this was said by Dr. Walter Williams, an African American.
All of this illustrates a controlled culture wherein anything "anti-government" can supposedly be boiled down to some underlying racism. Racism is wrong, so if someone is racist, they must be wrong; therefore, the liberal media paint their opponents as intrinsically racist.
Progressivists consider racism, and some prejudices, to be even worse than killing brown foreigners. In Obama's first term, he signed into law a "hate crimes" measure (Thoughtcrime Enforcement Act) that expanded the definition of violent federal hate crimes to include those committed on basis of sexual orientation. Sure, people shouldn't be assaulted for being gay, but in order to get this measure passed, the Obama administration attached a $680 billion military appropriation measure to it including funding for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That way, progressivist/liberal constituents could feel good about their "representative" voting to protect minorities, and others could feel good about "protecting America" while their "representatives" profit from the military-industrial complex actively seeking to commit mass murder.