Cliven Bundy, Asshole of the Day for April 24, 2014
Cliven Bundy is a rancher who claims to be a patriot, flies the American flag, but doesn’t pay his grazing fees (now over $1 million for last 15 years) or recognize the federal government. He’s also threatened to open fire on government officials.
And yet somehow Sean Hannity and other people who claim to be patriots but latch on to any opportunity to side with people against America while Obama is president— Putin for example— have decided to take up Bundy’s cause. Having him on the show, encouraging people to defend him, and praising the militias that went out for a chance to fire on government troops. Jon Stewart did a good job taking apart all this treasonous silliness, including how you can’t pretend you care about the Constitution or the Founding Fathers and support guys like Bundy who are no different than the Whiskey Rebellion that George Washington himself crushed.
But now that Hannity has given Bundy this platform, Bundy keeps on talking. And it’s not pretty. Here’s what Bundy had to say about black people, which isn’t even related to his land dispute, but he just felt he had to tell the world:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” the rancher began as he described a “government house” in Las Vegas where he recalled that all the people who sat outside seemed to “have nothing to do.”
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he said, as quoted by the Times. “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.”
Black people were better off as slaves.
He really said that.
And what does Hannity have to say? He says Bundy’s remarks are “beyond repugnant” and reinforce the “ignorant view” that conservatives are racist.
But now this is where it gets interesting. Hannity thinks it’s an “ignorant view” that conservatives are racist. But how ignorant is it? Let’s review where Mr. Bundy might have heard such things:
Maybe he heard the GOP’s Virginia Lt. Governor candidate E.W. Jackson say that “welfare hurt black families more than slavery ever did”.
"Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President," the opening statement reads.
Mr. Bundy didn’t come up with these ideas on his own. The racist view that African Americans were better off under slavery or Jim Crow is something that gets said by conservatives from time to time. Hannity’s claim that it’s an “ignorant view” that conservatives are racist is just hot air. Hannity and others may not be personally racist, but they are popular with racists, and they know it. Or more concisely:
Cliven Bundy is not a racist for saying “blacks were better off as slaves”; he’s just plagiarizing Michele Bachmann and E.W. Jackson.— Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat) April 24, 2014
So, for claiming that people were better off under slavery, Cliven Bundy is the Asshole of the Day, but let’s not pretend he came up with this all on his own.
It is Cliven Bundy’s first time as Asshole of the Day.
Full story: Talking Points Memo