"I wanna tell yuh one more thing I know about the Nigras! Weren't they better off as slaves, pickin' cotton and havin' a family life and doin' things or are they better off under government subsidies ? They didn't get no more freedom they got less freedom" - Cliven Bundy on Saturday
"They're not slaves no more but they seem to be slaves to the welfare system..." - Cliven Bundy in a press conference yesterday - trying to defend the earlier balderdash
In doing my earlier blog on Cliven Bundy and his clueless followers I was prepared to be generous and just grant that the man and his toadies were ignorant. They were ignorant of the Nevada state constitution which clearly sets out the purview of federal power, i.e. to act in concert with state law. This is in Article 1, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution:
.....the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States.
Did any of Bundy's Bozos read this? I doubt it. But now, rather than merely reinforce he's ignorant Cliven Bundy has opened his yap on Saturday (see quote above - from a live Youtube recording - so it's his absolute words) proving he's a racist idiot and scofflaw to boot.
African Americans had it better as slaves? Having "a family life and doin' things" together? Are you fucking kidding me? What school did this asshole go to in order to learn that? There was NO family life, you fucking moron! Families were often broken up - as when they first arrived for auction at the old slave market in New Orleans - with kids sent to different plantations while mom and dad - IF they were lucky- got sent to the same cotton plantation. Usually they weren't. Even if they did somehow get to the same plantation together, ol' Massah could have his way with the woman any time he wanted and her husband couldn't lift a hand! (Let us bear in mind also that marriage was frowned upon by the slave masters, who considered it antithetical to the slave system - as Prof. Eric Dyson observed last night on Chris Hayes' 'All In'.)
Doing things? Yeah, when ol' Massah Whitey wanted some entertainment he'd use some subterfuge or excuse to take out his whip and flog one or more of the slaves while banjo music played. Or.....he'd drag the slaves out from their crowded digs early in the morning to dance for him - again to banjo music. The slaves had no choice - NONE as to what THEY would do, or how they'd entertain themselves.
Now look at Bundy's words above (I still wonder if he's related to Ted Bundy the mass murderer), and ask yourselves this:
Suppose you're an African-American living in this country, paid at the lowest wage scale or not hired at all, with the Neoliberal capitalist system considering you only for prison labor (25 cents an hour to make rugs) - would you rather accept welfare to at least survive and feed your kids? Or, would you rather be sent back to a Louisiana plantation in a time slip where you can be whipped at will, your wife can be raped by White Massah at his pleasure, and your kids dispatched to any other plantation the Massah wants?
C'mon - give an answer here! You have uh.....five nanoseconds!
In the wake of Bundy's asinine remarks, it's no surprise that many of his high profile media and political supporters have exited stage right from this fool, including FOX's Sean Hannity ("that was despicable"), Nevada senator Dean Heller, and Tea Party favorite, Rand Paul. Hannity, let us recall, was among the main bloviators to jump on Bundy's Bandwagon posing idiotic questions that pandered to the massive FOX audience's ignorance, including (with the rational, informed responses):
“Since when does the government send armed officers to collect a debt?”
Actually, many repossession and foreclosure actions often involve a sheriff or other armed officials, and confiscation of property is an ordinary means by which a government resolves a debt. For example, if you accumulate 20 years of unpaid parking tickets, a court will order that your car be booted and towed until you pay. And if you point a rifle at the cop or otherwise assault him, you might get shot (or tased). The same applies if the IRS dispatches armed agents to your domicile after you've ignored paying taxes for years or have committed massive tax fraud. In addition, here in Colorado if you owe property taxes that have been unpaid for years, a lien can be placed on the property - it can then be purchased by a collection agency, and the home foreclosed. Armed agents will kick your ass out if you don't cooperate.
“Nobody has seen any bill for $1.1 million. It doesn’t exist.
Michelle Fiore, R-Nevada Assembly, bloviated this (while a guest on MSNBC). Bundy says he has “never been sent a bill” but also says he never opens mail from the U.S. government because he does not recognize the U.S. government’s existence. This is as fucking dumb as a homeowner who receives mortgage or credit card bills but refuses to open the mail. Can you say STUPID?
In the Bundy case, a court had ordered him to pay a debt of $1.1 million in accumulated fines and fees for having put greater than his allowed quota of cattle on federally protected tortoise habitat. Meanwhile, lawful citizens who are Bundy's neighbors are fed up with this millionaire asshole acting like a dead beat while they pay their legitimate fees for cattle grazing. As one observer -neighbor put it: "If that isn't leeching off welfare, I don't know what is!"
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, made this accusation, as have numerous others. If an armed resistance is put up against an asset seizure by law enforcement officials who are acting under a court order, the provocation is exclusively the work of those who have chosen to threaten the lawmen with violence. If the IRS sends armed agents to confiscate your property for unpaid taxes you better damned well not pull out your Glock unless you want to see an early grave!The land is not being used — it’s not like they want to build a school, road or hospital on it.”
This was put out by Hannity who doesn't seem to understand that how federal land is used is determined by federal law. No citizen gets to decide for himself whether the land should remain vacant or grazed, or whether something should be built on it. Not if it is federal land, which it is.
“How could a cow possibly eat $1.1 million of grass?”
This one was trotted out by Bundy’s equally clueless daughter, Stetsy Bundy. She doesn't get that whether cows can eat a million bucks worth of grass is neither here nor there. Grazing fees are not assessed by weighing the amount of tonnage that a cow eats. It is a per-animal-unit, per-month fee, and it adds up over 20 years. Furthermore, Bundy’s liability is as much for fines for illegal trespass as it is for fees.
“Bundy has rights to the land because his ancestors worked the land prior to formation of BLM.”
Bundy - predictably - has made this argument himself and others have parroted it. Even if Bundy’s ancestors did work the land (and we only have his word that they did, and he is notoriously dishonest), with the passage of the Taylor Act in 1934 they would have had to pay grazing fees. And it was never private land. The parcel that Bundy is trespassing has been owned by the U.S. government ever since it was purchased and/or won from Mexico or Spain.
Again, Bundy merely shows he's a scofflaw as well as a deadbeat and racist idiot. Those who still defend him are no better. The "militias" that trot around his place with automatic weapons at the ready are really cowards at heart. They are bold and ready to pull out their weapons and fire at some little BLM guys with tasers in Nevada, but you won't see any of them squaring off against the U.S. Army in Pinon Canyon here in Colorado. Say to defend the rights of the ranchers here whose land stands to be seized for specious reasons (e.g. the Army testing of Predator drones).
Why? Because they know they'd face real, serious opposition with the likelihood they'd get shot at and wounded, not just tased. Hence, it's much easier for them to sashay around, posturing with Bundy in Nevada than to stand up for ranchers' rights against the Army in Colorado. Bullies, posturing paper patriots and gun toting pseudo-toughs always seem to find out their bravado limits in a hurry when confronted by a formidable opposition- even one based in the federal gov't they "hate".
Why did so many line up with this misfit and racist? Because the indiscriminate anti-government meme is so powerful among right wing circles that it only takes one asshole to blow an anti-fed/ "Patriot" dog whistle to get all the loonies to come running. But what this episode discloses is that those eager to be seen as "anti-government patriots", need to take more care with whom they align themselves. Newsflash: it isn't with the likes of racists like Bundy.
As for Bundy, any dunderhead who still defends him after the racist revelations is no better than he is. If they have a grain of sense they will abandon this idiot bigot like his former political allies have. Again, if they want a REAL cause they will stand with the ranchers of Pinon Canyon, Colorado against the U.S. Army instead!