01 May 2014

Uncommon Commentary #403: Ranters v. Rancher

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada cattle-rancher who has won notoriety through his defiance of the federal government over allegedly illegal grazing, aroused further furor with supposedly "racist" comments made about a week back.  I haven't really decided whether Bundy or the Bureau of Land Management is in the right in this dispute (although I do, of course, think that the BLM used an excessive display of force when it attempted to seize his herd), but I certainly have something to say about the second controversy.  What Bundy said to ignite the firestorm was:
They (Blacks) 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 and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy.
When asked on the Peter Schiff Show to clarify his remarks, he said "I'm wondering are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were (when) they were slaves?", and, at a press conference, he said that he was just posing a "question" about whether Black people are better off now than in the days of slavery.
If Bundy were actually saying that Black people are morally inferior to Whites, or advocating the restoration of slavery, then he would deserve censure (though still not the opprobrium directed at him); Do you honestly think that he was doing that?  To me it sounds as though he merely (though artlessly) laments the high rates of abortion, incarceration, and government assistance among US Blacks, and questions whether they are truly any better off in these circumstances than they were before emancipation.  I've heard similar jeremiads from well-known Black leaders, but, since Bundy is Caucasoid, we who have developed tin ears from having lived with Political Correctness (or, as I've dubbed it, "Totalitarianism Light") for a quarter-century hear the words "Black" (or "African-American") and "slaves" and temporarily discard our ability to reason; one can see this in the fact that not only left-wing outlets like Media Matters (which ought to change its name to "Media Matters, but Logic Doesn't"), but even Republicans who have supported Bundy in his standoff versus Uncle Sam, like US Senator Rant Paul—I mean, Rand Paul—have inveighed against him by calling his statement "racist" and "offensive".  Such judgmentalism (with an unhealthy dose of paranoia likely mixed in) is itself offensive, and provides additional evidence that Big Brother is alive and well in this country, which takes pride in considering itself the freest in the world from thought control.