Blues for Mr. Bundy

Cliven Bundy for me has been nothing more than a sideshow freak. His sole useful purpose has been to demonstrate, yet again, how desperate the radical right is for a hero to champion in their unremitting war against their loss of privilege.

Here we have random white dude who has been breaking the law for a long time, by allowing his cattle to graze on public land for free. He ignored attempts to stop this behavior, so authorities did what was required of them: attempted to take the cattle. This formed a perfect photo-op for the right:  a true patriot with his supporters, defending his herd from Obama’s army of jackbooted thugs. Don’t tread on me to the max.

It goes without saying that if Mr. Bundy were a black man, the likes of Hannity, O’Reilly, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, et al, would have called for his head. They would have come up with, “why did it take so long to get this guy? He’s a moocher!” Cue up Cab Calloway. But no, he was a patriot (i.e., white) and thus embattled.

But now we know for certain what most of us already surmised. This guy Bundy is a grade-A, full-fledged racist kook. Never mind what he said originally to earn this designation — about Negroes no longer learning how to pick cotton and that maybe Negroes were better off as slaves. Let’s jump to his doubling down on the crazy:

“That’s exactly what I said. I said I’m wondering if they’re better off under government subsidy, and their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail, and their older women and their children are standing, sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do, you know, I’m wondering: 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.”
-quoted from Yahoo! News

I’ll give Mr. Bundy this. At least he owned up to his crazy. Most don’t. However, this has proven too crazy even for the likes of Hannity, et al., and now they are running from him faster than a speeding stampede.

His complete ignorance of the institution of slavery allowed him to make such statements as, “they was (sic) able to have family structure together.” Maybe we need to take up a collection and buy him a copy of “12 Years A Slave.” I’d opt for the movie version; the book might be too much for him to handle. But sadly, his ignorance is not alone. Paula Dean demonstrated last year that some in this country still romanticize the Antebellum South.

Indeed, even some “mainstream” conservatives, in light of “12 Years,” have all but said that slavery wasn’t as bad as some make it out to be. Folks like to hide from the truth about how gruesome slavery really was, likely to make themselves feel better, or less guilty about it. But the truth is still the truth.

My dad would have described Mr. Bundy with one of his pet words: deadbeat. Even some of his fellow ranchers have described him as such and are not impressed with his “fighting the man” stance. Mr. Bundy is just a deadbeat draped in a flag, a flag for a government he claims has no legitimacy. Interesting, isn’t it?

But as I said, he does serve one useful purpose: to demonstrate how ridiculous Hannity, et al, really are, and how their constant barrage against the president and the government he leads is nothing more than a proxy for racism. Let’s hope that folks remember how they embraced this man before he went totally off the rails, so that maybe people will think twice before following their misguided leads.

© 2014, gar. All rights reserved.

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