The intellectual dishonesty of Pat Buchanan
In the strictest sense, this claim is not true--at least one black solider was killed at Gettysburg. But even though the claim is nearly true, it's intellectually dishonest to claim that it is relevant.
The implicit argument offered by Buchanan is that African-Americans sat on the sidelines during the Civil War. The reality, however, is that by the end of the war, 10% of the Union army was black.
Buchanan claimed: White men were close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy
As the above picture shows, Buchanan's claim is wrong. Not only did 2,000 African-Americans storm the beaches of Normandy, but 1.2 million blacks served in World War II. Moreover, it's important to remember that during this time, black soldiers were segregated from white. So even if Buchanan's claim were true, the reason would have been traceable to institutionalized racism, not the moral superiority of white people.
Buchanan claimed: This has been a country built, basically, by white folks
Buchanan primarily based this assertion on the above two claims plus the obviously true claim that the authors of the Constitution and the signers of the Declaration of Independence were white men.
Aside from the intellectual dishonesty of his military claims, Buchanan ignores the massive contributions of non-whites to America's development. He offers no recognition to the slaves whose labor was essential for such a long period of time and he fails to address contributions made by other immigrant groups such as Chinese-Americans who helped build the rail system, or Latinos who are an important part of the agricultural economy today.
Perhaps the more interesting question is what to do about crazy Uncle Pat? Should we protest or boycott MSNBC for giving this bigot a platform to spew his white supremacist rubbish? Or should we accept his presence because he represents the tip of the racist iceberg and it's important to know what today's conservatives are "thinking"?
I'd go for whichever approach would lessen the racism in this country. Lacking evidence on which way is best, I tend to agree with the commenter who said:
For more on the subject, see Teabaggers Support Racial Imagery and Racist "Jokes" Are No Jokes.