Does Cliven Bundy Represent The Ugly American?

Does Cliven Bundy Represent The Ugly American?

The Ugly American is back in a big way. Back in March of 2001, the Taliban blew up and destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan, two massive, 6th century statues of the Buddha, that were carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamwam valley of Afghanistan. The historic centuries’ old statues were destroyed by an order from the leader of the Taliban at the time, Mullah Mohammed Omar, who had declared that the statues were religious idols and thus forbidden by the First Commandment in the Bible.

The desecration of these statues caused mass outrage throughout the western world and here in America, because people just couldn’t understand how a group could destroy ancient historic relics and have such little respect for other cultures. Well, fast forward to today, and the lack of respect that the Taliban had for other cultures is being showing up right here in America.

This weekend, there was a large and illegal ATV – or All Terrain Vehicle – ride through Recapture Canyon in Utah. Prior to the ride, there had been a great deal of criticism and concern from the Navajo Nation, because the ride through Recapture Canyon would put thousands of years of cultural resources for Native Americans at risk, not to mention that the ride also went over an ancient and sacred Native American burial ground. But the concerns from the Navajo Nation and the legal requirement for the BLM to protect ancient sacred sites and artifacts were ignored, and the ride went along as planned, despite it violating federal law and putting archaeological sites at risk.

It should come as no surprise that some of the ATV-riding law breakers in Utah this weekend were members of the Cliven Bundy camp. In an email blast to his “followers,” Bundy wrote that, “We need to help the people of Blanding re-establish who is in control of the land. This is your next stand. Will you be there to help them like you helped us?”

While Bundy’s call to his followers to illegally ride on government land and put thousands of years’ worth of history and culture at risk is deplorable, it’s a symptom of a much larger problem in America, a problem which has been around since Columbus first sailed the ocean blue.

Even though it’s 2014, there is still a strong Eurocentric disdain for all other cultures throughout American society. If the culture isn't White and European-based, much of white America pretty much doesn't give a damn about it. And while it may not be as obviously bloody or deadly, it’s the same lack of respect that Columbus showed for the Taino people on the island of Hispaniola (the island which today is the home of Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

Prior to Columbus’s arrival, the Taino were a flourishing indigenous group, that had lived in peace for hundreds of years. But then Columbus arrived, began a campaign of mass slaughter and an active sex trade, and enslaved many of the Taino people in harsh conditions. By 1548, the once booming Taino population was down to just 500 people. There was a complete lack of respect and understanding shown by Columbus and his fellow explorers for the Taino people and way of life.

It’s was also a white Eurocentric culture that fueled hostilities between early American settlers and the Native Americans who had called America home for over ten thousand years. Rather than work to understand and appreciate Native Americans, European settlers killed them and/or drove them off their lands.

The American Indian Wars, fought on and off between 1622 and 1924 (over three hundred years), were fueled by the white Eurocentric cultural arrogance that came over with early Americans from Europe. We killed and enslaved millions of Native Americans, rather than embracing their culture. It was a genuine holocaust, which spanned centuries and continues to this day.

From how we treat members of the Muslim-American community, to immigrants from Mexico, to the ATV "ride" over sacred Native American sites, the white Eurocentric culture that has been in America since the days of Columbus continues to rear its ugly head.

If America is to live up to the values we espouse, we must respect and embrace all cultures and societies. And our media should identify and shame "Ugly Americans" like Bundy and his ATV buddies for what they are: the American Taliban.

Comments

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 31 weeks 6 days ago
#1

Seems like the KRochs are trying to do the same thing by egging on the Bundy army that the oiligarchs are doing in Kiev. See Dr. Cohen on Amy this a.m. http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/12/after_chaotic_autonomy_votes_negot...


Also, How the KRochs took over Wake Co., NC.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/14/the-battle-for-wake-count_n_926799.html

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 31 weeks 6 days ago
#2

Thom- I agree on all points. It is with the same logic that, on another thread, I defend Affirmative Action against the usual complaints from whites who apparently fancy themselves victims of "racism".

By the way.... welcome back, Sandlewould! I missed you! - Aliceinwonderland

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 31 weeks 6 days ago
#3

How very sad that to protest against what some feel is government overeach, as humans, we still cannot respect the the rights and cultures of those who appreciated our Lands far more and far earlier than our arrivals. I'm appalled at this lack of sensitivity, and I believe that more of us should be, as well.

Kend's picture
Kend 31 weeks 6 days ago
#4

It is not just "whites" all we have to do is look at Nigeria and those poor school girls to see there is evil in all colors.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 31 weeks 6 days ago
#5

The FBI needs to get their act together, round up all these knuckle dragging pissants, and expel them from our great nation. If they resist, KILL them on sight!!!!

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 31 weeks 6 days ago
#6

Cliven Bundy and the idiots he has attracted will soon be arrested for obstruction of justice and probably several weapons charges. I hope that the arrests go peacefully, no one should be harmed in the arrests. Let Bundy and his friends have their day in Court to prove their case. I expect all who are arrested will be sent to prison for obstruction of justice and other violations. I imagine these idiots are being closely monitored every time they use their cell phones or other electronic devices. I expect that long range lens are identifying them breaking the laws. They will be arrested and given a fair trial. If they decide to shoot it out with the federal and local agents that would be a huge tragic mistake. I believe that you cannot protect people from stupid actions. . . I hope that good sense prevails in this case.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 31 weeks 6 days ago
#7

TY Alice! Feast or famine as they say...busy lately!!

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 31 weeks 6 days ago
#8

...I also remember reading, speaking of American Taliban, how the US utterly destroyed museums in Iraq containing artifacts from ancient Sumar... sad day. It wouldn't surprise me, given the cozy relationship betwixt the CIA and the Taliban (paying them off to leave US troops/supplies alone), that the Taliban wasn't given the munitions for blowing up ancient statues of Budha..(Thom covered this on Big Pic tonight...)

ChicagoMatt 31 weeks 6 days ago
#9
The American Indian Wars, fought on and off between 1622 and 1924 (over three hundred years), were fueled by the white Eurocentric cultural arrogance that came over with early Americans from Europe.

Is that unique to Europeans though? Doesn't every culture that defeats another claim cultural superiority? Japan's treatment their conquered territories in WWII, for example. Didn't they massacre/rape/enslave Chinese by the thousands, all in the name of "we won, so your culture must be inferior".

I know European arrogance is an easy target, since they conquered so many cultures, including the ones whose land most of us occupy at this very moment. But to imply that it is something inherent to Europeans, and not every single conquering culture, is disingenuous.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 31 weeks 6 days ago
#10

Chi Matt --

Quote Chi Matt:But to imply that it is something inherent to Europeans, and not every single conquering culture, is disingenuous.
.

I thought that is exactly what Thom said. We are just like the Taliban, and we cannot look down our noses at them. Of course, the we in this case is Clive, Columbus and the others. Also, it was probably just a few bad apples in the Taliban that destroyed the statues.

ChicagoMatt 31 weeks 6 days ago
#11

You are right. I am so used to being told different variations of "everything wrong in the world is because of Europeans", that I see it in everything now.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 31 weeks 6 days ago
#12

Maybe someone should fly over the Bundy camp and drop pamphlets with details of the Ryan budget proposals and the names of all House members who have repeatedly voted yes on them. It wouldn't hurt to include details of the Senate Republicans filibuster of the Democrat's bill ending tax breaks for jobs sent overseas. Hell, might as well add the Republican refusal to beef up funding for embassy security when reqested.....that request in order to thwart a Benghazi type attack. Seems to me like the Republicans may have known about the attack ahead of time...how did they know not to fund security at this critical moment????...just mocking the Night of the Living Foxmerized on the last statement...don't get excited!

richinfolsom's picture
richinfolsom 31 weeks 6 days ago
#13

"The Taliban, American style. All terrain vehicles, some mounted with clean cut cowboys carrying high powered weapons with their young children. Bin Laden would have surely praised these indiscreet warriors of ignorance, so insecure and uninformed, seeking a Kodak trigger moment for reasons they can't begin to understand.

If it not were for the guns and threat of violence, I would feel sorry for these lost souls who lost out in the American dream and lied to by Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Savage, and numerous other nut cases interested in ratings and pushing the envelope towards a real life Hunger Games.

The HBO Newsroom in eight minutes articulated the political, economic, and religious forces of the American Taliban.

http://youtu.be/yGAvwSp86hY

Enough!

dorfman 31 weeks 5 days ago
#14

I thought I had posted this but can't find it now...

Can we find out where Cliven Bundy's parents and grandparents are buried, and run some ATVs through the cemetery and tear it up a bit?
BTW...how come I can't find Thom's name in the register of licensed pilots?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 31 weeks 5 days ago
#15

Dorfman, that's an EXCELLENT suggestion; tear up Bundy's family graves with an ATV! Yeah! - AIW

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 31 weeks 5 days ago
#16
Quote ChicagoMatt:

Is that unique to Europeans though? Doesn't every culture that defeats another claim cultural superiority? Japan's treatment their conquered territories in WWII, for example. Didn't they massacre/rape/enslave Chinese by the thousands, all in the name of "we won, so your culture must be inferior".

I know European arrogance is an easy target, since they conquered so many cultures, including the ones whose land most of us occupy at this very moment. But to imply that it is something inherent to Europeans, and not every single conquering culture, is disingenuous.

Actually, it's a feature of civilization to conquer, subjugate and build empire - and to enslave. Incas and Aztecs did something similar. It's not a racial characteristic. Racism is also universal at that stage of political economic evolution.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 31 weeks 5 days ago
#17

Basically what you're saying, Mark, is that it is a "feature" of civilization to be uncivilized.

I see very little hope for humanity. - AIW

Suze O's picture
Suze O 31 weeks 5 days ago
#18

I posted an idea to another site that I will repeat here. Why don't the citizens of Blanding build their own ATV "park" with land that isn't so sensitive? They can build in all the ups, downs, bridges, and everything else that makes a trail fun. They can build a big shelter for picnics and group meetings and maybe picnic areas along the trail. They can plant native waterwise species, rock gardens, children's play areas, and things others their family can enjoy. It can be an ongoing community project that can be added to over time, and maintained/repaired by the community, which will get it more respect from users. People may love their ATVs but they are not a low-impact sport, and they should realize that. Before skateboard parks were built, kids playing in the streets ran risks with car traffic. Such parks were a solution. If Blanding does a good job with their ATV "park", it might also draw others. Maybe a little tourism would help the area.

Where I grew up (New Mexico) there are ancient sites (many unexcavated) that are off-limits, gated to keep people out, and often on Native land. They are there for the descendants of these long-gone people to provide places for traditional pilgrimages, harvesting from native plants, and to support their legends and traditions, not to mention keeping others from vandalizing, looting, digging up the dead, and destroying whatever building remains there may be. This is as it should be.

These ATV people are constantly blaming the "guvmint" for keeping them from using "their" land. Those are PUBLIC lands, and my tax dollars make them as much mine as theirs! And of course, that goes double for Native Americans.

In WA state, where I live now, there is a fragile wilderness area for which hikers must get one of a limited number of permits and must specify the dates of use - which limits the number of people tromping around the landscape, and leaves a record of who goes in and out. That also helps any search and rescue efforts. I have never heard of anyone railing about these restrictions, and those that go there appreciate not having to deal with mobs to enjoy its beauty.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 31 weeks 5 days ago
#19

Great suggestions, Suze!

Personally, I'd be delighted if all those ATVs got dumped off a cliff somewhere and left to rot. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 31 weeks 5 days ago
#20

Suze O -- Very good. Did you get any rebuttals?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 31 weeks 3 days ago
#21

I think racism is a big part of this "Bundy" fiasco. Just let the man open his mouth and he'll moronically spout all about where he is coming from. He hates that black guy in the White House. Kinda funny how everybody considers Bundy's actions as that of an idiot. There is nothing like hatred that drives the common sense out of the mind of anyone.

On the other hand, like so many times in the recent past, the Kochs and their right wing lackeys are using Bundy and racism to ferment a radical irrational agenda for nepharious purposes. Bundy is nothing more than "...a pawn in the game of life." (Blazzing Saddles) Anyone listening should know that Bundy thinks "Blacks were better off as slaves." The right wing thinks that a guy like that with a gun is a hero. God help us all!

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 31 weeks 3 days ago
#22
Quote Aliceinwonderland:

Basically what you're saying, Mark, is that it is a "feature" of civilization to be uncivilized.

I see very little hope for humanity. - AIW

Civilization is way over rated. All it brought us is mass extinction.

genordell's picture
genordell 31 weeks 2 days ago
#23

Goodhearted Thom Hartmann is often wrong, as is the case here. The Ugly American in Burdick's 1958 novel was the GOOD GUY, which was an intentional irony; a facially ugly farmer from Iowa retires to Southeast Asia to teach the villagers how to raise chickens Iowa-style and sell the eggs; much of the book has to do with the interference by U.S. & local bureacrats with the 'ugly' man's Peace Corps-like intentions. Further State Department blunders escalate to civil war ... Farmer Bundy is no 'ugly American' hero, farmer Bundy is a traitor.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Farmer-Bundy-Is-A-Traitor-by-G-E-Nordell-BLM_Cattle_Cliven-Bundy_Constitutional-Rights-140429-615.html

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 31 weeks 14 hours ago
#24

GENORDELL -- I can't find anywhere that Thom mentions Burdicks 1958 novel in this blog. Therefore, how can he be wrong?

geonomist's picture
geonomist 28 weeks 1 day ago
#25

First Bundy and his followers refused to respect public land, next was sacred land. They still believe that might makes right and land is there for the taking. While they are petty and selfish and threaten violence, they are not much different from land-greedy groups elsewhere in America, everywhere on the planet, and all through human history.

While they are in the wrong, part of the blame falls on conventional society for not making clear the nature of property. Land becomes property only when the occupant or wannabe owner compensates those whom he excludes — his nearby neighbors. All of us have an equal right to life, none of us can live without land, so we all have an equal right to Earth.

Bundy, his followers, and many others despise this notion of paying rent to their community. But they shouldn’t. Not just because morally we all are obliged to compensate those whom we exclude from a part of Earth. But also because, bottom line, they can’t lose. As members of the community, they’ll be getting compensated, too. Everybody would pay land dues into the public treasury and get rent dividends back. Owners of land of average value or less — as are most of Bundy’s followers — would get back more than they pay. With a happy wallet, all they’d have to mollify is their egos about being renters to their neighbors. More at Progress.org.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 28 weeks 16 hours ago
#26

geonomist -- Apparently bundy agreed with your sentiments until Clinton became president. Also, the repugnant party thought pink slime should be kept out of hamburgers until Clinton became president. I am seeing a pattern.

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