Who Said It: Cliven Bundy or the 'Almost Politically Correct Redneck'?


The news: In the time it takes to say, “Black people were better off as slaves,” Cliven Bundy has gone from celebrated conservative icon to racist nationwide laughing stock.

The 58-year-old Nevada rancher managed to alienate even his staunchest supporters with his infamous New York Times profile: “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he began, before diving into a bizarre rant about black folks, cotton and the upsides of chattel slavery.

But that was just the beginning. As it turns out, Bundy has equally lunatic presumptions on a whole range of topics. It’s got to the point where his bigoted views are virtually indistinguishable from those of Almost Politically Correct Redneck, the well-intended, mullet-rocking meme who can’t quite get the whole “progressive” thing right:

Image Credit: Know Your Meme

So which of these two renegades said what? Try figuring it out from the list below (answers at the bottom):

1. “Not against gay marriage … unless the couple is colored.”

2. “[Spanish people] … come over here against our Constitution and cross our borders … [but] don’t tell me they don’t have better family structures than most of us white people.”

3. "If I say 'negro' or 'black boy' or 'slave’ … if those people cannot take those kind of words and not be [offended] then Martin Luther King hasn't got his job done yet."

4. “There should be no wage discrimination, no matter if you are working in an office, a factory … or [doing] a woman’s work.”

5. “It [doesn’t] matter to me if [you’re] yellow, brown, black, orange, or normal.”

6. “Not all Muslims are terrorists … one of [them’s] our president.”

Image Credit: Know Your Meme

The background: In case you’ve been missing all the fun, it’s important to note that Bundy is more that just a solid source of ridiculously offensive quotes.

The Nevada rancher drew national attention last week when he engaged federal law enforcement in an armed standoff. Bundy had been grazing cattle on government lands since 1993 without paying fees, which has landed him $1 million in debt. When the feds came to seize his livestock, the rancher met them with a horde of gun-toting supporters, forcing them to withdraw.

Image Credit: All Things Crime

His actions drew praise from various right-wing pundits and politicians, including Sean Hannity and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). But they almost unanimously jumped ship when the Times revealed Bundy’s Reconstruction-era views on race.

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

Image Credit: Know Your Meme

Wow. And ever since then, a veritable goldmine of racist nonsense has been documented as having dribbled from Bundy’s crusty old lips: “Spanish people” – meaning “people from Latin America” – Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. have all been caught in the wayward crosshairs.

Yet despite the poetic justice in seeing his Republican supporters jump ship so frantically, Vox correctly points out that Bundy’s core views aren’t all that different from their own:

“It really is Bundy's remarks about slavery that conservatives disagree with,” Ezra Klein writes. “But the broader theory behind Bundy's statement is uncontroversial … He's [essentially] a Paul Ryan Republican who speaks like a Strom Thurmond Republican.”

So before we get too caught up in thinking this 58-year-old cattle rancher is any more bigoted or ill informed than the politicians and pundits who supported him, perhaps we should reconsider. Because ultimately – before it became politically inconvenient to do so – they were all playing for the same team.

(Answers: 1. Meme; 2. Bundy; 3. Bundy; 4. Meme; 5. Meme; 6. Meme)