Responding to columnist Eugene Robinson's statement that “I can't think of a whole lot of situations where there's an actual clash between Latino and African American issues,” Pat Buchanan cited gang wars “in South Central L.A.” and “in the prisons” as evidence that tensions between African Americans and Latinos would affect voting in the Democratic primary. Buchanan said, “I regret to say you're mistaken about the African-American community and the Hispanics. South Central L.A., there is a turf war going on. There's a war in the prisons. People who don't understand that don't understand America, I'm sorry to say.”
During MSNBC's coverage of the South Carolina Democratic primary, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said, “I can't think of a whole lot of situations where there's an actual clash between Latino and African American issues.” He added, “I think there is a perception that they're at odds, but I don't think they really are to that extent.” Following Robinson's comments, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough asked MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan, “Final grim thoughts for us tonight?” In response, Buchanan cited gang wars “in South Central L.A. [Los Angeles]” and “in the prisons” as evidence that tensions between African Americans and Latinos would affect voting in the Democratic primary. Buchanan said: “I regret to say you are mistaken about the African American community and the Hispanics. South Central L.A., there is a turf war going on. There's a war in the prisons.” Buchanan continued, “People who don't understand that don't understand America, I'm sorry to say.”
Buchanan recently claimed that the phrase “Sí, se puede” -- the motto of the United Farm Workers, often translated as “Yes, we can” -- is “the cause of the illegal immigration movement and the amnesty movement.” He has also previously predicted that immigration will result in the "complete balkanization of America." Further, he has claimed that illegal immigration constitutes an invasion of the United States of America and that it threatens to reduce America to "a polyglot boarding house for the world, a tangle of squabbling minorities."
From the 10 p.m. ET hour of MSNBC's January 26 coverage of the South Carolina Democratic primary:
HOWARD FINEMAN (Newsweek senior Washington correspondent): If you listen to [Sen. Barack] Obama's [D-IL] speech very carefully tonight, one of the things he kept saying was, “yes, we can.” And, as Pat pointed out, “Sí, se puede,” that's the Spanish for “yes, we can.” That's the farm workers' slogan. Well, the United Farm Workers, the farm workers' union, has endorsed [Sen.] Hillary [Rodham] Clinton [D-NY]. And talking tonight to one of the major Hispanic pollsters, a guy who really knows the Latino community -- he has just completed a poll of the Super Tuesday states with the largest number of Hispanics, and those are California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Arizona is the fifth one. In those five states, according to his poll, Hillary leads among Hispanic Democrats by 4-to-1. That is a powerful number. Now, Obama's campaign is fully aware of this. You heard him talk about how hard he worked with Hispanic organizers on the streets of Chicago. David Axelrod, his campaign manager, knows a lot about this. The next link in the chain for Obama has got to be Latino voters because they are now -- the Latinos are now the largest minority group in the country. They don't vote in that number, but they're incredibly important, and the next challenge Obama has, aside from winning delegates on February 5, is to cut into that 4-to-1 number that Hillary has right now. Hillary's got the mayor of Los Angeles, she's got Senator [Robert] Menendez [D] from New Jersey. But you watch Obama over the next 10 days. He's going to be focusing like a laser on Hispanic voters because that's going to have to be key part of his constituency.
MARGARET CARLSON (Bloomberg News columnist): This is one reason -- remember a few months ago Obama wasn't black enough? That was his problem. Well, the Clintons made him black enough to make Hispanics, which are up for grabs, 4-to-1 for her. And it is crucial in California with 400 delegates --
SCARBOROUGH: Aren't the two groups mutually exclusive?
CARLSON: Well, they're -- you know, in a speech Obama gave on Sunday, he said, you know, we've been competitors whereas we should be colleagues and fight together. But in the small -- in the crumbs thereafter, they've been competitive with each other for what's out there, and so they have seemed that way. But they are not.
SCARBOROUGH: Gene, can you explain that to me?
ROBINSON: Well, yeah, I mean, I think there's more perception of a competition than there really is. I mean, if you look, for example, in cities, I can't think of a whole lot of situations where there's an actual clash between Latino and African-American issues. I mean -- and I can't think of a city where there's not, you know, coalitions that form at times in order to, you know, just to make the cities work. So I don't -- you know, I think there's a perception that they're at odds, but I don't think they really are to that extent. I mean, we'll see.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, quickly, final word to you tonight. You have grabbed the cloak -- the crown of the Prince of Darkness from Bob Novak. Final grim thoughts for us tonight?
BUCHANAN: I regret to say you're mistaken about the African-American community and the Hispanics. South Central L.A., there is a turf war going on. There's a war in the prisons. People who don't understand that don't understand America, I'm sorry to say.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, thank you so much. Greatly appreciate that, Pat.
BUCHANAN: That positive ending.
SCARBOROUGH: That was decidedly grim.