Racism is No Longer a Thing



Michael Houle, Writer

The controversy surrounding Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has been at the forefront of the media for quite some time and shows no signs of slowing in its quest to offend as many people as possible. For those that do not know, Cliven Bundy is a cattle rancher in southeast Nevada that found himself targeted by the government for grazing his cattle on public land and subsequently refusing to pay for it. After turning back an attempt by the Bureau of Land Management to enforce the law, Bundy became somewhat of a conservative hero for his willingness to stand up to the government and representing hardcore right wing values.

Mr. Bundy made somewhat of a misstep the other day in an interview with the New York Times, making some remarks about “the negro” that some might consider out of line. In an address to those that rallied to his side to support his efforts against the government, Bundy somehow drifted into the topic of slavery and offered up his opinions on the matter for all to hear: “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.” He then goes on to say, “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.”

Bundy said many things regarding his opinion on slavery, but to sum it up, he has entertained the thought that maybe blacks as a race were better off in slavery because it kept them busy and “doing things” as well as allowed them time to spend with their family. By being set free from slavery, they were ultimately not freed at all, because they became slaves to the government in the sense of subsidies instead of slaves to their owners in the sense of whips.

After a large portion of the country understandably erupted at his comments, Bundy promptly returned to the spotlight to clear up the misconception that he might be a tiny bit racist. “Let me see if I can say something. Maybe I sinned, and maybe I need to ask forgiveness, and maybe I don’t know what I actually said, but when you talk about prejudice, we’re talking about not being able to exercise what we think,” commented Bundy during a Friday interview with CNN. He went on to pin the outrage spawned by his comment on one Martin Luther King Jr., claiming that “if I say Negro or black boy or slave, if those people cannot take those kind of words and not be offended, then Martin Luther King hasn’t got his job done yet,” leaving off with the closing statement, “We need to get over this prejudice stuff.”