Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

Last week, I noted that CNBC analyst and CBOT trader Rick Santelli's televised rant presaged a revival of white ethnic politics by the right and the GOP. To prove my point that Mr. Santelli is not likely to be an isolated outburst as if on cue here's Pat Buchanan adding to our national 'conversation' with a short column for that widely read and must read publication Catholic Citizens:

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. 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 have 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 their 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???

Barack talks about new 'ladders of opportunity' for blacks. Let him go to Altoona ? And Johnstown Pa, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for 'deserving' white kids.? Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America ? Is it really white America 's fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence.. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena . And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago...

Mr. Santelli's rant and Mr. Buchanan's litany of complaints are also nothing new. We have heard them all before beginning in the 1970s. Even the terminology, the phrasing and the theatrics used is borrowed from that earlier era. Mr. Buchanan goes so far as to resurrect the term "silent majority."

In my post last week, I mentioned briefly President Nixon's 'northern' strategy that began to take shape in July 1970 when Rocco Siciliano, a veteran of the Eisenhower Administration, was summoned to meet with the President and with the Secretary of Transportation John Volpe. The purpose of the meeting was for the President to ascertain how his Administration could better reach out to Italian-Americans and other ethnic minorities especially northern urban Catholics. As historians Thomas Sugrue and John Skrentny noted in their essay "The White Ethnic Strategy", Nixon "had discovered 'white ethnics' - and believed that their support was essential to his political future."

Nixon was right. His courting of white ethnics was one of the pillars of his 1972 landslide re-election but more importantly Nixon set the ground work for the GOP to capture a segment of voters we now call "Reagan Democrats" that until this past election favoured the GOP more often than not. Again Mssrs. Sugrue and Skrentny observed "white ethnics burst onto the American burst onto the American scene in the early 1970s, grabbing the attention of politicians, policymakers, pundits and activists. These second- and third-generation descendants of European immigrants became the embodiment of Nixon's 'Silent Majority,' a group alienated by the civil rights movement, betrayed by liberals and simmering with 'middle-class rage.'"

Santelli's rant and Buchanan's tirade certainly qualify as rage but it's certainly not middle-class nor interested really in serving the interests of the middle class. Their comments form the basis of wedge politics that Lee Atwater invented and Karl Rove refined. These comments are at their core an attempt to recapture the ground recently lost by appealing with arguments that have worked brilliantly for the GOP in the past.

Historian Matthew Frye Jacobson wrote the definitive tome on the white ethnic phenomenon, a classic work entitled "Roots Too." Here's a portion of a review of the book by Whitney Strub:

Jacobson frames the ethnic revival as largely (but not entirely) congruent with the post-LBJ resurgence of conservatism, identifying three points of intersection: white ethnic voters have favored the Republican Party as it has captured all three branches of the federal government; white ethnics staff much of the New Right, from neoconservative intellectuals to Rudy Giuliani; and the ethnic mythology of immigration and uplift structures the rhetoric and substance of many contemporary policy debates, from welfare to affirmative action.

It is to that final point that Jacobson turns his main focus, with sharp insight. Ethnic revival shifted the iconography of Americanism from WASPy Plymouth Rock to downtrodden Ellis Island, which in turn normalized a narrative of immigration, poverty, hardscrabble work and sacrifice, and eventual uplift over the generations into educated, suburban comfort. The political use-value of this story is immense. First, it gives white ethnics an excuse to oppose social welfare programs: "my grandfather didn't get any handouts, he worked for a living," etc. Second, it legitimizes opposition to affirmative action programs or plans for slavery reparation on similar grounds, since most ethnic immigrants arrived after the WASP elite had eradicated many Native Americans and instituted and abolished slavery: this time, "my grandparents didn't own any slaves/kill any Indians," etc. The unspoken but obvious implications of these arguments are obvious; in the hands of politicians like Richard Nixon, they take aim at the inner-city black underclass (already excluded from the Ellis Island narrative by virtue of Africans' coerced means of entrance to America), blaming it for its own poverty and thus absolving white voters of any moral obligation to lend help. If Italians, Jews, and others could climb up the social ladder on their bootstraps alone, why can't African Americans?

Neither Mr. Santelli nor Mr. Buchanan seem to realize that what allowed for their and that of the white ethnics' jump up in American society were the policies enacted by FDR collectively called the New Deal that led to what economic historians call the "Great Compression". Income inequality declined drastically from the late 1930s to the mid 1940s, with the wealthy losing ground while working class Americans saw unprecedented gains becoming in a less than a generation the backbone of a burgeoning middle class. While the Great Compression benefited an urban, northern and a largely immigrant working class, African-Americans were largely left behind. And when LBJ attempted to remedy that situation, white ethnics fled the party of their parents and grandparents responsible for bringing their new affluence for Nixon and Reagan.

It is also important to note what drove this Great Compression was essentially three factors: strong unions, a high minimum wage, and a progressive tax system. These conditions are absent in the America of 2009. It's time to restore them and let Mr. Santelli and Mr. Buchanan howl to the moon ad nauseum.

Tags: pat buchanan, Race Relations, White Ethnics (all tags)



Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

He sure as HELL doesn't speak for this white boy. And this white man is sick to DEATH of this country being run be fat, jowly white pigs.  I'm done.  Hell, let's give it to someone green . . . anybody but the white man.

by scytherius 2009-02-23 08:18PM | 0 recs
I'm sure there are a few brothers in prision

railroaded, while a comparable rich white man would be walking around free in that same circumstance..

I think those folks would LOVE to show Pat their gratitude to all the helpful white folks, starting with him....

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-23 08:27PM | 0 recs
I have to ask

who reads Catholic Citizens? Do you think Pat Buchanan would have dared published this on Newsweek or utter anything like this on MSNBC?

No. He went ballistic letting out his true thoughts in a rag that no one reads.

by Charles Lemos 2009-02-23 08:34PM | 0 recs
I have seen Pat go through this same spiel

On HardBall....

He was positively PUMA-esque in his "Obama really got a lucky break by being black" during the primaries...

I know Rachel treats him like our crazy old racist Uncle Pat, but the guy waxes nostalgic about what a great military leader Hitler was, and this "we did a great favor by taking those poor black people out of africa, and bring them to America" routine is truly demented...

And, what is even MORE Pyscho, Pat believes it AND he doesn't think he is a racist...

Remember, it was Pat's speech at the GOP convention that formalized the entire Culture War concept....

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-23 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: I have seen Pat go through this same spiel

Ah okay. I've joined Jerome in sans teevee land. I do own one just rarely watch it anymore. I did turn my TV on today to watch Glenn Beck. Yes, on purpose. I wanted to actually watch Glenn Beck. I read Glen Greenwald's column yesterday on Salon about some series Beck was producing.

I could only watch the first segment. It was too much. How is that man on television? He can't even speak in complete sentences.

As per Pat, I have always respected his political insights, it's his own views that I find abhorrent but as a pundit I have found him generally persuasive.

Pat served as Nixon's Communications Director. It just amazes me that the same old arguments are being resurfaced time and again though perhaps it shouldn't surprise me.

by Charles Lemos 2009-02-23 08:54PM | 0 recs
My grandmother

of course her response to Obama's election was "Maybe now black people will stop killing everybody"


by DTOzone 2009-02-24 01:30AM | 0 recs
Divide and Conquer

Key word in your post:  rich.

The problem is not so much white holding down black, but rather rich holding down poor.  The thing about rich is that white got there first, so the two can be easily (and sometimes conveniently) confused.

That's not to say that whites don't have a better place in the current power structure in the U.S.  My point is that the working class whites and blacks have been convinced by those in the penthouse that they need to fight each other for control of the sub-basement.

Buchanan's point is insidious because it contains truth: the kids in Altoona and Youngstown aren't getting Harvard opportunities. But it's not because a bunch of kids from North Philly and Harlem are stealing them. It's because the kids and grandkids of people like Buchanan get head starts from age 5. How to preserve such a sweet deal for the next generation of Buchanans?  Write crap like this.  The Uncle Pats of the world have been pushing all the right buttons for generations.  

I have lots of white, Western PA, working class relatives who buy this nonsense.  They are scared of/hostile to working class black people, raising the specter of "affirmative action hires". This fear and hostility is, of course, met with anger and resentment by a black community struggling to get ahead.  Both are just trying to get by, and if they could actually cooperate and fight for the real prize, they'd be a serious force for change in this country.

by spatne 2009-02-23 09:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Divide and Conquer

You're getting close to what needs to happen. Affirmative action, explicit bias against whites and in favor of blacks, was always a step too far. There are many ways to aid African-Americans, either directly or as a major component of economically deprived Americans, without allowing explicit racial prejudice in hiring and school admissions. The only truth that Buchanan speaks is that affirmative action is gut-level-morality wrong. But with that one truth, in hard times, the right can keep the 'natural' left subdivided and conquered.

by fairleft 2009-02-24 06:27AM | 0 recs
Nope that is bullshit

In the fifties through the sixties in most small cities and suburban and rural counties public works contracts and private business deals alike were typically awarded over drinks at the Elks Club or on the golf course at the Country Club. This was so well understood that Country Club dues could be written off as business expenses. And what did the Elks and the Country Clubs have in common? Wait for it---. Blacks were not allowed at all and women were in most cases limited to secondary membership, and definitely not allowed in the Stag Bar where all the deal making was done. In the smallish city I live in that is still largely true, for decades a local judge was head of the membership committee for the Elks, and even though the National changed its exclusionary race rules, he made sure that no blacks would be admitted. Indeed we had a black city council member who had served for years and yet was blackballed.

On the other hand every local developer I know is a member.

Minority set-asides are not discrimination, they were a simple recognition of what everyone knew, insiders had rigged the game in ways that shut blacks and women out.

And the same was true for colleges and universities. It wasn't always so blatant as it was in the south where you had 'historically white' and 'historically black' state universities but even in the north and west admittance to many private institutions was more of matter of who you knew rather than what you knew. And people understood that too.

I went to the supposedly hyper-liberal University of California at Berkeley. But even there admission to the 'better' fraternities, the ones that allowed you to rub elbows with the children of other elites and get legs up on summer internships and the like was based on who your parents were and most importantly on the color of their skin. You had White Frats and Sororities and Black Frats and Sororities and for that matter Cal had some Jewish Frats. That is Animal House was a parody and not a fantasy that kind of discrimination went on openly all the time.

People who bitch and whine about affirmative action are simply blind or ignorant about how business was done and in many places is still done. It is not as open as Whites Only drinking fountains or 'No Dogs or Irishmen Allowed' parks signs but the fact is that the playing field still isn't level. And affirmative action was just a reaction to that.

by Bruce Webb 2009-02-24 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Nope that is bullshit

One can agree with all of your points, while still recognizing that afffirmative action is also discriminatory.  This doesn't mean AA does not serve a beneficial purpose, but that is separate from its discriminatory nature.  Note that poor white people/students are the one whose opportunities were diminished as a result of affirmative action- people who also were not welcome in the country clubs, exclusive fraternities, etc.

by orestes 2009-02-24 01:27PM | 0 recs

Please treat me with respect even if you disagree with what you think I was saying. However, based on what you've written, I'm not sure if you read what I wrote

I was talking about getting a job and getting admitted to schools and colleges, and ending government-generated racial prejudice there. Your first three paragraphs are not relevant to that. Minority set asides for construction contracts, whatever, working class whites don't give a crap about that stuff. Paragraph 4 is about stuff that went on 40 plus years ago, pararaph 5 is about frats and sororities. So, nothing about my point. You certainly don't have evidence of anti-African-American racism in college admissions, do you? Racism does exist in job hiring, but we should deal with that by having affirmative action plans for such employers, as we do, not for all employers.

Working class whites, and working class hispanics and Asians, do care a great deal about a black kid getting into college over their own kid because of institutionalized racism. They do care about being passed over for a promotion or not getting a job because of institutionalized racism.

As I said, there are many non-racist ways to help African-Americans along with everyone in the economic bottom half. Let's do them, let's double the effort, but stop supporting the stuff that's obviously unfair to people who haven't done any wrong; we need to recreate the image of the Democratic Party as the party of fairness.

by fairleft 2009-02-25 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

Wow!  I mean, wow!

The gratitude...  Yeah, Pat, maybe you should stop by Detroit sometime and see what African Americans should be "grateful" for...

by LordMike 2009-02-23 08:29PM | 0 recs
Political Epiphanies

There several experiences in my life that I count as instrumental in my political development. One of them was my first visit to Detroit.

In 1950, Detroit was the fifth richest city in the world. Today, it's not even in the top 1,000.

by Charles Lemos 2009-02-23 08:59PM | 0 recs
People like Buchanan

would say "Detroit wasn't 90% black in 1950"

His belief would be "As Detroit became less white, it became less wealthy"

I would argue the other way around.

I come from the only county in the country where blacks have a higher average income than whites, so "African-American" does not cause poverty.

Any guesses as to where I'm from?

by DTOzone 2009-02-24 01:32AM | 0 recs
Re: People like Buchanan

Prince George's County, Maryland?

by Baltimore 2009-02-24 06:48AM | 0 recs
Even Safire thinks Buchanan's crazed!

William Safire, scion of the right, worked side-by-side with Pat ("the Nazi") Buchanan back when both were speechwriters in the Nixon White House.

Let me paraphrase something Safire was quoted as saying about Buchanan and his this instance, it was about anti-semitism: 'On an anti-semitism scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being Adolf Hitler...Buchanan's about a 7.'

And, the guy has always been more of a bigot against African Americans than he has been against Jews.

The fact that the MSM gives Buchanan a bully pulpit and resultant, ongoing credibility is nothing short of an outrage of the highest order. The MSM wouldn't think twice about tanking someone like Reverend Wright...100 times over...but, when it comes to someone like Buchanan, who's been quoted hundreds of times making statements like this, they freakin' pay the guy to show the fuck up and rant?

What the fuck is wrong with this picture?

by bobswern 2009-02-23 08:57PM | 0 recs
There is an answer...

Pat Buchanan may be a racist, in which case he is not interested in an answer.  But his target audience will be interested in the answer.

In my opinion, the answer is an examination of what happens when you take all the healthy young men/women out of a society, and transplant them somewhere else.  Both the community that loses the young men/women, and the young men/women become worse off than before.  The reverse of "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts" also holds

Thus, the statement

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.
is misleading (even if it were technically accurate, which it is not).

It is misleading because at least some of the current misery in Africa can be traced back to the removal of a generation of slaves from within.

It has happened with other communities as well..

But I am just an armchair historian... I am hoping someone else can dig out the details on that.

by Ravi Verma 2009-02-23 09:02PM | 0 recs

My family didn't arrive until the 1920s, so I'm not guilty of committing the atrocities against African-Americans and others. And even though my Belgian ancestors may have had some connection to some atrocities of their own in Africa, I'm not guilty of those, either. I'm my own person. I'm not my ancestors.

But I do have a responsibility as a result of what they've done and what my country has done. It's my responsibility to make sure that we've learned from those mistakes and never sink to that level again. It's my responsibility to help to improve the lives of those who are still feeling the repercussions of past injustices.

The Pat Buchanans of the world say that if it's not their fault, then it's not their problem. They didn't cause the centuries of suffering for African-Americans, so it's not up to them to make things better now. They don't feel guilty, and they think that it's just "white guilt" that's driving us liberals.

Speaking for myself, I don't feel guilty, not at all. Instead, I feel an incredible sense of responsibility, to grow and learn and do better than the very flawed people that came before me. I'm responsible for learning from history, and I've learned that compassion for everyone is what previous generations lacked, and that improving the lives of others will improve my life too.

It's late and I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that's how I've always looked at it. When you're walking through the woods and you find a campfire that wasn't properly extinguished, you don't get to say, "Well, I didn't do it, it's not my fault." You still have a responsibility to do something about it.

by Fitzy 2009-02-23 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'


However, through all the obvious bullshit he spews, he makes an enormously valid point.

If we are going to have a "conversation" about race, that conversation, in whatever form it takes, must be a two-way conversation.

I am not endorsing anything Pat Buchanan has to say, and especially not in this realm.  However, there is no doubt that his views are shared by a substantial plurality in this Nation.  Even the author of the article I am responding to, endorses the idea that these Buchananista ideas are widely held; the author quotes them as though they were established memes.

My only point is that as we discuss race, and any other likely flashpoint for disagreement, we should make a point of listening even to people we disagree with.  We should do so, not to endorse their views, but to give them an airing, and to give others the airing they would not give us for the last eight years, in particular.  These folks should be given not only a hearing, but the feeling that they have had one.

If their ideas are racist, or otherwise divorced from reality, those ideas should be rejected for their lack of moral and factual basis, and not with verbal (or real) brickbats.

Whether it's race, or other political issues, we need to talk, maybe over a drink or a meal, and move on.  We are all Americans.



by jfrankesq 2009-02-24 02:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'


Many of the people holding these ideas are not racist.  They should be treated and listened to with respect.

On the other hand, many people holding these ideas are David Duke racists.  They should be rejected and laughed at for the poisoned clowns they are.

Also, as to affirmative action, how about Robert Reich's idea? Make it based on economics, and not race.

Given that African Americans are often the most economically discriminated-against minority, doesn't an economic-based affirmative action program effectively still focus on African Americans (or women who earn only a percentage of what men earn for the same job, or Native Americans, etc), who are getting screwed in this economy?

There is a valid point made when it is pointed out that children of educated affluent African Americans do not need, and perhaps should not receive the "leg up" affirmative action was designed to provide.

If the point of affirmative action is to equalize opportunity in the economy, then implementing it along the lines of something like skin color that logically is irrelevant to the economy makes no sense.  Implementing it according to economic disadvantage makes more sense.  Again, given that economic disadvantage often correlates strongly with skin color, unfortunately, this would seem the more logically unassailable way to "mend not end" affirmative action.

It would also drive Buchanan nuts.  He and his cronies would have that much less to bitch about.


by jfrankesq 2009-02-24 02:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

Although I agree with that approach, I am not sure the government holds the power to regulate commerce in this manner.  Affirmative action was implemented as a remedy to discrimination based on a suspect classification.  That would not apply to economic affirmative action.  And I doubt the current supreme court would read the commerce clause broadly enough to approve this approach.

by orestes 2009-02-24 06:04AM | 0 recs
Economics and not race

A good principle. But transitioning from race to economics requires some understanding that you needed to break down the structural barriers that systematically kept blacks out of elite institutions at all levels until anti-discrimination law and affirmative action came into play.

The evil of Plessy v. Ferguson was not so much in the principle of 'separate but equal' but in the knowledge by all concerned that there never would be equality of resources, white schools and neighborhoods always getting better funding and services than black equivalents.

Something that is still true even where the segregation is mostly self-segregation. As long as we live in a society where business opportunities are controlled in large part by who you know or who your parents now you just don't get the level playing field needed to implement Reich's vision in a truly fair way.

by Bruce Webb 2009-02-24 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

While I don't see the direct connection between Mr. Buchanan's comments and those of that CNBC dork, let me just say what an unfathomable prick this man is.

Yeah, I just don't see why black people don't come up off the street and out of the woodwork to thank me for all I've done for them.

I keep thinking he must be joking, but I know he's not. The guy from CNBC was audacious and obnoxious, esp. since he's working with the industry that started the whole mess and has been subsidized a lot more than "the losers" ever will be... Mr. Buchanan's words are just so pugnacious and offensive, it leaves me speechless.

What wasn't this guy thinking?

Also, I just want to state for the record that this Catholic Citizen has never heard of the "Catholic Citizens."

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-02-24 02:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

It is hard to believe I am reading stuff like this thirty years after the Nixon-Reagan southern strategy to incorporate antiBlack racism in the Republican agenda.

by MainStreet 2009-02-24 03:41AM | 0 recs
Were introduced to the Christian salvation

Does that not contradict the central premise of this racist rant.

by ann0nymous 2009-02-24 04:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

I suspect I understand why Buchanan is bringing up these points. Many white people are sick and tired of being beat up for something they had nothing to do with. I never owned slaves. I never told someone they couldn't eat at my restaurant. I never said your kids can't go to the same school as mine. I've never turned someone down for a job because they were black. But because I'm a white male, I'm the bad guy, and have a responsibility and duty to help everybody else because...why is it again? Because I have benefitted from "the system"? I was born white and male. I can't help that. What were you born with that has benefitted you? Are you smart? Musically or artistically talented? Socially talented? Do you owe the rest of society because you have benefitted from the circumstances of your birth?

I acknowledge that there is inequity in our society, and I benefit from it because of my sex and race. I wish this wasn't true, but it is - and I'm willing to make a good-faith effort to try to even things out. I will go to the classes at work that talk about I have to be sensitive to everyone else, but no one has to return the favor to me. I'll vote for affirmative action policies that might benefit my neighbor's kids at the expense of mine. I'll do these things because I'm a good liberal, and I beleive they are the right thing to do. But speaking bluntly, if you are going to treat me like the bad guy anyway, I may as well act the part. I'm guilty either way, right?

Buchanan is tapping into this undercurrent of frustration in the white community. They feel like they are being punished for something they had nothing to do with, and let me tell you, if your goal is to have the races get along better, this is not the way to go about it.

This is what a real conversation about race looks like, by the way. You may not like everything you read.

by pneuma 2009-02-24 04:52AM | 0 recs
What I don't get

is I've never felt like I was being punished for anything and no black person has ever treated me like I'm some bad guy, unless I actually did something bad to them.

Making a good faith effort to try to even things out is all anyone ever asks.

by DTOzone 2009-02-24 05:05AM | 0 recs
Re: What I don't get

I used to ride the train to work in St. Louis wearing a tie. I learned the hard way never to make eye contact with any young black men. Something about the tie just set a small minority of them off.

by pneuma 2009-02-24 05:22AM | 0 recs
Different parts of the country I guess

where I come from, that almost never happens.

by DTOzone 2009-02-24 05:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Different parts of the country I guess

St. Louis has a pretty bad history of racial segregation.

by pneuma 2009-02-24 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

And it's important to remember that it is working class white Americans who ultimately bore/bear the cost of affrimative action.  They are the ones whose opportunities The bourgeois and privileged have not felt the impact over the past 40 years the way the working class has.  

by orestes 2009-02-24 06:43AM | 0 recs
What cost?

Are you seriously suggesting that Affirmative Action had that much of a crowding out effect?

Friend though working class whites may not be aware of it in the past they too were systematically excluded from elite institutions. It was just a little more silent. I spent a few years in a then small Indiana town which had before WWII been overwhelmingly white and whose livelihoods depended on serving the farms around. Then they opened a tire factory and imported most of a town in West Virginia to staff it. Yet even in the 80's you had the more prosperous people living literally north of the tracks and the poorer factory workers living south of the tracks. Almost everyone was white yet there was relatively little mixing and business deals continued to be made at the Elks Club (which also had a golf course).

To the extent that affirmative action helped break down the Good Old Boys system that dominated the US it helped working class whites as well.

Maybe they should go up and thank the civil rights leadership rather than the other way around. When Pat was growing up there were schools that effectively barred Catholics and Jews or at least limited their opportunities. To some degree the generation of working class whites that came after him silently benefited.

by Bruce Webb 2009-02-24 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: What cost?

My statement was pretty clear- the costs of affirmative action were/are borne by working class and poor white people.  Your example supports my point.  The privileged white people retained their connections, etc. to education, business, etc.  The opportunities for AA's created through affirmative action came largely at the expense of working class whites.  That doesn't mean affirmative action has not been a good thing.  In the spirit of the earlier comment, I think the effects of affirmative action on working class whites must be acknowledged.

by orestes 2009-02-24 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

I used to ride the train to work in St. Louis wearing a tie. I learned the hard way never to make eye contact with any young black men. Something about the tie just set a small minority of them off.

by pneuma 2009-02-24 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

Replied to the wrong comment, please disregard.

by pneuma 2009-02-24 05:22AM | 0 recs
No arguement

No argument on Buchanon and you may be right about Santelli. However, linking Santelli with Buchanon simply because he doesn't want his tax dollars used to pay the mortgages of people who can't afford their house any longer is a huge leap.

by tpeichel 2009-02-24 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

I am sorry but I have trouble dealing with the whole white ethnic strategy argument.  Certainly Nixon, Reagan, and the Bushes won their elections but none of the other Republicans did.  All the various areas-white neighborhoods, African-American neighborhoods, suburbs-may have hated each other, but they still voted for the same party.  The Democrats remained the majority party until 1994, and even then it was more a matter of them losing their majority than the Republicans gaining theirs.  On the presidential level, it may well be the lackluster quality of the Democratic candidates for President that was the factor in the situation.  Which, in turn, leads to...

Frankly speaking, Democrats, liberals, and leftists did'nt do anything for anybody except the very poor and the persecuted groups after 1960.  It was not just a matter of redressing the balance, no they did not want to do anything for anybody else.  However,(a) many people in the other groups were still not well; (b) America still did not have universal social services; (c) those universal social services and a mixed economy would, if put into place, help the poor and the oppressed groups more than targeted programs would.  This stated from a person who still supports Affirmative Action and all the rest of their ilk.
Finally, Sugrue and co. are not the greatest of historians.  Their basic history is reasonably well stated and taken, but the global interpretations go too far.  They fail to account for the pecularities and the "friction" of history, such as bigoted people nevertheless voting for tolerant candidates-a variety, in turn, of the old adage of people saying one thing and doing another.  One cannot help but feel, in turn, that this is a result of them being old New Leftists, still consumed with a hatred of the whole society, including the working class, on the grounds that it is hopelessly evil.  And actually this hatred for the working class on the part of the left is a much greater reason for the political disasters of late 20th century America than white backlash.
I just hope that these comments are taken in the spirit offered.  One does not deny bigotry, one is just unsure of it's political impact.        

by demjim 2009-02-24 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'
     Has Buchanan, as a descendent of Irish Catholics, ever expressed the idea that Irish Catholics should feel "gratitude" to the Anglo-Saxon Protestants who founded this country?
     To be clear, I don't think any ethnic group owes a debt of gratitude to any other ethnic group for its role in building America. All of us have profited by the efforts of everyone. But since Buchanan appears to think that African Americans should show gratitude to those whose institutions first enslaved their ancestors and then treated them as inferior beings, I wonder whether he has ever expressed any gratitude toward Anglo-Saxon Protestants, some of whom put "Help Wanted: Irish Need Not Apply" signs in their windows.
     Why is this man constantly on television? Has anyone ever said to herself, "I wonder what Pat Buchanan thinks about this issue"? Everything he has ever said marks him as a knee-jerk racist bigot. I guess it's because he so perfectly represents the modern conservative movement.
by Ron Thompson 2009-02-24 06:17AM | 0 recs
Let the frank discussion begin

Mr. Buchannan presents some facts.  Those facts should be examined and challenged as to their veracity, and put into the broader context of other facts.

I wouldn't describe his comments as a rant.  Just a very one-sided argument.

by activatedbybush 2009-02-24 06:19AM | 0 recs
African-American incomes way up in 1940s

and probably from mid-30s. The 1950s was when a general slowing of growth hurt black workers.

. . . Beginning in the mid-1930s, African Americans gained greater inclusion in the union movement. By that point, it was clear that black workers were entrenched in manufacturing, and that any broad-based organizing effort would have to include them. . . .

. . . Table 4 provides annual earnings figures for black and white men and women from 1939 (recorded in the 1940 Census) to 1989 (recorded in the 1990 Census). The big gains of the 1940s, both in level of earnings and in the black/white income ratio, are very obvious. . . .  much of the improvement in the black/white pay ratio in this decade simply reflects ongoing migration: blacks were leaving the South, a low-wage region, and entering the North, a high-wage region. Some of the improvement reflects access to new jobs and industries for black workers, due to the tight labor markets and antidiscrimination efforts of the war years.

. . . The GI Bill, passed in 1944, provided large subsidies to help pay the expenses of World War II veterans who wanted to attend college. This policy helped a generation of men further their education and get a college degree. So strong labor demand, government policies that raised wages at the bottom, and a rising supply of well-educated workers meant that less-educated, less-skilled workers received particularly large wage increases in the 1940s. Because African Americans were concentrated among the less-educated, low-earning workers, these general economic forces were especially helpful to African Americans and served to raise their pay relative to that of whites.

The effect of these broader forces on racial inequality helps to explain the contrast between the 1940s and 1950s evident in Table 4. The black-white pay ratio may have actually fallen a bit for men in the 1950s, and it rose much more slowly in the 1950s than in the 1940s for women. Some of this slowdown in progress reflects weaker labor markets in general, which reduced black access to new jobs. In addition, the general narrowing of the wage distribution that occurred in the 1940s stopped in the 1950s. Less-educated, lower-paid workers were no longer getting particularly large pay increases. As a result, blacks did not gain ground on white workers.

by fairleft 2009-02-24 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: African-American incomes way up in 1940s

link: ey.african.american

by fairleft 2009-02-24 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

Well, on the plus side, at least we haven't heard a predictable comment from "Gen Sherman" - was he finally banned (I hope)?

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-02-24 06:39AM | 0 recs
What's in it for me?

There was a story in the Boston Globe on Saturday ( inance/articles/2009/02/22/bailout_lamen t_what_about_me/ ) about folks who feel they played by the rules and aren't getting any help while people who made "bad" decisions are getting bailed out.  I think Buchanan is playing to this meme.  We've had at least two black churches in Massachusetts victimized by arson since the election.  We can't discount racist attitudes.

The backlash is forming.  The Republicans will try and play to it.  I don't think it'll have the impact that the '70s backlash to the '60s Civil Rights Movement had.  For one thing, the current economic situation is the result of Republican corporatist policies rather than a Great Society program.  For another I think we've had significant progress in the last thirty years on race.  Not perfect but significant enough that the ethnic warfare meme has lost its bite.

We do have to be vigilant and attack it early.  The media won't be much help.

by granty43 2009-02-24 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Pat Buchanan Speaks for 'White America'

Let's hear from an American

You notice Pat always leaves out all of the generations of institutionalized bigotry, hate, murders, rapes, forced Homosexual acts, pedophilia and lynching, castrations and general mutilations and inbred disunity.

He believes all is forgotten, because his great white founders created this utopia for whites only, all while holding slaves and fought tooth and nail to keep it all white, including a century (s) of Plessey V. Ferguson and still more of Jim Crow laws, no wealth transfer for generations, little education and laws having to be changed, just go to church oh and the reason we have black this and black that is because we couldn't attend a church with whites and it still is to this day the most segregated hours in America... still.

I agree let's have a two way conversation, I'll bring my black guilt and black shame to the table and white's can bring their white guilt and white shame, let's talk.

by Ministerbruce 2009-02-24 11:59AM | 0 recs


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