Friday, April 25, 2014

Bundy Saga: Media Whips Out The Race Card -- Even Hannity Falls For It - By Larry Elder

By Larry Elder, Apr. 25, 2014

Well, that’s one way to get the non-Fox media interested in a story.

Weave in some “racism.” Better yet, throw in a reference to “slavery.” Sure it’s 2014, and we have a black president who has been elected and re-elected. But still…

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher in a public grazing fee dispute with the feds, recently offered his thoughts on race, racial progress, welfare dependency and even illegal immigration.

For how long, for what reason, and exactly to whom Bundy spoke, we are not sure because the posted YouTube goes a little more than three minutes. It appears he began talking before the camera started running and appeared to continue talking even after the clip ends. According to The New York Times, he was talking to a gathered group of supporters. Here is the video. It contains Bundy’s most “offensive” statement:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. … When I go to North Las Vegas I would see these little government houses. And in front of those 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? 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.”

Over on the non-Fox cables, they could barely contain their joy. A next-day morning Washington Post Headline read: “Will Fox News's Sean Hannity Keep Hyping Cliven Bundy After Comments About the ‘Negro’?”

Not only has an “anti-government” rancher been caught letting us know his “true feelings,” but even more deliciously, Fox drove this story. No Fox, no national story -- and now’s it’s come back to bite them. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

But now Cliven Bundy, this hero of the right, this “right-wing” avatar of all that is good and patriotic in America, has revealed himself. He’s just what the good guys always thought -- a bigot. Scratch the surface of most white Republicans -- especially those pot-bellied Neanderthals who use words like “Negro” -- and you’ll find a bigot. Right? Such old people, as Oprah recently said, “just have to die.” These are, after all, the very people Obama once demeaned because they “cling to guns or religion.”

What did Bundy really say?

After the nitpicking, sorting through convoluted, inartfully articulated, politically incorrect language, what do we have left? The very same criticism that Hannity justifiably makes as a constant, central political theme: a large, ever-growing, intrusive, expensive government harms prosperity, creates dependency and destabilizes families. Economists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams point out that during slavery a black child was more likely than today to live under the same roof with his biological mother and father. The welfare state has done to the nuclear, traditional black family what neither slavery nor Jim Crow could do.

So what’s the problem?

Isn’t this the message of a conservative, which is something Hannity proudly calls his New York political registration -- “conservative”? But if conservatives hate anything more than tax hikes, it’s being accused of racism.

Bundy dared say something about abortion. Not only did he say something about abortion, but that he did so as a white, southwestern rancher Republican. Regarding abortion, is not true that of the babies aborted each year a disproportionately high number -- compared to population demographic -- are black babies?

Or, is the problem is the way Bundy criticized government dependency. Just how bad is racism in America when merely clumsily making a point gets labeled as racist? Is Bundy racist for failing to figure out a non-racist way of making an argument destined to offend, no matter how nicely he expresses it?

Good luck with that.

Rep. Paul Ryan / Credit: AP
Ask Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who just the other day made a similar point about dependency -- only to apologize for it after being called racially insensitive. And Ryan gives speeches for a living.

Ryan, like Hannity, fell into the race-card trap. But the rules are simple: “If you say it, it’s racist. If we say it, it’s, well, it’s us. We are genetically hardwired not to be racist. You, however, are genetically hardwired to be bigots.” Thus Vice President Joe Biden can say, “They’re gonna put y’all back in chains.” That’s not offensive. Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton can, before a predominately black audience, patronizingly say: “[The Republican House] has been run like a plantation. And you know what I’m talking about.” That’s not offensive. Then House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel can say of Republicans: “They don’t say ‘spic’ or ‘nigger’ anymore. They just say, ‘Let’s cut taxes.’” No worries.

Now Bundy, a 67-year-old man many never heard of until days ago, is not an office holder, not a candidate for anything. Like Ryan, he stands accused of racism. To many on the left, there is little difference between the smart, courtly Ryan, and a Stetson-wearing Nevada rancher -- a bigot is a bigot is a bigot.

Rev. Al Sharpton / Credit:
But let’s agree, for the sake of argument, that Bundy is truly the biggest racist this side of the Rev. Al Sharpton -- who, by the way, owes more to the government than does Bundy. (Where’s SWAT?) But we digress.

Assuming Bundy’s a hardcore “racist,” how does Bundy’s racism affect my day? Is my car is less likely to start? Will Bundy’s daughter refuse to date my nephew? Will G.W. Bush stop being blamed for stuff?

The way the left slings around the race card has a specific purpose. It shuts down debate. It takes focus off the awful “recovery.” It buys time for more stories about the wonders of Obamacare. More importantly, it keeps the 95 percent black Democratic vote flowing -- without which the Democrats cannot win at the presidential level.

Why can’t conservatives who “support Bundy” say: “Even if I conceded his remarks were ‘racist,’ it nothing to do with his land dispute. Again, Bundy described the unintended consequences of government dependency. He described what sociologists call the underclass. Didn’t the liberal Daniel Patrick Moynihan warn about the rise in single-parent households? If Bundy truly ‘hated’ blacks he would be encouraging this very dependency.”

 And why omit mind the welcoming, almost pro-amnesty things Bundy said about “Spanish people”? Not exactly round ‘em up and throw ‘em out.

But, but, but, he said, “pick cotton”!

Again, let’s assume -- for the moment -- the very, very, very worst: Bundy want to bring back slavery. How exactly does one go about pulling that off? For starters, there’s the problem of a black President who may have some issues with it. Which Republican will stand up, taking the lead in introducing the bill to bring back the good old days? Rep. Eric Cantor, Va.? Sen. Mitch McConnell, Ky.?  Ryan? What, Congress will suddenly enact laws mandating that blacks turn in their weapons, march down to the nearest police station and report in?

But right on cue Sean Hannity denounced Bundy’s remarks: “His comments are beyond repugnant to me. They are beyond despicable to me. They are beyond ignorant to me….People that, for the right reasons, saw this case as government overreach -- now are like, branded because of the ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable comments of Cliven Bundy!” Oh, please.

Racism. Racism. Racism. Water’s wet, sky’s blue, the media love outing white “bigots” -- especially if they are male, old, Republican, Christian and -- ideally -- Southern. Even a Southerner who votes Democratic, like Paula Deen, will do nicely.

Tom Wolfe wrote about this in “Bonfire of the Vanities” his splendid fictionalized book featuring a Sharpton-incarnate character. The media, Wolfe notes, lives for “the Great White Defendant.” Why?

Nobody’s mad.

If you do stories about crime and violence in the inner city, some group of activists screams racism. Advertisers could get threatened. Marches and protests may follow. But if you do a story about Rich White Guys In Trouble, who’s mad? Nobody.

Whites, especially Christian Republican males -- and the occasional female -- are used to being branded as racist. Fuzzy Zoeller, Al Campanis, Jimmy “the Greek,” John Rocker, Paula Deen, Trent Lott -- all got hammered for saying the “wrong” thing “the wrong way.”

Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson can call the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima “immoral” as he recently did. Or, Jackson can call Jews “hymie” and New York “Hymietown,” as he did years ago, and all is forgiven and practically forgotten.

Cliven Bundy walks in right out of central casting.

He represents -- to the left -- everything they despise. He’s “embraced by Fox news.” He caused the wretched assembly of a bunch of GOP-voting, Obamacare-opposing, pro-life, flag-waving, anti-gay marriage, gun-toting a-holes -- and now see! Told you such people are…racists!

Ezra Klein, then a Washington Post reporter, once formed an organization of like-minded (leftist) journalists, some several hundred in all. The idea, presumably, was to serve as a kind of an online gathering place for like-minded scribes. He called it JournoList.

Recall when Fox forced the non-Fox media to cover the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? It sent the media into frenzy. JournoListers, supposed members of the non-partisan news media, were literally plotting how to make the scandal go away. One writer suggested changing the subject. Another offered a suggestion as to how to do so: “It's not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright's defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger's [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically. … If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them -- Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares -- and call them racists.”

This is how the media roll. Figure out a way to pull out the race card -- and put the bad guys on offense. It changes the subject, and in the case of Bundy, others are asked to comment on his comment.

One of my white conservative friends said about his opposition to Obama, “His race? Hell, about the only thing I like about him is that he is black.”

Did I just sleep through a presidential election? Just six years ago, didn’t a black presidential candidate receive a greater percentage of the “white vote” than did John Kerry? Was Obama not re-elected despite presiding over -- and having help caused -- the worst recovery since the Second World War, if not in the history of the nation?

Yelling racism is the left’s version of pounding on the table, it keeps blacks P.O.’d in order to sustain that 95 percent vote. We ought not fall for this.

Yelling racism is the left’s version of pounding on the table, it keeps blacks P.O.’d in order to sustain that 95 percent vote. We ought not fall for this.

Voter ID -- even though polls show blacks support them, too -- racism! The “vociferous opposition to Obamacare,” as former president Jimmy Carter said, is “because of a belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country." Racism! Don’t like taxes raised, continued “quantitative easing,” believe the housing crisis was caused by government? Racist! Racist! Racist!

Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, helpfully recently offered that “not all” his House Republican colleagues are “racist.” Nice to know. “But,” he informs us, “to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism, and that's unfortunate.”

Why don’t they name names? After all, outing a racist would help the country, wouldn’t it? Do Democrats think it’s better to leave GOP racists in place, where they can -- on the down-low -- propose and maybe even enact “racist” legislation?

One more thing about the relative insignificance of Bundy’s reflections on race.

My dad, a quiet strong man, and I were watching a newscast. After a segment about the end of Liz Taylor’s eighth marriage, I turned to him.

“Dad,” I said, “what do you think about that?”

“What do I think about what?”

“What do you think about Liz Taylor having been married eight times?” I asked.

“I don’t think anything about it.”

Source:  Bundy Ranch Facebook
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  1. Mr Elder, thank you for your insight! The Times took 3 minutes of a Bundy press conference, and condensed it to 1 1/2 minutes to suit their agenda. Bundy had been interviewed for over an hour in 90 degree heat, had the BLM watching his family through sniper rifle scopes, one son arrested, another one tasered, his sister tackled to the ground, his cattle shot, his fences and water lines tore out, etc. Plus dealing with logistics of hundreds of supporters arriving on his doorstep. He had not slept for maybe an exhausted old rancher didn't use politically correct words to suit everyone, But if you watch the actual video, it speaks for itself...Cliven Bundy is NOT a racist!
    Both the actual video, and the Times racist hack attack version can be found on the "Bundy Ranch" facebook page. It is administered by the Bundy family and has photos and commentary and updates of this entire situation. Good source for the TRUTH!

  2. Thank you Larry but it does appear that black conservatives are the first to jump in front of this authoritarian tank and cry NO MORE. I'm so tired of our white conservative friends tucking tail and running. Stand tall be strong.

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