According to Pat Buchanan, “whites are the only group that you can discriminate against legally in America now.” He made the claim during a McLaughlin Group discussion on Affirmative Action aired on Friday.
Of course, this isn’t surprising considering it comes from a man who once said: “This has been a country basically built by white folks.” or once declared that fascist Francisco Franco is a Catholic “savior” and considered both Franco and Chile’s military dictator Pinochet “soldier patriots”
Buchanan’s white supremacist views as expressed in his book, Suicide of a Superpower, cost him his job at MSNBC in 2012, but he remains a fixture on The McLaughlin Group.
Transcript (via Newsbusters)
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Are you saying college admissions should be based on diversity?
ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK/DAILY BEAST: Yeah, I mean, I think lots of factors go into diversity. I think race can be one of them, and I think the Supreme Court so far agrees with that.
MCLAUGHLIN: 67 percent opposed it, 28, you’re in the minority. Only 28 percent are in favor of it.
PAT BUCHANAN: It should be based on excellence, John.
CLIFT: As long as the Supreme Court agrees with me, I’m fine.
BUCHANAN: It should be like the NFL: whoever’s the best player plays, and whoever does best academically should be advanced. What is wrong with that?
MICHELLE BERNARD: Here’s a question I have. One of the things I always say because I think you can measure diversity in a lot of ways, but I think there’s an argument to be said that the greatest Affirmative Action program that there is in the country is being born white. There is a natural assumption when you are applying to institutions of higher education that you are excellent or you are more superb than others.
BUCHANAN: With due respect, whites are the only group that you can discriminate against legally in America now.
Of course, to people like Buchanan affirmative action and merit are mutually exclusive. He also didn’t offer examples to prove that it’s legal to discriminate against whites because there aren’t any. Even for Buchanan this is an over the top statement. In fact, his own comments when discussing stop and frisk a week earlier on the same program prove that even Buchanan doesn’t believe Buchanan.
It’s ridiculous… But John [McLaughlin], here is the point — 83 percent of the stop-and-frisk are black and Hispanics. But something like 96 percent of your robberies, cabby shootings, muggings are done by black and Hispanic folks. Do they profile them? Yes, they profile them, but they profile young people. Is that ageism? They profile not women, but men and they profile blacks and Hispanics because they are responsible. Young blacks and Hispanics are responsible for 96 percent of the crime. Excuse me, but you go where the ducks are. (my emphasis)
Everyone knows that stop and frisk legalizes racial profiling of young blacks and Hispanics. Buchanan and other apologists for stop and frisk don’t dispute that. They merely attempt to justify it. At any rate, by justifying a law that clearly discriminates against blacks and Hispanics, Buchanan discredited his later dog whistle.
Additional facts that disprove his claim may confuse Pat Buchanan, but I’m going to point them out anyway.
In recent rulings, the Supreme Court weakened laws designed to protect the rights of blacks and Hispanics. First, the SCOTUS punted an affirmative action case involving the University of Texas back to the lower courts in June; Justice Kennedy also instructed the University of Texas must show “that available, workable, race-neutral alternatives do not suffice.”
Days later, it overturned section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and left it to congress to come up with a new pre-clearance formula.
Since the SCOTUS overturned the preclearance formula in the VRA, red states competed to see who could come up with the most oppressive vote suppression law – a race that newly red North Carolina won.
Stand your ground defenses tend to work more favorably for whites when the victim is black or Hispanic than for blacks and Hispanics when the victim is white. As Keith Brekhus wrote about the grim statistics in Florida:
Although blacks who kill other blacks are found justified under “Stand Your Ground” 73 percent of the time, whites who kill blacks are deemed to be justified in killing the black person 86 percent of the time. When the victim is black and killed by a white or a Hispanic (like Zimmerman) the murder is considered justified 90 percent of the time in the state of Florida. By contrast, when the victim is white and killed by a non-white (black or Hispanic) person, the murder is considered justified just 60 percent of the time.
We can also look at the fact that blacks and Hispanics are punished more severely for the same or similar crimes than their white counterparts.
People like Pat Buchanan are so desperate to cling to white privilege that facts confuse them and sometimes they confuse themselves.
Image: Originally produced for Media Matters by Rob Tornoe
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.