Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy denied he was a racist Thursday after The New York Times quoted him unfavorably comparing social programs to slavery.
“I didn’t say nothing about picking cotton,” Bundy told Alex Jones on his radio program.
Jones said this was a bombshell revelation, and Bundy repeats his claim.
But video of Bundy making the comments, including remarks about picking cotton, was posted online Thursday by Media Matters after the rancher’s supporters questioned the accuracy of the reports.
Bundy’s supporters claimed in a Facebook post that the media had taken the comments out of context to twist their meaning and promote rumors.
The rancher told Jones he would appreciate a correction by the Times.
“I think they should do that,” Bundy said. “They make it a racist-type thing. I’m not racist.”
As proof, Bundy claimed he personally knew a black man.
“He’s been in and out of my home,” Bundy said. “I think he feels welcome as anybody else.”
Video evidence supports the Times’ reporting, and Bundy’s own remarks made in another radio appearance Thursday suggest the rancher hadn’t misspoken.
“I’m wondering are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were they were slaves, when they were able to have a family structure together and the chickens and the garden and the people have something to do,” Bundy said Thursday on The Peter Schiff Show.
Then he asked whether black people had gained much since slavery was ended.
“Are they better off being slaves in that sense or are they better off being slaves of the United States government in the sense of a subsidy?” Bundy said.
It does not appear that Bundy posed his question to his black acquaintance, but The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates published a column Thursday that addresses his concerns.
Coates quotes several anecdotal accounts from Thavolia Glymph’s 2003 book, “Out of the House of Bondage,” to illustrate how brutal treatment of slaves was used to enforce white supremacy.
“Enslaved black people were, with some regularity, beat with cowhide whips, tongs, pokers, chairs, and wooden boards,” Coates writes. “Nails were driven through their palms, pins through their tongues. Eyes were gouged out for the smallest offense.”
“When people like Cliven Bundy assert the primacy of the past it is important that we do not recount it selectively,” he continues. “American enslavement is the destruction of the black body for profit. That is the past that Cliven Bundy believes ‘the Negro’ to have been better off in. He is, regrettably, not alone.”
Listen to Bundy’s appearance on The Peter Schiff Show posted online by DooDooVideos: