Yes, he said it wrong. He's a cattle rancher, not a statesman, politician, activist or orator. Could he have said it better? Yes. Is he a racist? In my humble opinion, no. Now. Before you go all "pitch-forks and torches" on me, step back and take a deep breath and think about what he actually said.
I don't believe for a second that Cliven Bundy was advocating a return to slavery, nor do I believe he inferred such. Here's what I *DO* believe he meant:
When under slavery;
- Negroes had a very tight, very cohesive family life and culture.
- Negro children were raised by a mother AND a father, and were taught strict moral values.
- Negroes were very religious, very humble, very dependent on God... the singing of the Negro Spirituals was a central part of that culture.
- Negro fathers did not abandon their babies.
- Negro mothers did not sleep with anyone off the street to get more welfare money.
- Negroes were held to a very strict work ethic. Sloth and laziness were met with severe punishment. And that work ethic is probably the only thing that saved them when they were freed... they knew how to sacrifice and work hard... and knowing that they were working for their own sustenance and success gave them the motivation to sacrifice whatever it took to achieve that.
Bundy's remarks were those of a sincere man, passionate about what he believes, and completely unequipped to navigate the mine-field of political correctness that has been imposed on us by those desperate to be "offenders for a word."
So... about his actual question.. ."Were blacks better off under slavery?" The HONEST answer, at least to me, would have to be "yes and no."
No, they are not better off under slavery as a principle, because no man should be a slave to another. There was unspeakable, terrible abuse inflicted on slaves that untold thousands will be answering for when standing before the judgment bar of God. It was a despicable and dehumanizing practice. It was and is a blemish and stain on the very fabric of this great country.
But yes, Mr. Bundy does have a point of sorts. Adversity has a way of encouraging humility, a sincere "down-to-the-bone" faith and dependence on God, and a tendency to cling together... as a people, as a culture, and as families. This pattern has been repeated among almost all peoples who have ever been in captivity to others. When free, pride, arrogance, and narcissism reign supreme, and the people often become lazy, unproductive, evil and haughty.
Look honestly at a significant segment of today's Black Culture. Welfare. Sloth. Godlessness. Unproductiveness. Arrogance. Evil. Irresponsibility. Dependence.
In those narrow terms, were Blacks better off culturally, spiritually, and morally under slavery? I believe that this was Bundy's real message.
Think about it. Your mileage, of course, may vary.