Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who recently triggered a firestorm of controversy after suggesting that "Negro people" were "better off" as slaves, says he's actually "just like" Rosa Parks.
In a press release Friday, Bundy -- whose dispute with the federal government over grazing rights culminated in an armed confrontation with federal rangers earlier this month -- said his fight against the government is similar to Parks' stand against segregation.
"I am standing up against [the federal government's] bad and unconstitutional laws, just like Rosa Parks did when she refused to sit in the back of the bus," Bundy's release reads. "She started a revolution in America, the civil rights movement, which freed the black people from much of the oppression they were suffering. ... I am doing the same thing Rosa Parks did -- I am standing up against bad laws which dehumanize us and destroy our freedom."
For more than 20 years, Bundy has been letting his cattle graze illegally on federal land. The Bureau of Land Management claims Bundy -- who says he doesn't recognize the government's authority over the land -- owes more than $1 million in fees, per Reuters.
"We are trading one form of slavery for another," his release also said of his battle against the government. "All of us are in some measure slaves of the federal government. Through their oppressive tactics of telling the ranchers how many cows they can have on their land, and making that number too low to support a ranch, the [Bureau of Land Management] has driven every rancher in Clark County off the land, except me."
Also on Friday, Bundy told CNN that if people perceived him to be racist, they should blame Martin Luther King Jr. for not finishing "his job."
“If I say 'Negro' or 'black boy' or 'slave,' if those people cannot take those kind of words and not be [offended], then Martin Luther King hasn't got his job done yet," he said. "We need to get over this prejudice stuff."
In recent weeks, Bundy had been championed as an anti-government crusader by some Republican lawmakers, including Senators Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). However, in the wake of his racist remarks, many have since withdrawn their support.
(Hat tip, Mother Jones)