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Rancher Cliven Bundy defends controversial comments about slavery

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Rancher Cliven Bundy defends controversial comments about slavery

By Victoria Spilabotte. CREATED Apr 24, 2014

A lot of people have taken sides with Southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy during his ongoing feud with the federal government, but now he's taking a lot of criticism for making some comments some view as racist.

Those comment surfaced in a video that came out earlier this week.

On Thursday, Bundy took the stage to defend those controversial comments he made about blacks and slavery, but ended up digging a deeper hole.

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"The question is, are they slaves the way they are, or the way they live as slaves did, the charity and government-subsidized homes, and their daughters having abortions and their sons are in the prisons," he said, speaking from a makeshift stage on the back of a flatbed truck near his property.

Bundy said he began wondering these questions about slavery 40 years ago while driving through a black community in North Las Vegas.

"Left the South, came to Las Vegas for something better, but wouldn't they be happy at home with their gardens and their chickens and their children playing around them, and their family having work to do," he said.

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The freedom-loving rancher shared his views for a crowd of supporters, who are continuing to camp up the road from his ranch after the battle with the Bureau of Land Management.

Halfway through his speech on Thursday, Bundy changed his tune and offered an explanation of slavery, "Slavery is the way you think, about choices for people and where you have forced labor and you can hurt people and sell them and all those kinds of things," he said. "You think that's what America's all about? You think that's what I'm about, America? If it is, you're so wrong."

On stage with Bundy on Thursday were men of different races. If they were upset about the comments, they didn't show it.

In contrast to his stance on slavery, Bundy ended his speech talking about freedom, "What I want to see the world have is that individual freedom and being able to express themselves. That's what America is all about."

There was word that Bundy would be represented by a lawyer, but he said he has no lawyer at this time, he represents himself.

As far as a lawsuit filed against the BLM on behalf of the Bundy family; Bundy's son said there is no lawsuit at this time, although they might file a lawsuit against individuals who were involved in the capture and release of their cattle.