As a friend of mine said a few hours after the New York Times reported the racial opinions of Cliven Bundy: “I used to have some sympathy for Bundy … but now I can’t remember why.”
That’s a more eloquent way of saying: Cliven Bundy jumped the shark. The way the Bureau of Land Management treated him in bringing a SWAT team to round up his cattle brought much needed attention to the actions of the federal government against private land owners in Nevada and around the country.
Now, all people are going to remember are his words about “the negro”.
On Saturday, the NYTimes reports, Bundy said this:
“’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.’”
Hard to rally around a guy who says stuff like that. But, there’s an important issue at stake. What the BLM did at the Bundy Ranch was wrong. And it’s happening around the country. Sen. Harry Reid’s inflammatory comments (who also has his own negro comment problem” about “domestic terrorists” also deserve attention. Poor judgment doesn’t begin to describe Sen. Reid.
It is important, however, to separate the bigger issues of government overreach … and Cliven Bundy’s disturbing world view.