Friday, July 17, 2009

Smackdown

Rachel Maddow had Pat Buchanan on her show last night so that Mr. Buchanan could defend his racist column, and Mr. Buchanan did not demur.

Buchanan said he considered Sotomayor unqualified and called her an “affirmative-action appointment” by Obama. When Maddow pressed him on why he was critical of affirmative action, Buchanan launched into a vigorous defense of whites who have been discriminated against.

When asked why the overwhelming majority of justices have been white, Buchanan declined to explicitly cite discrimination, but explained that “White men were 100% of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100% of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100% of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks, who were 90% of the nation in 1960 when I was growing up and the other 10% were African-Americans who had been discriminated against. That’s why.”

[…]

Later, Buchanan attacked Maddow for being out of touch and seemed to slam judges who support affirmative action when he stated, “You know what they ought to do? They ought to defend the rights of white working-class folks.”

Maddow cut him off and snapped, “I don’t need a lecture from you about whether or not I know, what I think about working class Americans… For you to privilege race… and say that what we need to tap politically is white people’s racial grievance, you’re playing with fire and dating yourself.”

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I agree with Ms. Maddow; Pat Buchanan is certainly dating himself, although she said he was from the 1950’s. I think he’s more like the 1850’s.

Some further thoughts: Mr. Buchanan says “white men built this country.” True, and they used slave labor to do it, including building the White House and the United States Capitol. Mr. Buchanan also says that “probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy” were white; well, certainly on the German side, yes, but that was because it wasn’t until 1948 that the U.S. military was desegregated. The African-Americans in the service at the time of D-Day were mostly in service positions like cooks and orderlies, so they wouldn’t have gone ashore at Normandy until after the landings in order to be servants to the white officers. To hear him carry on about defending of the rights of the “white working-class folks” reminds me of newsreel footage from Nuremberg in 1936.

HT to HuffPo.