Rancher Rebellion: Cliven Bundy Sparks Controversy After Asking if Blacks Were Better off as Slaves

Cliven Bundy says the land he's grazing is not rightfully owned by the federal government

A Defiant Rancher Savors the Audience That Rallied to His Side (The New York Times)

BUNKERVILLE, Nev. — Cliven Bundy stood by the Virgin River up the road from the armed checkpoint at the driveway of his ranch, signing autographs and posing for pictures. For 55 minutes, Mr. Bundy held forth to a clutch of supporters about his views on the troubled state of America — the overreaching federal government, the harassment of Western ranchers, the societal upheaval caused by abortion, even musing about whether slavery was so bad.

Most of all, Mr. Bundy, 67, who was wearing a broad-brimmed white cowboy hat against the hot afternoon sun, recounted the success of “we the people” — gesturing to the 50 supporters, some armed with handguns and rifles, standing in a semicircle before him — at chasing away Bureau of Land Management rangers who, acting on a court order, tried to confiscate 500 cattle owned by Mr. Bundy, who has been illegally grazing his herd on public land since 1993.

“They don’t have the guts enough to try to start that again for a few years,” Mr. Bundy said in an interview.

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