clock menu more-arrow no yes

Understand Cliven Bundy in 1 minute or less

Cliven Bundy
Cliven Bundy
David Becker, Getty Images

Here's a ridiculously simplified guide to who Cliven Bundy is and why people keep talking about him. Click on a yellow link for much more information about the topic.

1: Cliven Bundy is a rancher in Nevada who's been letting his cattle graze on federal lands for 20 years without paying the proper fees. He doesn't recognize the authority of the federal government.

2: In early April, the federal government sent armed agents to try to confiscate Bundy's cattle from those federal lands.

3: Bundy and many supporters, including some armed militia members, assembled in protest. The situation threatened to get violent, so the government backed down for the time being.

4: Bundy then became a media sensation. Many conservatives said they supported his efforts to resist the government, and Fox News's Sean Hannity particularly promoted Bundy (which led to an escalating feud with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart).

5: But then, Bundy caused controversy with racially charged comments suggesting that "the Negro" might have been better off under slavery. He followed them up by saying that if blacks were offended by the racial terms he used, that only proved Martin Luther King Jr. had failed.

If you want to dig deeper, our card stack provides lots of context explaining the dispute, the controversy, federal land policy, and more. And check out our articles below: