Clearly, it should go without saying that Pat Buchanan is a fucking nut. Really, I try to ignore these types more than anything. I just don’t have the time to follow the disgraceful career of every racist, misogynist, homophobic, nationalist, religious fanatic puppet of the Republican party.
But this time . . . oh, this time. Buchanan has written a column as a response to Barack Obama’s recent speech on racism in America (all emphasis in quoted text is mine). And as far as I can tell, Buchanan’s feelings are really hurt because Obama didn’t take the time to personally thank him for the fact that slavery ended and rich white dudes like himself only continue to demand slightly more subtle forms of oppression. It’s a good point; for everything else he’s said, I don’t remember Buchanan ever remarking (in public) “that slavery thing was a pretty sweet ride — why don’t we bring that back?” Why the hell aren’t all those uppity black folks sending him thank you cards?
Really, read the whole thing; it’s a fucking doozy.
The “white community,” said Barack, must start “acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination — and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past — are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds … .”
And what deeds must we perform to heal ourselves and our country?
The “white community” must invest more money in black schools and communities, enforce civil rights laws, ensure fairness in the criminal justice system and provide this generation of blacks with “ladders of opportunity” that were “unavailable” to Barack’s and the Rev. Wright’s generations.
What is wrong with Barack’s prognosis and Barack’s cure?
Only this. It is the same old con, the same old shakedown that black hustlers have been running since the Kerner Commission blamed the riots in Harlem, Watts, Newark, Detroit and a hundred other cities on, as Nixon put it, “everybody but the rioters themselves.”
Was “white racism” really responsible for those black men looting auto dealerships and liquor stories, and burning down their own communities, as Otto Kerner said — that liberal icon until the feds put him away for bribery.
Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America.
Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to.
Aww. Buchanan feels he isn’t being listened to and has to remind the entire world that he presumably has a white penis. I’d feel so terribly bad for him if a single word of it was true. But please, wait, because that’s the intro. It gets about ten times worse.
This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:
First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.
Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.
Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.
Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants.
Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.
We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?
Ignoring, for a moment, all of the shit about how social programs have done such good for black people (in some cases they have; regardless, I’m under the impression that white people are eligible for food stamps, student loans, public housing and every other program he lists, and that Republicans are adamantly and openly opposed to all of them) and the idea that black people are totally equal now, so all this stuff about “racism” is a big sham.
Really, what it comes down to is this: Buchanan is not satisfied and will not be satisfied until Barack Obama and every other black man in American society, successful or otherwise, gets down on his knees and says “Yessir, thank you Massa for not publicly beating and castrating me. Thank you Massa for enslaving members of my race and saving them from their savage heathen ways and bringing them to the civilized Christian world where we can worship your white god and serve nice white folk like yourself. Yessir, I will be going to the back of the bus now, where I will do my best to act as though I don’t exist and deserve the same rights as you and your pretty white family.”
Of course, Obama and all of his fellow black men do deserve to be publicly beaten and castrated. As Buchanan goes on to explain in the rest of his column, black men are rapists and violent thieves who are in jail because they’re just, well, worse than white people, and not because we do our best to put black men in prison for breathing (black women don’t get any specific mention in this column). Also, Jena was apparently a hoax (maybe Buchanan just thinks that hanging nooses actually is funny, and therefore the word “hoax” is an accurate descriptor?) and we don’t hear nearly enough in our liberal black-run media about how evil black people really are. Which is why we should thank good men like Buchanan for being unafraid to speak about the truth of white supremacy and how the uppity black folks are all just too ungrateful to thank us for pretending as though they are human for all of these years.
The fun thing about the backlash against the Obama speech is that all of the powerful white guys are freaking out about what I considered to be a big compromise and disappointment. Allow me to clarify: I thought that the speech was brilliant. It was beautifully written and politically genius. But large portions of it just made me cringe. The defending of Geraldine Ferraro. The suggestion that calling something racist is necessarily nothing more than dismissal. The strong implication that the pointless, ignorant resentment that so many white people feel towards black people is somehow understandable and justifiable. The “personal responsibility” bullshit that sounds all well and good on paper but has an obvious and well-known, definitely racist history in politics.
Seeing his background and knowing with certainty that Obama is an extremely intelligent man, I find it very hard to believe that he actually does feel all of this to be true. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, and in any case, the whole thing has bothered me. On the other hand, remarks like those of Buchanan, along with so many other right-wing voices, bring me back down to earth and force me to acknowledge what I kind of knew all along: it was the only speech he could have given. And that in terms of maintaining a viable political career, the limited truth that Obama did speak was actually fairly brave.
Of course, it could have been braver. And I want a president who is honest and stands by his or her beliefs with integrity. I also want a president, not a martyr.
The fact of the matter is that I read Buchanan’s words and think that he’s absolutely nuts, and either the world’s most shameless liar or tragically delusional (my best guess is a combination effect). I wonder how even the soulless slime at WND could print something this jaw-droppingly racist. I honestly and literally read the thing with my mouth hanging open in horror. I wish that people like Buchanan didn’t exist, and might be a bit happier pretending that they didn’t (of course, that would be a self-serving exercise of white privilege). But if there is any silver-lining at all to this hateful drivel, it’s that it serves as an important reminder of what we’re dealing with in this country. In fact, as Buchanan managed to not use a single racial slur or spit something about how black people should get jobs or go back to Africa, (I’ve heard both, and not on television) it gets a hell of a lot worse.
It’s a reminder that I needed, and it’s begrudgingly and sadly but still with certainty that I admit Obama did the right thing. Because the Buchanans in this country may not be able to win elections, but they are far from being obsolete.