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Cliven Bundy wonders if black people were “better off as slaves”


Cliven Bundy outside his ranch house west of Mesquite, Nevada. (George Frey/Getty)

Oh boy. Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who has drawn a lot of attention recently for his longtime refusal to pay grazing fees (and because his cause drew the support of an armed militia), was profiled in the New York Times on Thursday. That meant a New York Times reporter was there to hear Bundy say this:

“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.”

As you might expect, at least one of the lawmakers who had supported Bundy quickly condemned his remarks. You can probably expect other lawmakers to follow suit.

UPDATE: And now the prominent Republican leaders who have publicly supported Bundy are backing away from him. Jaime Fuller has more on Post Politics.

UPDATE II: Here’s the video of his comments:

[posttv url="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/politics/cliven-bundys-remarks-on-african-americans-slavery/2014/04/24/e1dcfe3e-cbe4-11e3-b81a-6fff56bc591e_video.html" ]

 

 

Mark Berman covers national news for The Washington Post and anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.
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