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“White men were 100% of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100% of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100% of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks.” – Pat Buchanan
Rachel Maddows does a great job of calling the bigoted Buchanan out on this statement on her show:
As addendum, what’s funny is that ‘whiteness’ is a construct that did not exist in the historic time-frame that Buchanan cites. Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans were certainly not considered ‘white’ at the writing of the Consititution or the Battle of Normandy. Ironically, it isn’t until the otherization and exclusion of Chinese immigrants that ‘whiteness’ emerges in the United States in tune with the concept of ‘illegal immigration.’ Anyone who pours over historical newspaper archives, would discover how Chinese immigration was set apart from ‘regular immigration’ and marked for exclusion.
That has been the history of this country–labeling bodies, putting new immigrants into categories and then marking them as various deviants of the law while the labels and categories shift over time. Buchanan is seemingly ignorant of this. For him, immigration is Meximmigration, illegal immigration is our biggest foreign policy crisis, and a white minority scares him to death.
While Maddows apologizes for the inaccurate statements delivered on MSNBC by Pat Buchanan, extremist ideologues like him should not even appear on the mainstream show. At the same time, he does provide us a reminder that bigoted and racist views still thrive as truths in some segments of the population. We can have him around for entertainment purposes.