Conservative darling Cliven Bundy needs to sit down, pay up

So you’re a constitutional traditionalist. You want the government out of your business and into the business of “the gays,” and you especially don’t want to pay your taxes.

In fact, you don’t even acknowledge the existence of the federal government.

Cliven Bundy, Nevada ranger, is probably your hero. He’s a good guy, just fighting for his country, but the liberal media was out to paint him as a member of the lunatic fringe right.

 

 

You know he’s not a lunatic, though: He’s a patriot. He won’t compromise with the tyrannical federal government or apologize to the liberal weakling media for stickin’ up for his beliefs — namely that the federal government, whose existence Bundy disputes, can’t charge him grazing fees for letting his cows feed off federal lands.

And now the “lamestream” media is trying to paint Bundy as a racist.

But you know he’s not a racist. After all, he’s “just like Rosa Parks” — because refusing to pay grazing fees and threatening employees of the Bureau of Land Management is exactly the same as refusing to give up one’s seat on a racially-segregated bus.

Bundy’s comparison of himself to Rosa Parks is obviously preposterous. He purports to admire Parks’s legacy, yet he wonders to himself (and out loud) whether “the Negro” might have benefited more from shackles and slavery than food stamps and unemployment (never mind that the majority of welfare recipients are white Americans).

It wasn’t until after Bundy’s comments went public that the Fox News crowd went quiet and ceased to trumpet his cause. They don’t want to be called racist for supporting a racist, after all.

Bundy is no longer the right wing’s darling but a shining counterexample to those among us who believe racism is alive and kicking.

According to our favorite cowboy, racism’s endurance is thanks to the good Rev. Martin Luther King not finishing “his job.”

“We need to get over this prejudice stuff,” Bundy told CNN.

If only someone had thought of such a simple solution before.

Bundy’s sentiments are hardly limited to angry, uneducated racists; an illustrious group of which he is now a member.

Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, arguably one of the most powerful people in Washington, once said as much: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Justice Roberts’ view on this issue is what led him last year to vote to strike down Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act, which required jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory voting statutes get Justice Department clearance for any new voting regulations, and to sustain a Michigan voter ban on the use of race as a factor among many in college admissions.

It is absurd to think racism has been eradicated and even more ridiculous to think that the solution is as simple as to “stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Most of all, it’s crucial that we stop thinking Bundy is alone in his racism — he’s not, he’s just either worse at hiding it or feels no need to do so.

Much like paying his grazing fees. It’s time for Bundy sit down, pay up.

Reach the columnist at skthoma4@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @savannahkthomas

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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