Speed Reads

Foot, meet mouth

Cliven Bundy wonders if blacks were 'better off as slaves'

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Cliven Bundy's 15 minutes may be up. The man who became a hero to some on the right for staring down the government and refusing to pay grazing fees is using his newfound celebrity to preach his political philosophy. And turns out when given a soapbox, Bundy's preaching quickly veers from libertarian angst to clueless racism.

"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro," Bundy said during a news conference Saturday, according to The New York Times. You can imagine where this is going:

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." [The New York Times]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who praised Bundy for standing up to the feds, quickly yanked his support, saying Bundy's "remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree."

Conservatives rallied around Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson when he made controversial remarks about gays and African-Americans. But Bundy's remarks were far more racially insensitive, so it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, comes to his defense.