Conservative wet dream Cliven Bundy, a favorite patriot of the Tea Party and Republicans for his unapologetic idea of new American freedom, has a thing or two to tell you about negroes.
No. Seriously. He wants us to know something about black people because…you know…as a white man, he knows.
“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.”
Shocked, we’re not. Racism and white supremacy has always had its roots planted in the conservative ideal Bundy and his cheerleaders hail. Frustrated by the sheer and blatant racism, we are. The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates articulates that sentiment flawlessly:
Enslaved black people were, with some regularity, beat with cowhide whips, tongs, pokers, chairs, and wooden boards. Nails were driven through their palms, pins through their tongues. Eyes were gouged out for the smallest offense.
When people like Cliven Bundy assert the primacy of the past it is important that we do not recount it selectively. American enslavement is the destruction of the black body for profit. That is the past that Cliven Bundy believes “the Negro” to have been better off in. He is, regrettably, not alone.
You can watch Bundy’s reprehensible comments above.