Cliven Bundy’s Historic and Strategic Racism


The Posse Comitatus Act is the United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152) that was passed by the Forty-Fifth Congress on June 18, 1878. This came one year after the end of Reconstruction and was updated in 1981. Its intent (in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807) was to limit the powers of Federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce the state laws. The U.S. Constitution places primary responsibility for the holding of elections in the hands of the individual states. The maintenance of peace, conduct of orderly elections, and prosecution of unlawful actions are all state responsibilities, pursuant of any state’s role of exercising police power and maintaining law and order, whether part of a wider federation or a unitary state. During the local, state, and federal elections of 1874 and 1876 in the former Confederate states, all levels of government chose not to exercise their police powers to maintain law and order. Many acts of violence, and a suppression of the vote of some political and racial groups, resulted in the election of state legislators and U.S. congressmen who halted and reversed political reform in the American South. In plain language, these elections were steps toward restoration of White Supremacy in the American South. At its explicit introduction to the United States Code, Posse Comitatus was a pretext for bigoted action with a veneer of legal authority.

The Posse Comitatus Act takes its name from a Latin phrase which means power of the county. William Potter Gale was inspired by this law to form a group he called Posse Comitatus in its honor. The Posses, beginning with that formed by Gale, believed that all government power is rooted at the county, not Federal, level. Loosely affiliated bands of armed anti-tax and anti-Federal government vigilantes and survivalists emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. While many were also anti-sematic, virtually every variation of these groups favored White Supremacy. The movement gained significant momentum once Gale was able to join his Christian Identity beliefs [a racist theology identifying Jews as the literal progeny of Satan and blacks as subhuman] with the growing anti-tax movement in the United States.

There are over 3,100 counties or county equivalents in the United States. They are mainly administrative units of states. Two states have abolished counties and Massachusetts is in the process of doing so. No meaningful American political theory considers counties as fundamental political units. True believers in the Posse Comitatus ideology thus fragment the nation by a multiplier of 60 compared to people who merely champion state sovereignty. Followed to its logical end, the Posse Comitatus ideology obliterates not only the nation and the Republic, but every one of the purportedly sovereign states. With no recognition of the glaring absurdity, Cliven Bundy and his bellicose supporters, frequently carry and/or wave the American Flag. The entire ideology of Posse Comitatus is ludicrous and it has not basis in patriotic American principles and purposes. While it has roots in American history, those roots dug deep in secessionist soil and they were fertilized by the thoughts and actions of rebels, bigots, and traitors. In fact, “Pastor” August Kreis of Pennsylvania, a successor to Gale in the Posse movement, explicitly declares: “We are not in this fight to regain a piece of paper that doesn’t even mention God! [i.e., the U.S. Constitution] It’s because of that piece of paper that we’re in the mess we’re in now…Tolerance is the whole problem! We would have his [sic] law…there would be NO tolerance.” The Posse movement is not devoted to the Constitution; it seeks to establish a fragmented, intolerant theocracy which is diametrically opposed to the American Constitutional Republic.

Cliven Bundy has been candid about his ideology. He routinely declares he does not believe in the existence of the United States government. He frequently cites the Sheriff of his county as the only legitimate law enforcement official. Neither of these views is consistent with authentic American patriotism. Mr. Bundy and those who agree with him are seditionists, not patriots. They are also bigots, shirkers, and swindlers. If they transform their flamboyant displays of weaponry into hostile fire, they will prove themselves terrorists as well.

Various Republican politicians and reactionary pundits hailed Cliven Bundy as a patriot and hero. This means they were too slipshod, too incurious, or too indifferent to research the White Supremacist roots of Posse ideology. Pundits are one thing, but elected officials in the United States government who give encouragement and praise to a demagogue who denies the legitimacy of the United States government are guilty of malfeasance of office to say the least. Every elected and appointed federal official swears a solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution against all enemies either foreign or domestic. No official can do that while publicly extolling a thorough-going denier of the Republic and its Constitution.

Reactionary talk radio hosts have objected to Cliven Bundy’s asinine remarks about Negroes being labeled racist. This is not a considered response; it is a reflexive one. Let us consider what Mr. Bundy said and give him the benefit of the doubt about his truthfulness. For some reason, Mr. Bundy decided to share what he knows about Negroes at a press conference. He learned these things as he drove in North Las Vegas and observed people sitting on the porch of what he claimed was subsidized housing. There were several people on the porch and the door to the house was open. In Bundy’s telling these people were Negroes. From this observation, Mr. Bundy concluded that these people don’t have anything to do. They abort their babies; they imprison their young men, and their young girls have nothing to do. All of these inferences arose from an observation of people sitting on a porch. Based on this limited and unrepresentative sample, Mr. Bundy wonders if these people would be better off in slavery picking cotton and living in cabins with a their gardens and chickens. Think about the staggering illogic of this reasoning [if it can be called reasoning].

Bundy leaped to conclusions in a bound that would do Superman proud. He made no survey of the people he wonders about. Other than sitting on the porch, he knows nothing about what they actually do. He does not seem curious about why they were sitting there. He went from observing them in a particular setting and charged them with frequent abortions, routine imprisonment, and being on subsidies. This illogic and hasty generalization is why his remarks are obviously prejudiced. His musing that they might be better off enslaved without qualifying remarks to include anyone in similar circumstances is why his comments are racist. Mr. Bundy’s speculations about the people he saw on the porch clearly stem from his preconceived opinion. He has no evidence beyond what he saw; he has no knowledge of the reasons why they were where he saw them; he gave no thought to more neutral or even positive explanations; he applied no logic to his conclusions. This is a glaring example of prejudicial reasoning. Furthermore, based on his prejudiced conclusions Mr. Bundy opined that the people he observed and others of similar ethnicity might be better off as slaves. One cannot conclude that people would be better off enslaved unless one thinks the people under consideration are intrinsically inferior. That is the hallmark of racism.

By his own comments; by the history of his expressed ideology; by the seditious nature of his actions, Cliven Bundy proves he is not a patriot and that he is a White Supremacist. No thoughtful person who heard what he said can be surprised by his ultimate admissions. Bundy was not being clever; he was being candid. Prominent political and media personalities who flocked to his support were so eager to join in anything that opposed and vilified the Obama Administration; they could not stop to check neither his pronouncements nor his premises. In their haste, they revealed their own prejudice.

It is frequently averred, “Not all Republicans are racist.” This is true, but irrelevant. Virtually all Republicans of prominence are not merely willing, but eager, to accept and support people who are racist so long as those people are demonstrating hostility toward President Obama, his administration, or Democrats generally. In this, 21st century Republicans are heirs of Nixon’s Southern Strategy. They hint and wink and seek plausible deniability when some less crafty individual puts too fine a point on their sentiments. Nonetheless, if every Republican is not racist, the Republican Party is the cultural medium in which a new and strategic racism grows and flourishes in contemporary America.

Rachel Maddow gives an excellent report on the White Supremacist roots and Civil War denier origins of Cliven Bundy’s thinking.

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Posted in: Larry Conley, Politics, USA

About the Author:

I live in Allegheny County, PA. I am married and a father of twins. I served in the U S Army and saw hostile fire in Vietnam. When I was in the Army I took and oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. I have never rescinded that oath. For whatever time remains for me, I will do all in my power to answer the question, "What can I do for my country?" View My Profile

5 Comments on "Cliven Bundy’s Historic and Strategic Racism"

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  1. avatar HurricaneDean says:

    This issue really excites me Larry. I’m working on posting another piece on this issue soon myself. Your point about the Posse Comitatus is spot on. I wrote an article title Posse Tea Party Comitatus over four years ago. This ideology is becoming pervasive in certain extreme sectors of the radical right-wing. Great article

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    • avatar Larry Conley says:


      I will be looking forward to the upcoming article. This is an issue which needs to be publicized and make abundantly clear. Contemporary Republicans have made an alliance with very venomous people and they are becoming such themselves in droves.

      Thanks for your cogent comment.

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  2. avatar Cher Duncombe says:

    Larry, this man lives as though the past 50 years of ideology has never changed. It is his comfort zone, as it is for far too many who are undercover racists lacking only the white sheets. It is as frightening as it is perplexing. You have provided an extensive look into the why’s and wherefore’s. As always, you have shed much needed light on an important and disturbing issue.

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    • avatar Larry Conley says:

      Thanks Cher! These people are living in the past ideologically and that gives us a clue what they mean when they say, “We want to take our country back.” They want to take America back to the time when White Supremacy was a reality and held almost unchallengeable power.

      Thanks as ever!

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  3. avatar kfreed says:

    It’s not just Cliven Bundy… the Tea Party leadership is infested with white supremacists:

    April 1, 2014: “Candidate For Texas Governor [Greg Abbott] Invokes [White Supremacist] Who Believes Women And Minorities Are Inferior”

    Jan. 21, 2014: “PA Republican has an exciting new plan to legalize discrimination” [“religious freedom to discriminate” based on race,
    gender, religion…]

    “Racism Is Not Dead! White Supremacist Celebrates 2nd Year as GOP Committeeman with Stormfront Post”!_White_Supr

    March 17, 2014: “South Dakota Lawmaker Says Businesses Should Be Able To Turn Away: African-Americans”

    “Old Photos Surface Showing Breitbart, O’Keefe Hobnobbing with White Nationalists”

    “Steve King and White Nationalist CPAC Panel Warn that America’s Greatest Threat is its Diversity” (Peter Brimelow/VDARE)

    “SCANDAL! Rand Paul MUST return Neo-Nazi funds NOW and DENOUNCE”

    “White Nationalists Descend on D.C. for National Policy Institute Conference” (Richard Spencer and Peter Brimelow/VDARE)

    covered here:

    SPLC: “Former Congressman Tancredo to Address White Supremacists”

    IREHR Special Report: “The Status of the Tea Party Movement -- Part One: The Tea Party in 2013”:

    “This, the 40th annual [CPAC] conference began with a well-choreographed effort to present a softer, more diverse, conservative movement. Beyond the main hall, however, the façade melted away. In the many conference rooms that the Tea Party dominated, events featured blatant racism, homophobia, sexism, Islamophobia and the militia impulse.”

    IREHR Report: “Tea Parties -- Racism, Anti-Semitism and the Militia Impulse”

    July 2011: “White Supremacist Stampede”

    “A startling number of white-power candidates are seeking public office. Eve Conant reports on their under-the-radar strategy and David Duke’s White House flirtation.”

    “GOP Senate Candidate Addressed Conference Hosted by Neo-Confederate Group That Promotes Secessionism”

    “Steve Smith, White Supremacist, Elected To Republican Party Committee In
    Pennsylvania County”

    Al Jazeera Report: “People & Power -- White Power USA” (Documentary/Tea Party)

    “Neo-Confederate Behind Pro-Huckabee Flag Ads in South Carolina”

    Video: Ron Paul Gives Speech on Civil War in Front of Giant Confederate Flag:

    “One of the remaining Republican Presidential candidates spouts Civil War revisionism, standing in front of a Dixie flag”

    “Ron Paul Curriculum Launched by Reconstructionist Gary North and Neo-Confederate Thomas Woods”

    April 2013: “The Ron Paul Institute: Be Afraid, Very Afraid”

    “The former presidential contender is back, this time as head of a new ‘institute’
    for ‘peace’ comprised of anti-Semites, 9/11 truthers, and dictator lovers [and
    racists]: James Kirchick reports.“

    “Ron Paul to Keynote Catholic Traditionalist Summit with NeoFascist and Overtly Anti-Semitic Speakers” (and racists)

    “Meet the ‘Southern Avenger’! Another Member of Rand Paul’s Team Has White Supremacist Past”


    The Convergence of Glenn Greenwald and Rand Paul’s ‘Southern
    Avenger.” (Liberty Tour VIDEO):

    2014: [NEWS VIDEO] “Afterless than two weeks on the job, the Marionville, Missouri mayor who said he “kind ofagrees” with some of Frazier Glenn Cross’ anti-Semitic views, has announced his intention to resign.Cross is accused of murdering three
    people at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas on April 13,

    Marionville Mayor :
    “The futures market, the Federal Reserve, the Food and Drug Administration
    and the National Institutes of Health — every time I see that on the news,
    there are Jewish names and they run things.”

    April 2014: “EXPOSED: The Source Of Cliven Bundy’s Crackpot Constitutionalism”

    As Promoted by Glenn Beck on Fox “News”:

    “After searching for the distinctive cover of the document in Bundy’s pocket, the
    publisher turned out to be the innocuously named National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS). However, the NCCS is not the commendable educational organization it purports to be. It began life as the Freemen Institute, a vehicle for the far-right,
    Mormon, anti-commie, history revisionist, W. Cleon Skousen. Skousen taught that
    the Constitution was inspired by a God who intended America to be a Christian
    nation. He also professed the canon of white supremicism that Anglo-Saxons are
    descended from a lost tribe of Israel. The Southern Poverty Law Center chronicled the NCCS curriculum based on Skousen’s philosophy saying that he…

    …demonized the federal regulatory agencies, arguing for the abolition of everything from
    the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental
    Protection Agency. He wanted to repeal the minimum wage, smash unions, nullify
    anti-discrimination laws, sell off public lands and national parks, end the
    direct election of senators, kill the income tax and the estate tax, knock down
    state-level walls separating church and state, and, of course, raze the Federal
    Reserve System.”

    VIDEO: Cliven Bundy’s white supremacist “Chistian Nation” “History” Lesson:

    Rachel Maddow breaks down Cliven Bubdy’s white supremacist Christian Identity movement:

    [Koch] “The Money Behind Fox’s Promotion Of Cliven Bundy’s Battle With The Feds”

    Beck’s [Tea Party] ‘historian’ [David Barton] delivered talks to racist, anti-Semitic Christian Identity groups”

    [quote] ADL: “Barton has delivered his revisionist presentation in the meeting halls of
    the racist and anti-Semitic extreme right.”

    [the 1994 book, The Religious Right: The Assault on onTolerance & Pluralism in America, the Anti-Defamation League wrote that Barton “purveys a slick, cut-and-paste revisionist history of the United States and the Constitution.” ADL further stated that Barton spoke at events hosted by the Christian Identity movement, which “asserts that Jews are ‘the synagogue of Satan'; that Blacks and other people of color are
    subhuman; and that northern European whites and their American descendants are
    the ‘chosen people’ of scriptural prophesy.” [end quote]

    Barton’s Bunk: Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America: Barton’s Bible = Tea Party Platform”

    Libertarian Party Platform circa 1980, the year David Koch ran for

    May 2014: [VIDEO] George Zimmerman’s Racist Defender Frank Taaffe & Fox “Expert” Now Admits Zimmerman Is A Racist Who Profiled Trayvon Martin, Says He Needs to “Get Right with God”:

    “During the trial, he [Frank Taaffe] was an almost daily guest on Fox, CNN, its sister station HLN, and others, being treated like some kind of expert and weighing in on the social (‘It’s really sad that he has already been convicted in the public media and has already been sentenced to the gas chamber’), technical (were there grass stains on Trayvon’s pants?) and legal aspects of the Trayvon Martin case — and yet, as Mother Jones discovered, Taaffe ‘has a lengthy criminal record that includes charges of domestic violence and burglary, and a history of airing virulently racist views.’ Just last Sunday, he appeared on The White Voice, a weekly podcast hosted by a man named Joe Adams, who has deep, long-standing ties to white-power groups and has authored a manual called Save The White People Handbook. (Sample
    quote: ‘A mutt makes a great pet and a mulatto makes a great slave.’) ‘Among
    Taaffe’s long-standing and unshakable views, blacks and whites have no business mingling, whites are essentially ‘slaves’ and oppressed due to affirmative action and ‘crimes committed by that particular group of people,’ and that ‘the only time a black
    life is validated is when a white person kills them.’”

    Bonus: Because racism is so over:

    Texas, 2007: “Debt Collectors Forced to Pay $1.5m After Filthy, Racist Voicemails”

    “A Texas debt collection company had a unique style for reminder voicemails to one black customer. “This is your motherfucking wake-up call you little lazy ass bitch. Get
    your motherfucking nigger ass up and go pick some motherfucking cotton

    Sound like anyone we know? (Cliven Bundy)

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