Are Cliven Bundy’s Racist Remarks Just More Media Glitter?

Cliven Bundy has had quite a romp in the media lately, first in his fight against the FBI who claimed his cattle were feasting on land they shouldn’t be, and then by waxing gleefully about the days of slavery. Bundy came out to say his words had been taken out of context, but then shoved his foot in his mouth blaming Martin Luther King Jr. himself as the reason his words turned the bellies of so many Americans.

“If I say ‘Negro’ or ‘black boy’ or ‘slave,’ if those people cannot take those kind of words and not be [offended], then Martin Luther King hasn’t got his job done yet,” Bundy claimed. “We need to get over this prejudice stuff.”

Many people see this as a poor excuse to make light of true racial hatred and discrimination that continues to clog up our judicial system and terrorize citizens into not being able to pursue their dreams. Indeed, Cliven Bundy’s voice does not seem to be a rare one these days, especially towards those of darker complexion. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty had his moment in the racial spotlight, claiming black people were happier as slaves, which sent him to the network doghouse and nearly got his show canceled. Even Ted Nugent hopped on the hate bandwagon with his degrading remark towards President Obama, calling him a subhuman mongrel.”

It appears that Cliven Bundy is just another in a long list of white men that feel the black population belongs back in chains, and the anger it has spurned in the black community seems to be pushing racial tolerance between the two races all that further apart. But how much of that is reality and how much of it is just the media handing the microphone over to whoever is shouting the loudest just to get ratings? Fox News chose to tackle the issue by putting blame on President Obama, citing his words that republicans need to take a “back seat” to democratic policy as an allegory to Rosa Parks. CNN, on the other hand, blames schools “zero tolerance” rules and the subsequently higher expulsion rates for minorities than whites as the problem. Even Jon Stewart of the Daily Show feels the problem is found in organizations such as the KKK.

The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Daily Show on Facebook

But with all the hype of intolerance and anger people like Bundy inspire, is America really falling into a racial separation where only hostility will decide who emerges victorious? The 90’s saw great change in the federal view of racial dogmatism by adopting three major laws into place. The first was the 1997 Campus Hate Crimes Right to Know Act that forced all educational campuses to actively report any crimes based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability. Shortly thereafter, the Hate Crime Statistic Act of 1990 was signed into law by George W. Bush which required the Attorney General to review all information on crimes committed because of the victim’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. It was also the first federal document to recognize gay, lesbian and bisexual people as people in the U.S. This lead to the Violent Crimes Control And Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also called the Assault Weapon Ban, which put strong pressure on those who committed violent hate crimes, but was criticized for it taking away the Higher Education Act of 1965 which allowed inmates to receive Pell grants and further their college education while incarcerated. All three of these acts worked together to provide a safety network for minorities that were meant to force bigotry and intolerance out of normal society. By the numbers, they appear to have done quite well.

The DoJ statistics on hate crimes from 1995 to 2012.
The DoJ statistics on hate crimes from 1995 to 2012.

Even with the numbers looking good, the Department of Justice says the list only includes those who actually make reports, and that up to twice as many people have faced violence and racial indifference by people such as Cliven Bundy.

So the question really lies in what our media is doing about the issue. Some say news stories on people like Cliven Bundy only work to inspire more serious crimes in those who share similar feelings but do not have the spotlight they crave. Others feel the only way to end racial hatred is by exposing it loudly and publicly, so people who do not adhere to modern beliefs may be seen in the light they live in. Even others feel that while the issue should not be made public, severe punishments should be put into place. And then there are those who feel people are generally comfortable in oppression, regardless of race, as it gives people boundaries…though at the cost of racial fascism.

How do you feel the media should handle cases involving crimes against race or religion? Leave your view in the comments below.

Comments