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Let’s be fair to Cliven Bundy

Rancher Cliven Bundy speaks at a news conference near Bunkerville, Nev., Thursday, April 24, 2014. Bundy, a Nevada rancher who became a conservative folk hero for standing up to the government in a fight over grazing rights, lost some of his staunch defenders Thursday after wondering aloud whether blacks might have had it better under slavery. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher)

I had a couple of listeners take issue with the cut I played of Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy. In it, he wondered whether black people were better off under slavery than on welfare. They felt I unfairly portrayed him as an ignorant racist.

But just to make it clear, I haven’t called him a racist, I just think you have to be pretty ignorant to think there is any literal comparison between welfare and slavery as it was once practiced in this country.

But Bundy’s supporters also pointed out that more of the recording was released over the weekend that shows a different side of Bundy, and so to be fair I want to play that part too.

Right after his slavery remarks, he started talking about Mexican immigrants.

“You know, I understand that they come over here against our constitution, but they’re here, and they’re people. And I work side by side with a lot them. Don’t tell me they don’t work and don’t pay taxes,” Bundy said.

I don’t want to put words in his mouth but it sounds like he would support amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

“And don’t tell me they don’t have better family structures than most of white people,” he said. “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 joining us and being with us.”

How about that. Everybody thought Cliven Bundy was to the right of Ted Cruz, it turns out he’s to the left of Barack Obama.

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