Mon, 12 May 2014
Cliven Bundy started as a conservative cause célèbre. He was surrounded by a small, brave, band of patriots standing courageously against federal tyranny.
Then came this:
"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro."
Followup televised clarifications haven't helped him, but the very first interview endowed him with the green glow of conservative kryptonite.
Even the wingiest of wingnuts have scrambled for lead shields. The gleeful aiming of firearms at fleeing workers from the Bureau of Land Management has gone from the subject of bombastic boasts to the subject of FBI investigations. Members of Cliven Bundy's well armed band of brothers are now the keystone cowboys.
Racial suspicion remains the undercurrent of American politics. But recognizable, overt, in-your-face, racism strikes a painful nerve. Conservatives have nurtured the myth that racism is over, that the only remaining racism lies within those who perceive racism.