Judge Andrew Napolitano
Cliven Bundy should be happy for the public revelation of the private comments of fellow racist Donald Sterling; the latter has replaced the former as the person Americans most love to hate. These two bigots recently spewed racial hatred: Bundy suggesting that African-Americans might do well to consider slavery over freedom, and Sterling offering disjointed comments that reveal his evident beliefs in white supremacy.

Bundy is a Nevada rancher who became a hero to the right for standing up to the heavy hand of federal suppression of property rights in the West. He and his family had been grazing their cattle on land they believed was theirs or the state of Utah's for more than 100 years, when along came the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which claimed the land and assessed Bundy for his use of it. A federal judge upheld the claims and the million-dollar assessment; yet Bundy refused to pay. Instead of filing the judgment in a courthouse, as you and I would do if we had a judgment against Bundy, the feds showed up with 200 camouflage-clad machine gun-bearing federal agents determined to steal Bundy's cattle.

Soon, thousands of Nevadans showed up to support Bundy, whereupon the feds enacted a "free speech zone." They ordered the protesters either to remain silent, or to enter the zone and protest there. The zone was a 25-square-yard patch of earth in the Nevada desert, three miles from the Bundy/BLM confrontation site.

Sterling is a billionaire who owns the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and was a hero to the left for his public support of liberal causes. He has given generously to the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP and to the Democratic Party in California. He is white, married and apparently enjoys the company of a biracial girlfriend. Recordings of his several wild, weird, disjointed rants directed to the girlfriend and uttered in the privacy of his own home have been played publicly. In them, Sterling directs his girlfriend not to attend Clipper games in the company of her African-American friends.

Both of these men used hateful and hurtful words that were animated by truly condemnable attitudes about race. No moral person credibly could suggest that slavery is preferable to freedom, and no moral person credibly could suggest that whites are superior to blacks in any respect. Those were attitudes advanced by antebellum slave owners and 20th-century supporters of laws that used the machinery of government to harm blacks during the 100 years following the Civil War.


Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey. He sat on the bench from 1987 to 1995, during which time he presided over 150 jury trials and thousands of motions, sentencings and hearings. He taught constitutional law at Seton Hall Law School for 11 years, and he returned to private practice in 1995. Judge Napolitano began television work in the same year.