Son of controversial rancher says his father is not a racist

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by Kristine Harrington

azfamily.com

Posted on April 27, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 27 at 12:59 PM

PHOENIX -- The son of controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy apologized for his father’s racially charged comments that have led to massive backlash.

Bundy has been locked in a controversial dispute with the Bureau of Land Management after refusing to pay the fees for his cattle to graze on federal land.

He came under fire after video was released showing him say that African-Americans would be better off living as slaves than on government assistance.

"I want to tell you one more thing about the Negro," Bundy said in the video. "They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton."

Ammon Bundy, who owns a business in Phoenix, said his father meant no harm by those remarks.

"He is not a political speaker,” Ammon Bundy explained. "He was also raised in a different era. He’s 67 years old. He’s a rancher. He doesn’t always know how to articulate himself but he is not a racist."

Ammon Bundy asked for media attention to shift back to the dispute with the BLM, which wants to confiscate the cattle to settle the $1.1 million owed in grazing fees.

"He’s a rancher; he doesn’t want this fight," Ammon Bundy said. "This fight came to him."

Lawmakers who initially supported Cliven Bundy have since distanced themselves as a result of the remarks, and Sen. John McCain said anyone still supporting him should stop.

"It’s obvious that his comments are racist and he continues to make those kinds of stupid statements," McCain said. "And I hope those people who aligned themselves with him will quickly divorce themselves from any association with him whatsoever."

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