Even as elements of a traditional media bound to newsprint continued to blast Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy on Friday for his remarks about blacks, he was getting more support, from blacks.
“If you look at the number of problems, the number of young men of color in the criminal justice system, there’s no doubt there’s a crisis,” Nevada congressional candidate Niger Innes told KTNV television. “And Cliven was waving the red flag, if you will, about that particular crisis.”
Innes said he thinks Bundy was wrong to mention slavery.
And another video revealed an African-American bodyguard promised he would “take a bullet” for Bundy.
On the CNN video, a reporter said Bundy was “wondering whether African Americans would be better off as slaves. How does that strike you.”
“It doesn’t strike me any kind of way. This is still same old Mr. Bundy I met the first day,” the guard said said.
When challenged by the reporter whether those comments were “offensive,” he said, “Mr. Bundy’s not a racist. … He’s treated me with nothing but hospitality, pretty much just like his own family. I would take a bullet for him if need be. I look up to him, just like I do my own grandfather.”
It was the New York Times that reported Bundy said, “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.”
First came the chorus of critics who blasted Bundy as a bigot and racist, but given his status as a folk hero for standing up to the federal bureaucracy, in the shape of the Bureau of Land Management, there was immediate suspicion that there was some context to the quote.
There was. Here’s the unedited video of Cliven Bundy:
And the edited video of Cliven Bundy:
Further, WND Founder and columnist Joseph Farah explained what the events appeared to be.
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called on all of his ‘progressive’ friends to form a ‘united front’ against Bundy,” he noted in his column. “For those of you untrained in the tactical and strategic arts of the totalitarian left, let me explain that terminology. ‘United front’ has special meaning to only one group – communists. If you doubt what I, a former commie, has to say about it, just Google the term. See for yourself. What Harry Reid’s use of this term suggests is the left considers Cliven Bundy and all those rallying around his cause to be the most important target of the day. The ‘progressives’ are apoplectic about this showdown in the desert. After all, they are supposed to be the champions of hardworking people. The government is supposed to be the friend and savior of working people. Yet, what Cliven Bundy has done, using ‘progressive’ terminology, is to “heighten the contradictions” of socialist reality. … Therefore, as the left often concludes in such cases, he must be destroyed.”
He continued, “That’s why Harry Reid calls his a ‘domestic terrorist.’ That’s why Harry Reid calls for a ‘united front’ against this simple, seemingly powerless rancher. That’s why Harry Reid strangely said after the standoff in the desert was defused, ‘It’s not over.'”
WND reported on Thursday when former U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes defended Bundy, saying, “He wasn’t talking so much about black folks, but about the harm and damage that the leftist socialism has done to blacks.”
Ammon Bundy, Cliven Bundy’s son, told WND that the quotes were taken out of context and that his father was commiserating over the poor situation in which blacks find themselves because of oppressive government programs, regulations and practices.
Keyes said that was evident.
“I find it appalling that we basically have a history of the leftist liberalism that wants to extinguish black people by abortion [and] destroying the family structure,” Keyes told WND. “All of these things if you just look at the effects, you would say this was planned by some racist madman to destroy the black community.”
“I think it’s time somebody started to recognize the racism that exists in its effects – the hard leftist ideology using the black community for their sacrificial lamb, for their sick ideology. It’s time we called them what they are,” he said.
“Now it’s racist to point it out.”
Ammon Bundy told WND: “They took what they wanted. They knew when they were there his comments were not racist. He wasn’t able to completely articulate. That’s just my dad. He is a very principled person.
He said he was “there standing right beside my father when he made those comments.”
“He was reaching out to the black community,” Ammon Bundy said.
“Growing up around him, and being beside him, I never once heard him say anything negative about any race,” he said. “I wish I could say that about everyone else I’ve been around. The black community, the white community, they joke back and forth. My father’s never lowered himself.”
The Right Scoop blog reported Cliven Bundy confirmed he was wondering about what’s best for blacks.
“That’s exactly what I said. I said I’m wondering if they’re better off under government subsidy, and their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail, and their older women and their children are standing, sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do, you know, I’m wondering: Are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were slaves, and they was able to have their family structure together, and the chickens and garden, and the people had something to do? And so, in my mind I’m wondering, are they better off being slaves, in that sense, or better off being slaves to the United States government, in the sense of the subsidies. I’m wondering. That’s what. And the statement was right. I am wondering.”
Bundy, 67, has been in the headlines over the past few weeks for his defiance of the federal government’s demand that he pay grazing fees. The federal Bureau of Land Management responded with an operation to confiscate and sell off his cattle.
Bundy claims that since his ranch operation, run by his family for more than 100 years, was grazing cattle before the BLM existed, his fees should be paid to the state, not Washington. More than 1,000 supporters, including armed militia members, joined Bundy at his ranch in a standoff with federal agents.
The federal agents backed down April 12, released the cattle and left the area.