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L. Neil Smith's
Number 768, April 27, 2014

Get a rope.

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Re: The Racist Who Wasn't
by Vin Suprynowicz

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Re: "The Racist Who Wasn't" by L. Neil Smith

Amy and I have known the Bundys for more than a decade. Decent, kind-hearted folk. They don't even hate HARRY REID, for God's sake.

I do suspect the "Bundy is a racist" campaign was a predictable ambush designed to discredit the Bundys, who'd been on major TV and radio outlets daily, drawing attention to issues Washington does NOT want discussed. (On April 25 it was virtually the whole "A" section of the local Review-Journal—except for one standard boilerplate graph about Bundy being the "trespassing rancher who owes a million dollars." Racist racist racist, "Bundy steps in it," "Bundy doubles down on slavery being good for blacks," etc. And of course not a WORD about who owns the land or why the other ranchers who tried to play by the rules and sign the BLM "range management plans" are now all out of business—the kind of diversion of focus which is just what the BLM/Harry Reid forces want.

A reporter for the New York Times doesn't even need specific instructions to "Interview this yokel white Mormon rancher and see if you can get him to discredit himself by saying the federal government doesn't even exist. If that doesn't work, ask him about blacks and gays and polygamy." I've been a reporter; I know how to ask questions that'll lead a subject to expose his weaknesses. But while doing it to an ambitious politician who you think is lying (or an idiot) may be fair game, Cliven Bundy is a good-hearted soul who's spent the past 50 years fixing fences and pulling calves out of gullies. I was AT the April 24 press conference, watching the little TV girls (OK, maybe some of therm are 23) in their high-heels and tight pants bouncing up on tippy-toe and squeaking out their hostile questions. No, Cliven isn't some slick politician who knows all this year's politically correct euphemisms. But he told a heartfelt tale about a couple Mormon missionaries coming to rescue him from the Watts riots 49 years ago, and how two cars full of black men pulled in on either side of them as he and the missionaries were exiting the burning area via the Harbor Freeway. "Now, I thought those men were my enemies," he told the crowd last week—doing better than most of us would, if thrust unexpectedly before the lights and cameras. "I thought we were gonna get shot any minute. But they pulled away after we got to our exit. It took me 40 years to realize those men weren't my enemies, they were my angels; they'd escorted us out of danger."

I saw Henry Brean there, from the daily Review-Journal. Not a word of that revealing anecdote made it into his front page report the next day. Instead it was just "In a rambling diatribe, Cliven Bundy doubled down on his racist remarks."

As I'll point out in my upcoming piece for "Range", what the old rancher was clearly trying to say is that blacks too could do with less federal government, since the modern welfare state is a kind of new plantation for blacks—a thought now so commonplace that when syndicated columnist Star Parker wrote a 2003 book called Uncle Sam's Plantation, a book with a subtitle that says the welfare state "enslaves" blacks, no one got outraged ... because, of course, Star Parker is black.

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