Cliven Bundy Labeled ‘Racist’ After ‘Negro’ Comments: Twitter Users Respond

Cliven Bundy
Cliven Bundy was criticized on Twitter Thursday after he made "racist" comments in a New York Times interview. Reuters

Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who become a pseudo-conservative folk hero by fighting the federal government for attempting to round up his cattle, got himself into hot water when he made racist comments in a Thursday New York Times piece.

Recently, he discussed whether the "Negro" managed better under slavery. The is just the latest racial comment to come from a “folk hero,” as CNN put it, embraced by conservative circles.

"They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton," Bundy said to reporters, according to the New York Times. "And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom." 

Bundy, 67, garnered national attention during his land dispute with the federal government. As for his recent racist comments, CNN said some conservative politicians defended them as “idle thoughts.”

But there's been more than one time when he has said something offensive. Like when he was on "The Peter Schiff Show" Thursday. "In my mind I'm wondering, are they better off being slaves, in that sense, or better off being slaves to the United States government, in the sense of the subsidies?" He added: "I'm wondering. That's what. And the statement was right. I am wondering." 

But not all conservatives are willing to stand by the rancher’s offensive comments.  Politicians like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential GOP contender, and Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller both issued statements that said they didn’t agree with the comments Bundy has made.

The Bundy family issued a statement on its Facebook page saying Cliven is a "good man, he loves all people, he is not a racist man."

"He wants what is best for everyone," the statement said, according to the Associated Press. "We all know that with the media, words are taken out of context, meanings are twisted, and they can take anything and turn it into what they want it to be."

Twitter, on the other hand, wasn’t as forgiving, The rancher’s name became one of the top trending topics on the 140-character social media site, with many lashing out with jokes and comments about his racist statement.

Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella

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