And you know it’s about to get even deeper when folks start calling African-Americans, Negroes.
It’s not that Negro is a bad word or a derogatory term. It’s simply one that’s not used in today’s society, extending from another time when America was coming to grips with her multicultural roots. Besides which, usually when the word’s uttered, it’s from an individual who most often embraces many of the worst aspects of that time and perhaps isn’t as accepting of their fellow man as he or she should be.
At the very least, you can bet your bottom dollar that those same peeps using such outdated language have a counter-culture way about them. And how that against-the-grain outlook plays with their intolerance and the degree to which they are dangerous, is what politicians need to concern themselves with; preferably before they give shout-outs of support.
Take rancher Cliven Bundy as an example, who today came out of his mouth with something so idiotic, it defies reason. However when you look at his words and the totality of his actions, it all becomes very clear; or at least, it should.
Mr. Bundy’s sociological insight reminded me of a dialog between two characters from the movie, “In the Heat of the Night”. In the scene, black Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is questioning a white landowner in Mississippi, Eric Endicott (Larry Gates), about a murder but before he can do so, Mr. Endicott begins to express his views on the care and cultivation of the “nigra”.
In a manner akin to the character Endicott, Cliven Bundy intimates that he (I) “want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro.” He goes on to state that maybe African-Americans were “better off as slaves”.
Well, well, well, well. How very nice.
As an American, Cliven Bundy is free to say anything he wants to just as we, as Americans, are free to ignore or disregard his words. Free speech dictates such and you shouldn’t argue with the concept.
On the other hand, some responsibility must be taken because, truthfully, words carry consequences. And that’s my problem with the whole thing.
As republicans who initially praised Bundy for standing up to the federal government begin backtracking from his obviously warped ideals, I ask myself, didn’t they know where he was coming from in the very beginning?
Shouldn’t those retreating have seen this on the horizon? How much more bloodshed is necessary before right-wing politicians recognize the correlation between anti-government hate speech, dangerous bigotry and domestic terrorist activity?
Harry Reid took a lot of heat when he called Bundy and the armed militiamen showing up in his support, “domestic terrorists”. But he was right in doing so because they fit almost to a T, the FBI definition.
Even if you argue the point that they’re only demonstrating their right to keep and bear arms while supporting a comrade, if they continue to gather in a manner that coerces the community into accepting their politics then they’re guilty of the association. For certain though, the minute they fire a shot at any member of a BLM team sent to the Bundy ranch on official business, they’d be as guilty of domestic terrorism as Timothy McVeigh or Terry Nichols.
As I read about one politician after another dropping it like it’s hot, I say it’s time to send a clear message to these johnnie-come-lately’s who are only now seeking a chair at the table of American decency.
They hitched their horse to the Bundy bandwagon and were more than willing to be carried along, into that sunset of a bygone era. And it’s only now that they realize they may have been a bit hasty in doing so.
How can you be an elected representative of the federal government, one who’s sworn to uphold its laws and protect the citizens and the Constitution and at the same time support someone who advocates armed revolution?
Let’s not give them a pass on this and let them off the hook because it’s entirely a question of judgment. And if their acceptance of Bundy’s actions, even before he opened his mouth and put his foot in it, is an example of their decision-making then they don’t need to be in Washington.