Cliven Bundy, the defiant “Patriot” Nevada rancher who led an armed confrontation with federal agents in April – and who has still not faced any consequences in its aftermath – continued making the far-right political rounds in Nevada this week by appearing in a video promoting the candidacy of Independent American Party candidate Kamau Bakari.
This is somewhat remarkable, considering that Bakari is African-American. Rather than run away from Bundy’s reputation as a racist — well earned, after his widely publicized remarks about race in the immediate aftermath of Bundy’s showdown — the two of them went on the offensive, attacking his critics for their “political correctness,” which Bakari says is “bad for America.”
But none of it is as remarkable as the exchange between the two men, in which Bundy complains that “a man ought to be able to express himself without being called names”, and adds: “It’s almost like black folks think white folks owe them something.”
The ad opens with a clip of U.S. Attorney General Eric holder, commenting in 2009 on the state of race in America: “In things racial, we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.”
The ad then segues to Bundy and Bakari in western cowboy garb with their horses at a hitching post, as spaghetti-western music plays in the background.
BUNDY: Did he just call me a coward?
BAKARI: No, he just called all white folks cowards.
BUNDY: He must not know me.
BAKARI: You mean if someone called you a racist, you wouldn’t drop your head and be all scared and sad and run around here apologizing like them billionaire ball team owners did a little while ago?
BUNDY: No, I wouldn’t, and I’m sick and tired of people that act like that.
BAKARI: Cliven, you know that political correctness, that’s bad for America. A man ought to be able to say whatever you want to say.
BUNDY: That’s exactly right. I know black folks have had a hard time with slavery and you know, the government was in on it. And the government’s in on it again. I worked my whole life without mistreating anybody. A man ought to be able to express himself without being called names.
BAKARI: I hear you, Cliven, I believe you. A brave white man like you might be just what we need to put an end to this political correctness in America today.
BUNDY: Don’t sell yourself short. You’re taking a chance just being in my company.
BAKARI: I know. I'm as sick as you are. I feel ashamed when I hear black folks whining about “white folks this,” “white folks that.” Always begging.
BUNDY: It's almost like black folks think white folks owe them something.
BAKARI: I know, I’ve got an idea. Let’s call Eric Holder up.
BUNDY: What do you mean?
BAKARI: Tell him you’re a white man that’s not scared to talk to him about race. And you know a black man that will stand with you.
BUNDY: I like that idea. Mr. Eric Holder, this is one white man that's not scared to talk about race. I dare you to come to Las Vegas and talk to us.
BAKARI: And don’t give us that “you’re too busy” stuff. You weren’t too busy to go to Ferguson, Missouri.
As the Washington Post notes, Bakari is a fringe candidate who has virtually no change of unseating the incumbent, Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat, in Nevada’s 1st District.