Date ►►► April 26, 2014
A Tale of Two Rants
Here is Cliven Bundy, that desert rat who proffered this allegedly "racist" screed (this is the transcript that was not luridly edited by race-baiters):
...[A]nd so what I've testified to you -- I was in the Watts riot, I seen the beginning fire and I seen that last fire. What I seen is civil disturbance. People are not happy, people are thinking they don't have their freedoms, they didn't have these things, and they didn't have them.
We've progressed quite a bit from that day until now, and we sure don't want to go back. We sure don't want the colored people to go back to that point. We sure don't want these Mexican people to go back to that point. And we can make a difference right now by taking care of some of these bureaucracies, and do it in a peaceful way....
Let me tell, talk to you about the Mexicans, and these are just things I know about the negroes. I want to tell you one more thing I know about the negro. When I go, went, go to Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and I would see these little government houses, and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids -- and there's 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? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never, they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered are they were better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things? Or are they better off under government subsidy?
You know they didn’t get more freedom, they got less freedom -- they got less family life, and their happiness -- you could see it in their faces -- they wasn't happy sitting on that concrete sidewalk. Down there they was probably growing their turnips -- so that’s all government, that’s not freedom....
Now, let me talk about the Spanish people. You know, I understand that they come over here against our Constitution and cross our borders. But they’re here and they’re people -- and I’ve worked side by side a lot of them.
Don’t tell me they don’t work, and don’t tell me they don’t pay taxes. And don’t tell me they don’t have better family structures than most of us white people. When you see those Mexican families, they’re together, they picnic together, they’re spending their time together, and I’ll tell you in my way of thinking they’re awful nice people. And we need to have those people join us and be with us not, not come to our party.
And here, submitted for your comparison, is the raging anger of Donald Sterling, owner of the L.A. Clippers basketball team, berating his girlfriend for embarassing him by... well, take a read:
It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?...
You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games....
I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people....
...Don't put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games.
"One of these things is not like the other..."
Date ►►► April 25, 2014
In this Washington Post after-action report, you must scroll all the way to the bottom of the story to uncover the original "dangerous," "extreme," "hateful," "unhinged," "appalling," "racist" remarks, which allegedly lie at the heart of Cliven Bundy's supposed racism. But I'll put them right up top, so we can read his actual words before we form an opinion based solely upon previous opinions.
In a New York Times interview (as quoted by the Post), he said:
"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."
On a subsequent radio show, Bundy added:
On Peter Schiff's talk radio show, however, he stood by his remarks. "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."
Cliven Bundy may be a racist; I don't know the man. But you couldn't prove it by these remarks.
Let's start with the obvious: Racism is the claim or belief that skin color is destiny. Its definition is not "rejecting affirmative action," as many on the Left clearly believe.
At the very least, racism must ascribe bad behavior primarily to a person's color. Racism is pernicious (destructive, ruinous) and perverse (wicked, contrary, the polar opposite of rightness), because -- Michael Jackson to the contrary notwithstanding -- a person cannot change his skin color; it is immutable, at least at this time. Racism thus imputes immutable characteristics to one's color: Folks with the "wrong" color skin are inferior and always will be.
Such belief by the so-called "superior" race leads to tyranny; such belief by the presumed "inferior" race leads to despair and random acts of violence.
But Cliven Bundy did not say that the problems he enumerated were caused by skin color; he ascribed the problems to social-welfare programs: "And because they were basically on government subsidy..."
But if you allow that some mutable characteristic is more important to one's destiny than skin color -- including culture, upbringing, education, religion, philosophy, entertainment, or one's own will -- then you are not a racist.
Bundy did not say color is destiny; if anything, he said a tyrannical government is to blame, with its government subsidies, government preferential treatment, government housing projects, government labor manipulation, and the destruction of an organic black culture.
Hard to disagree. I seem to remember a fellow named Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) using words of like effect.
Hard to disagree with, but easy to caricature and demagogue. Bundy is not an effective speaker, at least not on the nation's "plantation media," as I call them. He's no Phil Robertson!
Bundy garbles his terms, fails to relate his conclusions to any core principle, uses out-of-fashion words that allow the Left to seize control of his narrative, and terrifies the large portion of the country that believes guns, not people, cause murders. This doesn't mean his thoughts are wrong-headed, just that he doesn't articulate them well... like about 99% of the rest of the populace, on any side of every issue.
He likely is ill-educated in history, as when he postulates that black slaves had a stable family life, when in fact slavers could sell a husband away from his wife whenever it seemed profitable, and children could be auctioned on the block. Not every slaveholder was so callous or cruel, but the threat was omnipresent.
But instead of looking back to the nineteenth century, what if we look back to the organic black culture, black businesses, and largely intact black families of the early twentieth century, even under the Democrat leash of Jim Crow: Black culture before Lyndon Johnson's grandiose and gargantuan "Great Society" program was more robust, just, and prosperous -- and less perverse, violent, and fearful -- than today's horrors in Detroit, Chicago, Compton, Harlem, and even the nation's capital. (Score one for Moynihan.)
Clearly, that is what Bundy was getting at; and he's got a good point, despite his easily ridiculed analogy to slavery. Which raises the question: Those former supporters now "backing away" from Bundy's words... are they also backing down on their critique of government-wrought destruction and debasement of large swaths of American culture?
This is what Bundy decries, as do many other advocates, far more thoughtful, learned, compassionate, and articulate than he. Lovers of liberty cannot reject the well-sourced argument that the world-devouring federal hydra, and the rent-seeking state hyenas, are racing pell-mell to transform the United States of America into a jaded, debauched, decadent, liberal fascism in which "everything not compulsory is forbidden, and everything not forbidden is compulsory."
We cannot pretend that it isn't already happening, unevenly but relentlessly, in many parts of what used to be the land of the free. We cannot wish away the vanguard of this transformation, the leftist elites and their revolutionary foot soldiers, the "federally protected minorities" who have accepted a Faustian bargain, trading their souls for a scrap of power, and false power at that.
We can't back away from Bundy's exegesis, no matter how badly he managed to put it. For if we surrender that argument, we may as well summon up the Devil ourselves.
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