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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

What Will Others Think

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

In these days, when we are all so accountable for what we say, we seem to show our ignorance by talking before we think, fully realize how those words may sound to someone else or how they will hurt them. At the present, almost everyone wants to be politically correct in their speech, with the exception of politicians talking about other politicians. We all know loose talk can get us fired, cost us money or ruin our reputation and credibility.  

All too often we say things to make us feel good or smart – or we get microphone disease and can’t shut up. We just don’t think about how those words may affect others. How will others be hurt by those words?

Such was the case in the last week when Cliven Bundy, with microphone in hand, gave his opinion, which most took to be a racial statement. Mr. Bundy may not have a racial bone in his body, but he did give a very poor example of what he was trying to say. I realize he is most likely the old school of thought, and I can relate to that – but not on national television.

It happened at the worst of times. He was portrayed nationally as a victim of a government agency, and most didn’t care how he got to that point in life. When the BLM came with guns drawn, dogs wanting to attack people and helicopters flying overhead, he was the hero of the week and the shining example of how we don’t want our government to act. His words were sad to hear as a public lands rancher. He was having his story told on national television news, and the public was watching and was on his side, until he said those words about African Americans. Whether he was misquoted, his words were taken out of context or what, what America thought he said was bad and, as spoken into that microphone, he was wrong. His days as a spokesman are over. America’s press wants nothing to do with him.  

What saved Cliven were equally wrong words spoken by an owner of a national basketball team. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling saved the day for Bundy as he had a bigger podium. The press said that Donald Sterling has a long history of civil rights violations and racial discrimination, so that didn’t help, and it shouldn’t. What he said was wrong, but what he said was in his own home, not to a microphone. Were his rights violated? That is another story.  

Another of his many self-inflicted problems is that his girlfriend allegedly turned the tape over to a television show. Did I mention this is the girlfriend that his wife is suing to reclaim at least $2.5 million in cash and gifts that her husband allegedly provided? Donald Sterling is 80 years old. He should know better – on all accounts.

The days of racial discrimination should be over in America. We are a better nation than that. While I don’t think we will ever get over saying stupid or wrong things, we do need to show respect for all with our words. As someone once said, “Speak with stupid words or in anger and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”

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