Despite an effort by the New York Times – and, subsequently, countless other leftist news outlets – to characterize him as a bigoted old man, subsequent reports show his ostensibly racist comments were largely taken out of context.
While many mainstream media sources seized on portions of an extemporary address he made recently to supporters, a full transcript of his statement reveals an entirely different theme. The Times focused on his contention that “negroes” might not be any better today, reliant on government handouts for their existence, than they were in the dark days of slavery.
Taken as a whole, however, it appears Bundy’s true intention was to see the continuing plight of minorities in America erased through worthwhile governmental reform.
Speaking about struggling black communities, he said:
And so what I’ve testified to ya, I was in the Watts riot, I seen the beginning fire and I seen the last fire. What I seen is civil disturbance. People are not happy, people is thinking they did not have their freedom; they didn’t have these things, and they didn’t have them. We’ve progressed quite a bit from that day until now, and sure don’t want to go back. We sure don’t want the colored people to go back to that point. We sure don’t want the Mexican people to go back to that point; and we can make a difference right now by taking care of some of these bureaucracies, and do it in a peaceful way.
None of the preceding remarks were included in the Times report. The following pro-Mexican sentiment was similarly scrubbed from that report.
“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 structure 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 with us and be with us, not, not come to a party.
As the entire scope of his message began circulating, supporters who defended him against accusations of racism have considered themselves vindicated. Perhaps the most relevant statement made on his behalf, however, came from a black man who has worked as the Nevada rancher’s bodyguard as tensions rose between the Bundy family and the federal government.
Even in light of the Times report, Army veteran Jason Bullock told a CNN reporter that his employer is “still the same old Mr. Bundy I met from the first day of all this happening.”
Pressured to admit the recent comments were offensive, Bullock stood firm. “Not at all,” he said, “because Mr. Bundy is not a racist. Ever since I’ve been here, he’s treated me with nothing but hospitality. He’s pretty much treated me just like his own family.”
Going even further, Bullock confirmed he would “take a bullet for that man,” concluding he looks up to Bundy “just like I do my own grandfather.”
When asked why he holds the rancher in such high regard, Bullock had no trouble answering. “I believe in his cause,” he replied, “and after having met Mr. Bundy a few times, I have a really good feel about him. And I’m a pretty good judge of character.”
Another black soldier, a U.S. Marine calling himself Charlie Delta, penned an open letter in defense of Bundy. In part, he explained:
One thing he definitely isn’t – a racist. I found his comments to not only be NOT racist, but his own view of his experiences. Who the heck are we to determine another man’s perspective on the world around him?! Just because Picasso’s view of the world was abstract, does it negate the fact that his art was genuine?