Supporters stand by Bundy, despite controversial comments - 8 News NOW

Supporters stand by Bundy, despite controversial comments

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LAS VEGAS -- Following rancher Cliven Bundy's controversial, and some said racist, comments, he extended a special invitation to people in the Hispanic and African-American communities to a barbecue for his supporters near the Virgin River Friday night.

The supporters at the party said their fight with the BLM is not over.

"This has just begun. They are about to do the same thing in Texas. And the Red River Valley, and they're going to have another fight on their hands," Bundy supporter Wade Michaels, who is from Las Vegas, said.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze public lands illegally for 20 years. When the BLM seized his cattle, armed supporters interfered, and the feds allowed Bundy to release them because of concerns over safety.

However, just as the Bundy movement gained momentum, a roadblock. 

"I'm a wondering. I'm a wondering, Cliven Bundy is a wondering about these people. I'm talking about the black community. I'm wondering, are they better off with their women aborting their children? Are they better off with their young men in prison?" Bundy said to supporters at a rally Thursday. 

The comments had many calling Bundy a racist.

"They are statements infused with bigotry, and racism, and they are not to be tolerated," Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said Thursday. 

However, the rancher's supporters say Bundy's comments on race mean nothing. Alex Bieniecki, one of the armed militia groups patrolling the area, was still lining up at Friday's barbecue to buy some Bundy gear.

"I know for a fact that that man is not a racist and his words were taken out of context," Bieniecki said.

All the proceeds from the clothes and pins go to help with Bundy's expenses.

"Regardless of whether somebody was racist or not, I believe in the right to be able to feel that way. If you want to be a racist in this country, you have the right to be a racist. It is when you hurt somebody, that you step over the line." Bieniecki said.

After asking forgiveness, Bundy maintains he is not racist. Possibly to make good on those words, Cliven's son Ryan Bundy ran to shake the hand of the only African-American man to turn up to their barbeque.

The man told 8 news NOW off camera that he doesn't believe Bundy's comments on race were meant to be intentionally offense.

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