Cliven Bundy – Folk Hero No More

BewareRecently, Cliven Bundy, a rebellious rancher in Nevada became a folk hero in some circles when, after decades of refusing to pay range fees, he stood up to “the man” and forced a stand-off with the BLM.

Indeed, ad hoc militia groups rushed to his rescue, armed and ready to go to war for the rights of this man to ignore the law and thumb his nose not only at the feds, but at his law-abiding neighbors as well. (By the way, the hypocrisy of a group who demands strict allegiance to the “rule of law” in some situations (say, immigration) and refusal to abide by “bad laws” of their choosing does not escape me.) Nonetheless, Bundy became a folk hero of sorts.

But, like many rapidly elevated to hero status, his moment in the sun was brief and now his 15 minutes are up. You see, Mr. Bundy is a racist, pure and simple. He contends that “Negroes” were better off under slavery and really, they should go back to picking cotton to give them “something to do.”

Here are the original comments, as reported by the Washington Post:

“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.”

And today’s follow up:

“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.”

Rushing to take up arms in defense of this sad, sorry little man did considerable damage to the very real issue of federal control of massive tracts of land in the West. That issue is real and there are actually reasonable people working to come up with common-sense solutions.

Threatening to start a civil war is not one of them.

Originally published on

Liked it? Take a second to support Utah.Politico.Hub on Patreon!

Related posts