During his appearance on CNN’s New Day, cattle rancher Cliven Bundy attempted to clarify his remarks about “negroes” and slavery by using civil rights icons Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks as examples.
Bundy gave the following response as host Chris Cuomo asked if he was a racist.
“I thought about Rosa Park taking her seat at the front of the bus. Reverend Martin Luther King did not want her to take her seat in the front of the bus. That wasn’t what he was talking about. He did not say go to the front of the bus and that’s where your seat was. What Reverend King wanted was that she could sit anywhere in the bus …. and nobody would say anything about it,” Bundy explained. ” You and I can sit anywhere in the bus. That’s what he wanted. That’s what I want. I want her to be able to sit anywhere in the bus and I want to be able to sit by her anywhere in that bus. That’s what he wanted. He didn’t want this prejudice thing like the media tried to put on me yesterday. I’m not going to put up with that because that’s not what he wanted. That’s not what I want.”
Cuomo noted that people were offended by Bundy’s comment that “blacks were better off as slaves,” and told the rancher, “I think you probably know that.”
Bundy responded by again talking about using the word “Negro,” acknowledging that, “maybe I don’t know what I actually said.”
“Maybe I sinned and maybe I need to ask forgiveness and maybe I don’t know what I actually said. But you know when you talk about prejudice, we’re talking about not being able to exercise what we think and our feelings,” he said. “We’re not freedom — we don’t have freedom to say what we want. If I call — if I say ‘Negro’ or ‘black boy’ or ‘slave,’ I’m — If those people cannot take those kind of words and not be offensive, then Martin Luther King hasn’t got his job done yet. They should be able to — I should be able to say those things and they shouldn’t offend anybody. I didn’t mean to offend them.”
Watch the CNN video:
Should we give up on people like Bundy and just focus on those who are more receptive when having conversations about race?
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