Cliven Bundy: 'I'm Not a Racist'

Friday, 25 Apr 2014 11:21 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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In an attempt at an apology for remarks about race, embattled Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy said Friday he was "not a racist."

Bundy expressed his regrets by citing civil rights icons the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks on CNN's "New Day," and began the interview by stating, "No, I'm not a racist."

A battle with the federal government over grazing rights brought Bundy to national attention when he faced down armed agents from the Bureau of Land Management as they seized several hundred of his cattle.

Special: Powerful New Movie Reveals Alarming Threats on U.S. Border – See Trailer Here.

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The government's overreach prompted a groundswell of support from people across the country. The New York Times then reported Bundy's remarks about race in which he wondered if blacks were better off as slaves or living on government assistance.

While Bundy, 67, admitted that he might not be aware of "what I actually said," he said that perhaps he had "sinned" and needed "to ask forgiveness."

He explained the message of King was for Parks to sit "anywhere in the bus and that nobody would say anything about it." He then said he would want to sit next to her.

"I thought about what Rev. Martin Luther King said. And, I thought about Rosa Parks taking her seat at the front of the bus.

"Now, Rev. Martin Luther King did not want her to take her seat at the front of the bus. That wasn't what he was talking about. He did not say go to the front of the bus and that's where your seat was.

"What Rev. King wanted was that she could sit anywhere in the bus, and that nobody would say anything about it. You and I can sit by her anywhere on the bus. That's what he wanted. And that's what I want," Bundy said.

"I want her to be able to sit anywhere in the bus," he continued. "And I want to be able to sit by her anywhere in that bus. And that's what he wanted. He didn't want this prejudiced thing like the media tried to put on me yesterday. And I'm not going to put up with that because that's not what he wanted. And that's not what I want.

"I want to sit by her anywhere in that bus. And I want anybody to be able to do the same thing. That's what he was after," Bundy said.

Bundy called the criticism of his words on race a form of prejudice.

"We're talking about not being able to exercise what we think in our feelings. We don't have freedom to say what we want.

"If I say Negro or black boy or slave, if those people cannot take those kinds of words and not be offensive, then Martin Luther King doesn't have his job done yet," he said.

Special: Powerful New Movie Reveals Alarming Threats on U.S. Border – See Trailer Here.

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