Thursday, April 24, 2014


Poor Cliven Bundy. The freeloading insurrectionist-wannabe turned right-wing superstar has put his foot in his mouth:
"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."
Politicians who'd supported Bundy backtracked quickly:
A spokesman for [Senator Rand] Paul, informed of Mr. Bundy's remarks, said the senator was not available for immediate comment. Chandler Smith, a spokesman for [Senator Dean] Heller, said that the senator "completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy's appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way."
But ... but that's unfair! Do you know why Bundy is really in trouble? Because he's white! If he were a black conservative and he said something like that, he'd be acclaimed for it by right-wingers!

Consider Thomas Sowell:
The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals' expansion of the welfare state. Most black children grew up in homes with two parents during all that time but most grow up with only one parent today.
Or Ben Carson:
Dr. Ben Carson, a rising star in conservative circles, on Friday compared President Obama's health-care law to slavery.

"You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. "And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control."
Or E.W. Jackson:
Virginia Republican lieutenant governor candidate E. W. Jackson said that the American government has been worse for "the black family" than slavery was during an event on Wednesday to celebrate Juneteenth, the holiday marking the end of slavery. "In 1960 most black children were raised in two parent monogamous families," Jackson said, according to the Virginia Daily Press. "By now, by this time, we only have 20 percent of black children being raised in two-parent monogamous families with a married man and woman raising those children. It wasn't slavery that did that. It was government that did that trying to solve problems that only God can solve, and that only we as human beings can solve."
Or Allen West:
Rep. Allen West is accusing President Barack Obama of making Americans increasingly dependent on social programs, blasting Social Security disability insurance as "a form of modern, 21st-century slavery."

"Since June of 2009 or so, we have seen 2.4 million private sector jobs created, but we've had 3.1 million people going on Social Security disability and, as we said just this past month, the 85,000 went on Social Security disability as opposed to 80,000 jobs created," the Florida Republican said Sunday on Fox News. "So once again we are creating the sense of economic dependence which, to me is a form of modern, 21st-century slavery."
Or Janice Rogers Brown, a George W. Bush federal appeals court appointee:
"In the heyday of liberal democracy, all roads lead to slavery," she has warned in speeches. Society and the courts have turned away from the founders' emphasis on personal responsibility, she has argued, toward a culture of government regulation and dependency that threatens fundamental freedoms.

"We no longer find slavery abhorrent," she told the conservative Federalist Society a few years ago. "We embrace it."
So, heck, you really can't blame Cliven Bundy for saying stuff like this, right? After all, he must hear black conservatives talk like this on Fox all the time!

(UPDATE: Jamelle Bouie quotes a few more black conservatives who might have influenced Bundy.)


One person The New York Times asked for a comment on Bundy's remarks was Texas attorney general (and gubernatorial candidate) Greg Abbott -- who, as I noted yesterday, is helping to gin up another made-for-Fox story about alleged Bureau of Land Management overreach. Abbott's office responded to the Times:
A spokeswoman for Mr. Abbott, Laura Bean, said that the letter he wrote “was regarding a dispute in Texas and is in no way related to the dispute in Nevada.”
I bring this up because I don't believe Fox is just going to drop its anti-BLM jihad as a result of Bundy's remarks -- Fox will probably just shift the story to Texas. Take a look at Fox Nation right now. Lead item:

* "'A Federal Government Run Amok': Texas AG Abbott Slams Potential BLM Land Grab Along Red River"

Also on the front page:

* "Rick Perry to Feds ''Come & Take It' Not a Dare, It's a Promise'"


* "Texas AG Greg Abbott to BLM: 'Stay Out of Texas'"

Nothing on the front page about Bundy. Why, you'd think the center of this story had been Texas all along.


Palli said...

Another observation: Why is "white" incorrect grammar lauded and excused as dialect?

Dark Avenger said...

It's hard for a rich white boy out there................

Victor said...

Well, FOX has to find a way to cover Hannity's exposed rather fat flank somehow.

And it turns out that Good Ol' Boy Bundy really IS a "patriot!"

But only if you go back 100 years - he's a Confederate patriot!

Roger said...

Those were the days.

Lioness said...

The underlying premise of all statements by conservatives (white or black) that "blacks were better off under slavery" (it hurt to type that) is that blacks had two parent families under slavery. Why, no white slaveowner would ever be so vile as to separate a couple, let alone a mother and her children! To mention that slave families were routinely separated as a matter of slaveowner policy would suggest that whites are really the ones to blame for any historical instability in the black family.

Jules said...

Mentioning any of the realities of slavery is automatically unfair playing of the race card and pummeling innocent whites with guilt.

We're supposed to pretend that except for a few troublemakers, all slaves were happy with their lot.

Glennis said...

Apparently Mr. Bundy has stepped forward today to explain his remarks and.....just stepped on that rake again!

Glennis said...

Why is "white" incorrect grammar lauded and excused as dialect?

You betcha!

Ken_L said...

Not sure why any conservatives would have a problem with what Bundy said. He thinks spending hours every day breaking your back picking cotton in return for board and lodging is morally more virtuous than sitting around enjoying yourself. Indeed he can't credit that anyone could possibly be happy "doing nothing". In substance, that's exactly what Paul Ryan said a few weeks ago about the "dignity of labour" when he tried to justify cutting off welfare as being for the recipients' own good.

It's routine conservative ideology that virtue demands people work for the ruling class, for their own moral salvation. Bundy was just articulating a mainstream Republican article of faith. A lot of conservative blog comments are outraged at the hypocrisy of their pundits who are distancing themselves from Bundy, and on this occasion their accusations of cowardice are dead accurate.

repsac3 said...

Same as the post later on Thursday:
Bundy, not Bunker.

Think Al, not Archie.

(I'm going to retweet it out whether you fix 'em or don't, but there may be less grief if ya does... 8>)

((I've done this constantly and consistently with two band names for years--I won't say who, cause I'll probably embarrass myself--but every time i say it's this band, it's the other one, and vice versa. I know both bands, I can name most of the albums of either. But every time I say one name, I mean to be saying the other. Drives me crazy...))

Steve M. said...

Fixed everywhere now, I think -- thank you. (How embarrassing....)

Steve M. said...

I'm a child of the '70s, and I think I was confusing Bundy with Jethro Tull's old drummer. That's really embarrassing.