A Defiant Rancher Savors the Audience That Rallied to His Side - Bundy, let me tell you what I know about the negro'
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UPDATE: 1 p.m. ET -- According to TPM, Bundy told Alex Jones he would appreciate it if The New York Times retracted their story. Mediaite reports Bundy appeared on The Peter Schiff Show Thursday to further explain his remarks in the Times piece.
Below, a transcription of Bundy's remakrs on the Schiff show, from TPM:
I'm wondering if they're better off under a government subsidy and their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail and their older women and children are sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do.
I'm wondering: Are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were when they were slaves and they was able to their family structure together and the chickens and the garden and the people have something to do.
So in my mind, are they better off being slaves in that sense or better off being slaves to the United States government in the sense of the subsidy. I'm wondering. The statement was right. I am wondering.
A Defiant Rancher Savors the Audience That Rallied to His Side
By ADAM NAGOURNEYAPRIL 23, 2014
Most of all, Mr. Bundy, 67, who was wearing a broad-brimmed white cowboy hat against the hot afternoon sun, recounted the success of "we the people" - gesturing to the 50 supporters, some armed with handguns and rifles, standing in a semicircle before him - at chasing away Bureau of Land Management rangers who, acting on a court order, tried to confiscate 500 cattle owned by Mr. Bundy, who has been illegally grazing his herd on public land since 1993.
"They don't have the guts enough to try to start that again for a few years," Mr. Bundy said in an interview.
Cliven Bundy, flanked by supporters, has become a celebrity, drawing hundreds of sympathizers. Credit John Locher/Las Vegas Review-Journal, via Associated Press
Mr. Bundy's standoff with federal rangers - propelled into the national spotlight in part by steady coverage by Fox News - has highlighted sharp divisions over the power of the federal government and the rights of landowners in places like this desert stretch of Nevada, where resentment of Washington and its sprawling ownership of Western land has long run deep.
His cause has won support from Senator Rand Paul, the libertarian Republican from Kentucky who is likely to run for president. Senator Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, referred to Mr. Bundy's supporters as "patriots." Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who is the Senate majority leader and has a long history of pushing for protection of public lands, denounced the rancher's supporters as "domestic terrorists."
The dispute spilled over this week into Texas, where Greg Abbott, the attorney general and a Republican running for governor, challenged the Bureau of Land Management on reports that it was looking to claim thousands of acres along the Red River.
For now, Mr. Bundy appears to have won, forcing the government to back down after its rangers were met with armed Bundy supporters this month.
"The gather is now over," said Craig Leff, a deputy assistant director with the Bureau of Land Management. "Our focus is pursuing this matter administratively and judicially."
His sympathizers include dozens of militia members, many carrying weapons. Credit Jim Urquhart/Reuters
But if the federal government has moved on, Mr. Bundy - a father of 14 and a registered Republican - has not.
He said he would continue holding a daily news conference; on Saturday, it drew one reporter and one photographer, so Mr. Bundy used the time to officiate at what was in effect a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.
"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."
A spokesman for Mr. Paul, informed of Mr. Bundy's remarks, said the senator was not available for immediate comment. Chandler Smith, a spokesman for Mr. Heller, said that the senator "completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy's appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way." A spokeswoman for Mr. Abbott, Laura Bean, said that the letter he wrote "was regarding a dispute in Texas and is in no way related to the dispute in Nevada."
The crowds may be beginning to dwindle, but for much of the past two weeks, here at Mr. Bundy's ranch in Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, the rancher has been a celebrity, drawing hundreds of supporters, including dozens of militia members, many carrying sidearms, and members of Oath Keepers, a militia group, who have embraced him as a symbol of their anger and a bulwark against federal abuse.
He was honored at a celebratory party on Friday night attended by 1,500 people, who wore "domestic terrorist" name tags, listened to cowboy poetry and ate hamburgers, hot dogs and Bundy beef. "This is the beginning of taking America back," said Shawna Cox, who had come from Kanab, Utah, to support him.
Mr. Bundy, whose family has grazed cattle here since they homesteaded in the 1870s, owes the government more than $1 million in grazing fees. He stopped paying after the bureau ordered him to restrict the periods when his herd roamed the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area as part of an effort to protect the endangered desert tortoise.
Mr. Bundy's case happened to heat up around the time that Mr. Paul, building the foundation for a presidential campaign, struck a chord with some members of the Republican Party with warnings about governmental overreach. Mr. Paul's latest book is titled "Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused and Imprisoned by the Feds." In the Bundy standoff, Mr. Paul has criticized the federal government as overreaching with its use of regulations, but cautioned against any violence or lawbreaking.
Rob Mrowka, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, which has been battling to get Mr. Bundy to move his cattle in deference to the tortoises, said the standoff had come to symbolize divisions across the country about the role of government, particularly here in the West.
Sympathizers have embraced Mr. Bundy as a symbol of their anger and a bulwark against federal abuse. Credit Ronda Churchill for The New York Times
"It's symbolic of the polarization and divide within the country that we saw starting with the Obama election," he said. "This is merely a surrogate for bigger issue and topic in America today - it's the whole idea of federalism versus states."
The federal government owns 85 percent of the land in Nevada, a statistic repeatedly noted by Mr. Bundy's supporters as they denounced the actions of the government. Six cattle, including two that had Bundy brands, died during the attempt to collect the animals.
Mr. Bundy and his supporters reject the Federal court, Federal laws, and the Bureau of Land Management people who were attempting to enforce...
"Western states don't have the control over their land that Eastern states have over their land," said Ivan Jones, 60, a brick mason who came here from Northern California. "Someone like the Bundys, they have been here for generations, before the B.L.M. was ever created, using this land to graze their animals. And the B.L.M. comes in and changes the rule. A small little rancher trying to make a living and they come in like big bullies."
Toby Purvis, 51, an electrician who came here from Farmington, N.M., called the bureau operation "a land grab."
"This is happening all over the country right now," he said.
The standoff over cattle grazing has highlighted divisions over Washington and its sprawling ownership of Western land. Credit John Locher/Las Vegas Review-Journal, via Associated Press
Mr. Bundy's case is clearly divisive. About 16,000 ranchers across the country pay relatively modest fees for their herds to use public land. The Nevada Cattlemen's Association, while expressing sympathy with some of Mr. Bundy's complaints, pointedly did not endorse his methods.
"This should not be confused with civil disobedience," Mr. Mrowka said. "This is outright anarchy going on here."
Mr. Bundy disputes the legitimacy of both the bureau and the courts that have ruled against him. "I'll be damned if I'm going to honor a federal court that has no jurisdiction or authority or arresting power over we the people," he said.
Still, as Mr. Bundy surveyed the dusty landscape last weekend, the only sign of law enforcement was Brad Rogers, the sheriff of Elkhart County, Ind., who had flown 1,800 miles to stand in solidarity with the embattled rancher.
With the rangers gone, "I don't feel any threat - that's a big change," Mr. Bundy said. At the same time, he said he saw no reason for his supporters to leave. "As long as we are getting together as a group and as long as we feel good about being here, we are going to be here," he said.
One of Mr. Bundy's sons, Ammon, 38, a car fleet manager from Phoenix, said his father had taught the federal government a lesson. "We ran them out of here," he said, sitting in a trailer set up near one of the protesters' camp sites. "We were serious. We weren't playing around."
But Alan O'Neill, who had a similar struggle with Mr. Bundy when he was superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, expressed concern that the government had backed down.
"He calls himself a patriot, and says he loves America," Mr. O'Neill said. "And yet he says he won't follow any federal laws. You just can't let this go by, or everybody is going to be like, ‘If Bundy can break the law, why can't I?' "
Lynnette Curtis contributed reporting from Bunkerville.
For the people defending him and claiming the quotes are made up
Bundy Explains ‘Negro' Remarks: ‘I'm Wondering' If They're ‘Better Off Being Slaves'by Josh Feldman | 12:36 pm, April 24th, 2014 audio
Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher currently under fire for remarks he made about "the Negro," explained himself on The Peter Schiff Show today, saying that he's just "wondering" whether black people are better off being actual slaves or better off being slaves of the federal government.
He said, "I'm wondering are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were they were slaves when they were able to have a family structure together... and the people have something to do."
Bundy then asked, "Are they better off being slaves in that sense or are they better off being slaves of the United States government in the sense of a subsidy?"
Listen to the audio, via The Peter Schiff Show:
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