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Cliven Bundy Doesn’t Know When To Shut Up

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Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy appeared on CNN this morning and, well, dug the hole he was in just a little bit deeper:

When asked about his remarks on slavery Friday morning on CNN, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy said, ”If I say ‘negro’ or ‘black boy’ or ‘slave’ … if those people cannot take those kind of words and not be offensive then Martin Luther King didn’t do his job.”

Earlier in the interview, conducted by “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo, Bundy took his boot off and waved it in front of the screen, saying he didn’t want it on if he were about to put his foot in his mouth.

Bundy’s remarks about Martin Luther King stemmed from his belief that people were being prejudiced against him and his First Amendment rights. ”Maybe I sinned and maybe I need to ask forgiveness … but you know when you talk about prejudice, we’re talking about not being able to exercise what we think and are feeling.”

Cuomo asked Bundy, “Are you a racist?” Bundy responded, “No, I am not a racist,” but that he “did wonder” if blacks had been better off as slaves. He went on to discuss Rosa Parks, saying, ”I want her to be able to sit anywhere in the bus and I want to be able to sit by her anywhere in that bus.”

Like many conservatives (*cough* Sarah Palin *cough), Bundy  seems to think that freedom of speech means the freedom to say things without being questioned or criticized. Of course Bevin has a right to say what he said, but that doesn’t mean that he also has a right not to be judged a racist and an idiot by others because of what he said. As for the Rosa Parks thing, I just wonder what Ms. Parks would say about Mr. Bundy’s inquiry if life for African-Americans was better under slavery.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. grumpy realist says:

    One now wants to see what this guy will say, if only out of morbid curiosity….it’s like rubbernecking past a 50-car pile up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  2. Rob in CT says:

    Look, it’s obvious this guy isn’t very bright, and whatever historical “knowledge” he has is a mixture of myth and absolute nonsense.

    Why is it that guys who fit this description keep being elevated to the status of True Conservative Hero?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    @Rob in CT: Not to mention the fact that the story that his family grazing cattle on the land since 1877 turned out to be complete fiction. His family bought the ranch in 1947 and started grazing cattle on the BLM land in 1954.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  4. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist: He really is “the gift that keeps on giving…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Matt Bernius says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Look, it’s obvious this guy isn’t very bright, and whatever historical “knowledge” he has is a mixture of myth and absolute nonsense.

    And yet they are trusting this guy to understand the law enough to be right on the the “bigger issue” that all this racist talk is distracting us from.

    BTW, fun thought experiment — Imagine if Brundy was Black or Latino and spoke in the same “folksy” way about things and held similar views about “honkeys… err, I mean white folks”. Can anyone imagine him getting the same support from conservatives?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  6. CSK says:

    Doug, in the final paragraph, I think you meant to say “Bundy” instead of “Bevin.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. beth says:

    @Mikey: He really is “the gift grift that keeps on giving…grifting

    Fixed it for you

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  8. CSK says:

    Bundy’s defenders are falling all over themselves to assure us that:

    A. His words were taken out of context

    B. The New York Times edited the video to make him look bad.

    C. What he said was true.

    It doesn’t seem to occur to them that A and B don’t comport with C, but I may be looking for logic in all the wrong places.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  9. JR says:

    why is this guy featured all over the site? We get it, the guy is a Racist asshole….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  10. KM says:

    An xkcd Public Service Announcement

    I’ve posted this in the breakroom and am now just pointing to it during conservations with people. Tapping the picture is helping save my voice and my sanity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. James Pearce says:

    @JR:

    “why is this guy featured all over the site?”

    He wanted a national conversation and now he has one. What’s the complaint?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  12. JR says:

    @James Pearce:

    There’s no conversation. This is just an attempt to label all Republicans racist because one ignorant moron is living like its the 19th century. The more attention the media focuses on this takes attention away from real stories that should be covered. I think 90% of the people on here are Anti Tea Party which is fine and i agree with, but i guess these stories are the ones that people come to the site for. Yes, Sara Palin is an idiot and her supporters are the ones rallying around this fool.

    I get my news from many sources from ZITE and there’s a lot going on around the world that is being ignored. This Bundy stuff is just redundant at this point. That’s just my opinion and I know i can go elsewhere, but it seems like there used to be a better quality of stories on here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  13. Matt Bernius says:

    @JR:
    While I agree with some of your frustration, I just want to point out one thing:

    There’s no conversation. This is just an attempt to label all Republicans racist because one ignorant moron is living like its the 19th century.

    The issue is that Bundy was — for a moment — a cause celeb for a not insignificant portion of the Republican/Conservative Media Complex. What makes Bundy even more problematic is that places like Fox News and folks like Hannity clearly ignored the warning from other conservative thinkers that this wasn’t a good case to take up (for all the reasons that are becoming abundantly clear).

    This get’s to the bigger problem facing the Republican Party — that a strong and influential portion of their base continues to embrace bad causes and bad actors. And that they don’t want to take responsibility for the ramifications of this. After all this is the same party that made Sarah Palin it’s VP candidate (something that many still have not come to terms with).

    I don’t think much more needs to be posted on this subject. But this problem is going to continue on for the Republicans for a while and may continue to cost them important elections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  14. JR says:

    I like your comments and agree with most of what you said. I guess most of us are frustrated with the political parties and the media coverage of issues. I just hate the coverage the media gives these stories. There are some real scumbags on both sides of the aisle and big $$ on both sides are controlling the dialogue. You go to a website like Open Secrets and it’s truly disgusting how huge Lobbying is. I mean this Comcast- Time Warner merger is a Joke. How does benefit any consumer? How about this rare bipartisanship?

    http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/emigrant-bank-milstein-grimm-maloney-meeks-1049704-1.html

    The masses are being distracted from real issues. We’re SHEEP, just like Pink Floyd sung about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  15. ernieyeball says:

    @JR: We’re SHEEP…

    We? Speak for yourself unless you have a mouse in your pocket.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. James Pearce says:

    @JR:

    There’s no conversation. This is just an attempt to label all Republicans racist because one ignorant moron is living like its the 19th century.

    The “Bundy is a racist” story is, what, 48 hours old? He’s been a darling of the right wing media for weeks.

    He wanted to start a conversation. Just not the conversation that he actually started.

    Or…….what Matt said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JR: I’d be a lot more sympathetic if all the favored policies of the GOP didn’t have disparate racial effects. You may not be personally racist. But your policies are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. Matt Bernius says:

    @JR:

    I guess most of us are frustrated with the political parties and the media coverage of issues.

    And yet, it seems that most of the people who say “both sides are just as bad” or “we’re all frustrated with political parties” end up voting consistently for the same political party over and over again.

    Not saying it’s the case with you. But there seems to be an ongoing pattern of saying “a pox on both your houses” while at the same time constantly helping prop up one of those same two houses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  19. bill says:

    looks like bundy figured out how to get on the msm news now! not a great orator though, should have had a teleprompter or spokesperson.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0