Like everyone else to ever be quoted saying something untoward, Nevada rancher and new conservative folk hero Cliven Bundy, who just happens to be a huge racist, said this afternoon that his comments about black Americans being better off as slaves, as published in the New York Times, were inaccurate and taken out of context. They most certainly were not. “I didn’t say nothin’ about pickin’ cotton,” Bundy told Alex Jones on the radio today. “This is bombshell. This is bombshell,” said Jones. “You’re telling me you did not say ‘picking cotton’?”
“No, I did not say pickin’ cotton,” said Bundy. Let’s go to the tape.
Oops, there it is, at 1:45: “They never learned how to pick cotton … were they better off as slaves, pickin’ cotton?” And for comparison’s sake, the full remarks, as printed in the Times:
“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.”
Before the “one more thing” he knows about “the Negro,” as seen in the extended clip above, Bundy explained, “People are thinking they don’t have their freedoms. And they didn’t have ‘em! We progressed quite a bit from that day until now. We sure don’t want to go back. We sure don’t want these colored people to have to go back. We sure don’t want these Mexican people to go back to that point.”
Rand Paul, who has championed Bundy in his fight against the federal government’s Bureau of Land Managment in the fight over cattle grazing on public property, is already distancing himself. “His remarks on race are offensive, and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,” said the 2016 presidential hopeful in a statement.
(Fox News’s Greta Van Susten, too: “LET ME MAKE THIS PLAIN: I CONDEMN WHAT CLIVEN BUNDY SAID ABOUT AFRICAN AMERICANS.”)
Asked by Jones on the radio if he would like the Times to issue a correction, Bundy said, “I would appreciate that. I think they should do that. They make it a racist-type thing. I’m not racist.” He went on to say that he knows a black man. “He’s been in and out of my home … I think he feels welcome as anybody else.”