Poor, set-upon conservative would-be martyr Cliven Bundy said Friday, “I’m probably one of the most non-racist people in America.” He made this pronouncement with a straight face. “I hope I didn’t offend anybody. If I did, I ask for your forgiveness. But I meant what I said. It comes straight from the heart.”
Oh, we know it does.
This, of course, is after his attempt to get The New York Times to retract its accurate quotes, telling Alex Jones that he “loves the black community.”
That didn’t work, so all he was left with was the obligatory Republican non-apology.
Bundy, to nobody’s surprise, says he resents the power of the federal government. He says the “welfare state” is dehumanizing and a form of slavery, because, you know, it’s slavery when you feed poor children but not when you feed rich white folks.
The rancher even tried his “aw shucks” routine Friday, saying, “Sometimes I say the right thing and sometimes I saw the wrong things, but I’m just happy to be here talking to America. It’s not too often a rancher gets to talk to millions of people.”
Of course, there is no aw shucks because Bundy isn’t just a “rancher” as he pretends. He’s a pampered millionaire who profits from the very same federal “welfare” he doesn’t think poor folks should receive.
Somehow, welfare makes poor folks lazy but it doesn’t hurt big, strong, rich, white men.
No explanation has been forthcoming on how something can both be and not be, but it’s really stretching conservatism’s either/or paradigm.
So now that Cliven Bundy has said he isn’t a racist and that he’s sorry for his racist remarks that he didn’t really make in the first place and that people misinterpreted, we can all forget the whole thing, right? I mean, Sean Hannity has already changed the subject, literally without missing a beat, as Media Matters points out:
Caught between a choice of denouncing or embracing a man he’s spent countless hours building up as a freedom-loving David entrenched in a battle against the Goliath of federal government, Hannity instead chose to reject and deflect — arguing on his prime time news show that though Bundy’s comments were racist, bigoted, and “beyond disturbing,” the real issue is that government is out of control.
And just like that, the specter of racism disappears from Fox News after barely appearing there in the first place. And for Hannity, even when Bundy’s remarks prove once again that conservatives are racists, they simply prove instead that it is “ignorant” to think conservatives are racists.
Good luck figuring that one out.
Conservatives get really confused when one of their own spills the beans. None of them could have been surprised what Bundy said since many of them have said the very same things. This is in a very real sense a replay of Todd Akins’ comments about rape. They all think it; Todd Akin said it.
Look at Rand Paul’s “[h]is remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him” and then ask him how that can be true given his employment of a neo-Confederate white supremacist.
Unfortunately, instead of doing any real investigative work, the corporate mainstream media is more than happy to let the matter drop after a few obligatory lines. There is still plenty of time to bury the GOP’s institutionalized racism before the midterms, plenty of time for damage control.
Bundy says, reports CNN, that “”It’s time the United States had a discussion about race.” and, “… I think all races should be talking about this, having their opinions and defending their liberties.” Thus CNN lets Bundy off the hook, going off on a high note rather than a law, and that will be the extent of the race question as far as the Republican Party is concerned, all the discussion we need to have.
Fortunately, we can have a discussion whether they want to or not. And it will be far more eloquent than a pampered white male welfare queen, Rand Paul, the Republican Party, and Fox News combined. And what’s best, it’s far more to the point.
It’s called an election.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.