Pat Buchanan: Minorities Aren't “Bad For The Country,” But...

Pat Buchanan doesn't think “minorities are bad for the country.” At least that's what he claimed last night on Fox News. In an interview with Sean Hannity to discuss his new book, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, Buchanan expanded on part of the book's premise, that America is “disintegrating” because “white America is an endangered species.” Though he claimed that minorities aren't “bad for the country,” the America of 2041 Buchanan sketched is one that is bankrupt economically, confounded by crime and lawlessness, and where English is a second language.

Here is Buchanan trying to explain the main points in the chapter of his book titled, “The End of White America”:

HANNITY: I want you to explain it in your words 'cause I think people will interpret it, Pat -- is that, oh, so white America's going, so that means the end of America? Are you saying that minorities are bad for the country.

BUCHANAN: No, not at all. No, not at all. But the title is taken from the title of an article, cover article in Atlantic Magazine, exactly, “The End Of White America.” What does it mean -- and the fellow wrote it about what does it mean for the culture? And so, I looked at it from what does it mean for the United States of America when white Americans in 2041 become a minority in the country along with Asians-American minority, African-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans. And you try to envisualize what's going to happen. And America's gonna look very much like California right now. And what does that mean?

California is bankrupt. It's bond rating is the lowest of any place. Los Angeles, half the people there don't speak English as -- in their own homes -- 5 million people. And you've got all the problems of crimes. You've got a black-brown war among the underclass, as one sheriff described it, in the prisons and in the gangs. And people are leaving California. And it's the old tax consumers are coming in.

Now, these are not bad or evil people. Even the ones who are illegal. They're coming to work, many of them. They're coming for a better life. But the truth is they are bankrupting the state of California because of that divide you mentioned between taxpayers and tax consumers. And what happens when all of America is like that, when every American city is like LA?

Buchanan added: “What California is today, America is in 2041 if we don't change course.”

How else would one interpret those words if not: "[M]inorities are bad for the country" unless there are more white people?

Indeed, Buchanan goes even further later in the discussion, complaining:

BUCHANAN: Republicans can't win California today. It's not because the people are evil, but they are Democratic. They depend on government. They believe in government, and they vote for the party of government. When Texas goes the same way -- and whites are a minority in Texas -- when it becomes predominantly overwhelmingly Hispanic, it is going to become predominantly Democratic. That's the end of the Republican Party.

Buchanan concluded by suggesting “a moratorium on immigration.” There's no clearer indication of what Buchanan thinks of minorities and immigrants than his remarks to Sean Hannity.

Buchanan has a long history of bigotry. He has been warning that America will become “a Third World country” since at least 1990 when he warned about the “Euro-Americans ... who founded the United States” becoming the minority.

And his call to end all immigration is something Buchanan has been calling for, for years, as well. In his 2006 book, State of Emergency, for example, Buchanan wrote:

  • “This [immigration] is an invasion, the greatest invasion in history.” [p. 5]
  • “We are witnessing how nations perish. We are entered upon the final act of our civilization. The last scene is the deconstruction of the nations. The penultimate scene, now well underway, is the invasion unresisted.” [p. 6]
  • “The first imperative is an immediate moratorium on all immigration, such as the one we imposed from 1924 to 1965. ... But even with a moratorium, success is not assured.” [p. 250-251]

During the Fox News discussion, Buchanan said he named “The End of White America” chapter of his book after an Atlantic Magazine article. But the author of the Atlantic article of the same name arrived at a conclusion that was the exact opposite of Buchanan's. In the January/February 2009 issue of the magazine, Vassar College English professor Hua Hsu wrote:

This vision of the aggrieved white man lost in a world that no longer values him was given its most vivid expression in the 1993 film Falling Down. Michael Douglas plays Bill Foster, a downsized defense worker with a buzz cut and a pocket protector who rampages through a Los Angeles overrun by greedy Korean shop-owners and Hispanic gangsters, railing against the eclipse of the America he used to know. (The film came out just eight years before California became the nation's first majority-minority state.) Falling Down ends with a soulful police officer apprehending Foster on the Santa Monica Pier, at which point the middle-class vigilante asks, almost innocently: "I'm the bad guy?"

BUT THIS IS a nightmare vision. Of course most of America's Bill Fosters aren't the bad guys--just as civilization is not, in the words of Tom Buchanan, “going to pieces” and America is not, in the phrasing of Pat Buchanan, going “Third World.” The coming white minority does not mean that the racial hierarchy of American culture will suddenly become inverted, as in 1995's White Man's Burden, an awful thought experiment of a film, starring John Travolta, that envisions an upside-down world in which whites are subjugated to their high-class black oppressors. There will be dislocations and resentments along the way, but the demographic shifts of the next 40 years are likely to reduce the power of racial hierarchies over everyone's lives, producing a culture that's more likely than any before to treat its inhabitants as individuals, rather than members of a caste or identity group.

Hsu concluded:

[W]e aspire to be post-racial, but we still live within the structures of privilege, injustice, and racial categorization that we inherited from an older order. We can talk about defining ourselves by lifestyle rather than skin color, but our lifestyle choices are still racially coded. We know, more or less, that race is a fiction that often does more harm than good, and yet it is something we cling to without fully understanding why -- as a social and legal fact, a vague sense of belonging and place that we make solid through culture and speech.

But maybe this is merely how it used to be -- maybe this is already an outdated way of looking at things. “You have a lot of young adults going into a more diverse world,” Carter remarks. For the young Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s, culture is something to be taken apart and remade in their own image. “We came along in a generation that didn't have to follow that path of race,” he goes on. “We saw something different.” This moment was not the end of white America; it was not the end of anything. It was a bridge, and we crossed it.