After spending all day Thursday traveling from New York City to New Orleans and enjoying an evening with the piano magic of Jon Cleary and a variety of delightful food and drink offerings in the Big Easy, I finally sat down at my hotel to check my e-mail.
Did Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy actually say about black Americans: “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?”
Bundy appropriately has been slammed — left, middle, and right — for these staggeringly idiotic, bizarre, and cruel comments. Bundy’s ignorance is as broad as the open plains on which his 15 minutes of fame have been playing out.
Having fast-forwarded himself to the 14:55 mark, Bundy should buy himself a copy of 12 Years a Slave, now available on DVD. The latest Academy Award Best Picture winner will give him a vivid sense of what blacks endured under slavery: kidnapping, forced separation of families, sale and purchase as commodities, back-breaking labor for no pay, routine humiliation, and severe, skin-ripping lashings that sent droplets of blood flying each time those whips slashed through enslaved flesh.
If Cliven Bundy watches this film, perhaps it will fill the vast acres of ignorance that he shockingly displayed on the history and current reality of blacks in America.