Rancher Cliven Bundy says he was simply “wondering” about whether black Americans were “happier” under slavery than under dependence to the federal government.
“I said ‘I’m wondering if they are better off under a government subsidy - and young women are having abortions and their young men are in jail and their older women and children are sitting out on the screen porch without nothing to do,’” he said. “I’m wondering are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were they were slaves and they were able to have a family structure together and the chickens and a garden and the people have something to do.”
“So, in my mind, I’m wondering are they better off being slaves in that sense or better off being slaves of the United States government in the sense of a subsidy?” he added.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have slammed Bundy’s remarks as offensive and “disgusting.” The rancher – who led an armed confrontation with federal rangers over a land dispute – was quoted in the New York Times using the phrase “the Negro” and lamenting that black men “never learned how to pick cotton.”