July 26, 2009

Buchanan's intellectual dishonesty

A good response to Pat Buchanan's claims in Buchanan:  US "Built by White Folks":

The intellectual dishonesty of Pat BuchananBuchanan claimed: White men were 100% of people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg

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.
Comment:  Taking down conservative racists like Buchanan is like shooting fish in a refrigerator, obviously. In other words, much easier than shooting fish in a barrel.

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:[I]f she has Pat Buchanan on again, he should be balanced out more with another guest...a street fighter type of arguer who’s prepared to get down and dirty and can dial up the response more towards the “I’ll kick your ass” level.Yep, I'd say conservatives need to get their asses kicked on racial issues again and again until they're whipped like curs. This probably won't change their views, but at least they'll be afraid to parade them in public. They'll stay in their hidey-holes with their fellow Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and Christian patriots and leave the rest of us alone.

For more on the subject, see Teabaggers Support Racial Imagery and Racist "Jokes" Are No Jokes.


dmarks said...

"and it's important to know what today's conservatives are "thinking"?"

Or what they are not thinking. There's a major separation between Pat Buchanan and the conservative movement. Not a complete separation (I wish Buchanan were more marginalized), but it is there.

Stephen said...

What to do about him? Easy; ignore him, there's no point in giving that idiot any attention, boycotts and what not only feed the beast.

Anonymous said...

Although I hate to admit it, but Uncle Pat's racist blathers is protected by Free Speech. Banning him from MSNBC or any other cable news altogether network undermines our First Amendment. Boycotting a program doesn't really help either. As Stephen pointed out--
Just "ignore him".

Also, another interesting fact in the building of this great Nation, remember that the Mohawks helped build some of the world's tallest skyscrapers in New York. And I'm sure there's also significant numbers of Nativez who served in WW2, particularly against Japan.


dmarks said...

Anon: Rob never mentioned censoring Buchanan from MSNBC, so I don't think it is an issue.

Sometimes people do get ejected from there. Remember when Michael Weiner (of "Savage Nation" fame)had a one-hour prime time show. He went too far, and was quickly out of there.

Anonymous said...

I never said anything about Rob censoring those he disagrees with. And I don't really know why you bothered making that an "issue" in itself. I merely reminded everyone of the First Amendment and I'm sure you know that already.


dmarks said...

OK, ok....

Stephen said...

Savage is at least entertaining, Buchanan's about as fun to listen to as a dial tone.

aw said...

There's a major separation between Pat Buchanan and the conservative movement.

He doesn't like the neo-cons (because they're too pro-Jewish). That's why there's a separation -- not because of his bigotry and lies, which are of the kind they embrace.

dmarks said...

The separation is also because of his bigotry and lies. That's a big part of it. Not many conservatives are pro-Hitler or antisemitic. That is, outside of the Buchanan wing.

Buchanan also thinks that trade decisions should be made by Washington, while conservatives and many liberals believe they should be made by the people doign the trading. The trade issue is a big difference between conservatives and Buchanan.

aw said...

Not many conservatives are pro-Hitler or antisemitic.

That's true. But as for anti-Hispanic prejudice... Remember "The Browning of America"? How different are Buchanan's comments about Sotomayor, from those of Michelle Malkin?