No Trust in a Half a Story

When I first read about this, I was sorely disappointed — Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy making offensive comments about Black people to the New York Times. But Progressives, Libertarians and Conservatives have been far to quick to jump on the statement, either blasting him publicly or back-off their support for the embattled cattleman.

Lawmakers who have in the past voiced their support for the rancher, including Senators Dean Heller and Rand Paul, have quickly distanced themselves from the comments.

“Senator Heller completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way,” Heller’s spokesman wrote in an email.

Paul’s spokesman said in a statement, “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him.”

Even die-hard supporter, Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore got ahead of herself, posting on her Facebook campaign page:

“I strongly disagree with Cliven Bundy’s comments about slavery,” she wrote. “Mr. Bundy has said things I don’t agree with; however, we cannot let this divert our attention from the true issue of the atrocities BLM committed by harming our public land and the animals living on it.”

But there is one thing to consider before jumping ship – the article printed in the NYT and used as ‘race-bait’ by pundits and politicos, is out of context. Bundy said much more and not all of it is about Black people.

Bundy spoke at what appears to me to be an outdoor church gathering last Saturday, after all he had on what my Grandpa called ‘Sunday-go-to meeting,’ clothes.  Finally, after watching the three-minute, 13 second grainy video several times, I did what the rest of the media should have done and transcribed it in its entirety:

“… and so what I’ve testified to you — I was in the Watts riot, I seen the beginning fire and I seen that last fire. What I seen is civil disturbance. People are not happy, people are thinking they don’t have their freedoms, they didn’t have these things, and they didn’t have them.

Let me tell, talk to you about the Mexicans, and these are just things I know about the Negroes. I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. When I go, went, go to Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and I would see these little government houses, and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there’s 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, they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered are they were better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things? Or are they better off under government subsidy?

You know they didn’t get more freedom, they got less freedom — they got less family life, and their happiness — you could see it in their faces — they wasn’t happy sitting on that concrete sidewalk. Down there they was probably growing their turnips — so that’s all government, that’s not freedom.

Now, let me talk about the Spanish people. You know, I understand that they come over here against our Constitution and cross our borders. But they’re here and they’re people — and I’ve worked side by side a lot of them.

Don’t tell me they don’t work, and don’t tell me they don’t pay taxes. And don’t tell me they don’t have better family structures than most of us white people. When you see those Mexican families, they’re together, they picnic together, they’re spending their time together, and I’ll tell you in my way of thinking they’re awful nice people. And we need to have those people join us and be with us not, not come to our party.”

Then yesterday, Bundy spoke to radio talk show host Peter Schiff, setting the record straight about what the NYT’s had published.

“That’s exactly what I said,” Bundy stated. “I said I’m wondering if they’re better off under government subsidy, and their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail, and their older women and their children are standing, sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do, you know, I’m wondering: Are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were slaves, and they was able to have their family structure together, and the chickens and garden, and the people had something to do?”

“And so, in my mind I’m wondering, are they better off being slaves, in that sense, or better off being slaves to the United States government, in the sense of the subsidies,” he added. “I’m wondering. That’s what. And the statement was right. I am wondering.”

It’s sad to think that so many intelligent people tend to believe the first thing they hear or read and never  look any further than what has been spoon-fed to them by a lazy press and political system that operates on half-truths. Only with ALL the facts can you really begin to know the truth.

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About Tom Darby

French-born, American-raised, U.S. citizen, husband, father, friend, veteran, and writer.
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