Cliven Bundy Supporter Arizona Lawmaker Bob Thorpe Also Blasted for Racial Comments
Left to right: Representatives Bob Thorpe and Kelly Townsend, Senator Judy Burges, Representative David Livingston, and others.
Representative Bob Thorpe/Twitter
By now, you've probably heard about the case of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who refuses to pay grazing fees and who is backed by an armed militia.
The story took an interesting twist Wednesday when Bundy made racist remarks against black people, causing some people who previously had treated him as a hero for the conservative cause to distance themselves from Bundy. Bundy's comments also reminded us of something -- one of his most ardent supporters, an Arizona lawmaker, was just under fire less than a year ago for making racially charges comments about black people.
According to the New York Times, here's what Bundy said during his latest daily press conference:
"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro," he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, "and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids -- and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch -- they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do.
"And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?" he asked. "They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom."
Before these comments, five Arizona lawmakers found Bundy so inspirational that they all took a trip up to Nevada to show their support -- Republican Representatives Bob Thorpe, David Livingston, and Kelly Townsend, as well as Republican Senators Judy Burges and Kelli Ward. Republican U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona also was present.
Bundy's comments reminded us of comments Thorpe made on Twitter in August. Coincidentally, Thorpe also made several comments about black people, which multiple Democratic lawmakers and at least one local black activist found very offensive.
In one tweet, he posted a picture include the mugshots of the black teenagers, and the text, "Florida school bus, three 15 yr (sic) old blacks beat 13 yr old white boy, where's the liberal press, the racial outcry now?"
He also voiced his support for a rodeo stunt in Missouri, in which a rodeo clown donned an Obama mask, as rodeo organizers released a bull to chase after the Obama-masked man, while announcing that Obama's a clown and the bull was going to "stomp" Obama.
In yet another tweet, Thorpe said Attorney General Eric Holder, who's black, might be "soft on crime" because a large proportion of the U.S. prison population is black.
After New Times and others reported the reaction others had to Thorpe's comments, he locked down his Twitter account, and eventually deleted it, before starting anew.
Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.