Cliven Bundy is the Nevada rancher who recently had a standoff with the federal government over the Bureau of Land Management's assertion that he owes $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees.
Bundy has refused to pay grazing fees for 20 years and has ignored multiple court orders to remove his animals from land where his grazing rights have been revoked.
The Bureau of Land Management agents who had rounded up Bundy's cattle eventually released them out of fear for the safety of their agents. Armed militia and protestors in support of Bundy had shutdown a highway near Bundy's ranch.
The New York Times then quoted Bundy making racist remarks about "the Negro" in a story released Wednesday evening.
"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro," he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, "and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do.
"And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?" he asked. "They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. 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."
On Thursday, Bundy attempted to do a press conference for what many assumed was damage control, but really just dug a bigger hole for himself.
Here are the highlights:
On whether African-Americans were better off as slaves: "I didn't say that — I said I was wondering. I'm still wondering."
On African-Americans he saw in Las Vegas: "It looked to me like they were slaves."
"I'm a-wondering, Cliven Bundy is wondering about the black community. Are they better off with their woman aborting their children? Are they better off with their young men in prison? Are they with the older people on the sidewalks in front of their government-issued homes with a few children? Are they better off, are they happier than they was when they was in the South in front of their homes with their chickens, and their gardens, and their children around them. ... and their men having something to do?"
"I'm not saying that I thought they should be slaves ... I'm not even saying they was better off. I'm a-wondering if they were better off?"
Bundy also repeatedly used the terms "the Negro," "those people," and "black boys."
"Now let me tell you something about what I've seen with the Negro community..."
"I see the Negro..."
"They're not slaves no more. They seem to be slaves to the welfare system."
"I understand what slavery is all about. ... slavery's about when you take away choices from people."