Pat Buchanan has often been a lighting rod of criticism, but many people hold him in high esteem as an intellect worth having in the conversation. Sadly, with his recent book “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”, it seems possible that he had gone off the deep end or just more clearly showed his true colors. The controversial book and the particularly controversial chapter “The End of White America” has already sparked petitions for the former Presidential adviser and candidate to be fired from his analysis job at MSNBC.
Since his book tour started Buchanan says that “The End of White America” chapter has been brought up more than any other topic covered in his book and he decided to use the conservative website Townhall to answer the meta-question
“Why should we care if white Americans become a minority? America, interviewers remind me, assimilated the immigrants of a century ago — Italians, Poles, Jews, Slavs — and we can do the same with peoples from the Third World.”
What follows is a vexing and horrible attempt to make a rational argument out of revisionist history and prejudice.
Buchanan starts off saying that America has mistakenly rejected the ideal of the ‘melting pot’ is basically trying to take on mission impossible by “attempting to convert a republic, European and Christian in its origins and character, into an egalitarian democracy of all the races, religions, cultures and tribes of planet Earth.” In other words America is trying to turn itself into some kind of melting pot, which would be okay, as long as what you added to the melting pot didn’t change the composition of the original. This kind of goes against the metaphor of a melting pot but lets just go along with Pat on this.
Next Buchanan states the larger number of immigrants today is beyond comparison to past immigration. However, he doesn’t seem to have a problem with the number of people as much as he does with the kind of people. Let Pat speak for himself here,
“Where the old immigrants all came from Europe, the new are overwhelmingly people of color. But America has never had the same success in assimilating peoples of color.”
Buchanan goes on to list the historic lesson of Black and Native Americans as examples of that lack of success.
“The Indians we fought for centuries live on reservations. And if we did not succeed with a few million Native Americans, what makes us think we will succeed in assimilating 135 million Hispanics who will be here in 2050, scores of millions of Indian ancestry?
We have encountered immense difficulty, including a civil war, to bring black Americans, who have been here longer than any immigrant group, into full participation in our society.
This was a failing that the last two generations have invested immense effort and enormous wealth to correct. But we cannot deny the difficulty of the problem when, 50 years after the civil rights revolution, one yet hears daily the accusation of “racist!” on our TV channels and in our political discourse.
Ought we not first solve the problem of fully integrating people of color, before bringing in tens of millions more?”
Wow, that might not be a lot of text, but it is sure a lot of something, lets break it down.
Native Americans and blacks haven’t yet or didn’t easily assimilate, why…..that doesn’t matter, the important thing is the common denominator; they have dark skin. So before we decide to deal with any more dark skinned “people of color” lets assimilate the ones we have. Mexicans of course have Native Americans ancestors and despite the Civil Rights movement some people (like Buchanan) still get called out for being racists; so watch out ! We will either be fighting exponentially larger versions of Little Bighorn or being called racist more often.
What is most offensive about this line of argument is that it lacks a theoretical mechanism behind the claimed lack of integration. It is oddly left unsaid, leaving one to assume it is either in the nature of those with dark skin to be impossible to integrate or by their choice/stubbornness.
Forget about Indian Nations that changed to European styles of farming and economics, that went to the Supreme Court in proper suits to get their land rights upheld and definitely forget that they were victims of the racist Indian Removal policies of the U.S. that is rightfully remembered as the Trail of Tears.
Why haven’t black Americans been integrated in the long 50 years or so since the Civil Rights movement? Maybe because racism didn’t die the day Martin Lurther King Jr. or Fred Hampton were assassinated, by a racist gunman and police respectively. Or maybe it is because for over 200 years the processes of de-integration, slavery and segregation, were the customs and laws of this country and it takes more than one life time to undo!
Buchanan’s reasoning seems to be so extreme that he was forced to forget or omit the fact that the white majority was the cause of lack of assimilation by black and native Americans. He couldn’t come to that conclusion because then he would have to conclude that it might be good that there isn’t going to be a white majority in the future.
More seriously though, Buchanan’s sentiment is nothing new, in fact it is almost exactly the same as another racist, John C. Calhoun, the infamous states’ rights, pro-slavery senator of South Carolina. You really know someone is racist when they are the antagonist in Amistad.
Calhoun argued against the annexation of territory captured during the Mexican-American War under the following reasoning;
“we have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race. The greatest misfortunes of Spanish America are to be traced to the fatal error of placing these colored races on an equality with the white race. That error destroyed the social arrangement which formed the basis of society.”
Buchanan’s reasoning is exactly the same and just as racist, but his bigotry doesn’t stop there. He goes on to claim Islamic immigration is another mission impossible.
“Another factor is faith. After several generations, Catholics and Jews melded with the Protestant majority. But Muslims come from a civilization that has never accepted Christian equality.
I guess he forgets that Catholics and Jews had to deal with their fair share of discrimination as well. Oddly he doesn’t seem to think there is a problem with Jewish integration even though people still call others (like Buchanan) antisemitic “on our TV channels and in our political discourse.” He also forgets to mention the centuries of animosity and violence between Catholics and Protestants in Europe, even recently in Northern Ireland.
All in all no matter how much you may agree with Buchanan on some issues such as tariffs, trade, or foreign affairs, he is, and this isn’t stated lightly , a bigot who has a distorted racist view of history. His arguments blame those who were wrongfully alienated from the American Dream for their suffering and uses this as evidence to keep people that don’t have his complexion out of the country. If he ever was considered an intellectual he has now shown his views to be so outlandish as to make him a pariah in good circles.