»  Taki's Magazine

March 1st, 2012

  Firing my Own Bu-cannon

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Having enthused about Pat Buchanan's latest book, and then about the man himself, here on Takimag, I hope the following needs no apology. Pat's mortal like the rest of us, with weaknesses that sometimes disable him. Hey, every rose has a thorn.

Pat's particular weakness showed up in an interview he did with Juan Williams the other day on a website called Fox Latino. If your own preferred internet viewing is Fox Euro, Fox Sino, Fox Islamo, Fox Indo, Fox Lesbo, or one of the other group-identity Fox outlets, you may have missed the interview. It can be seen in its entirety here.

Pat's weakness is scientific ignorance. In among those splendid spirited columns he puts out, there is every so often one railing against "Darwinism," which is to say against the last century and a half of hard-won results from research in biology. Pat favors the supernaturalist mumbo-jumbo of Creationism, which was not hard-won at all, just pulled intact out of William Jennings Bryan's bottom hole.

I don't know why Pat feels the need to pontificate on this. We can't all be interested in everything; but of those areas of human endeavor in which a person has no interest, and has not informed himself, wisdom suggests silence. You can comb through my entire output across the past thirty years (it's all archived) and find not a single opinion about ice hockey. I'm not interested in ice hockey. I don't know anything about it. Nothing; not a thing; diddley-squat. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.

Being ill-informed about biology unfortunately disables a commentator from talking intelligently about race, which is a matter of biology. Hence Pat's inadequate performance in the debate with Juan Williams.

Watching the debate, I found myself inserting my own comments. Here are a few of them. The JW and PJB quotes are in each case from the actual interview (though abbreviated). The JD quote is what I would have said, mainly in answer to Juan Williams' questions. The first question is about 6m20s into the interview. The others are scattered through the remainder.

JW: Let me ask you: Are you a racist, Pat?

PJB: Do I hate black folks? That's what racism means. I hate black folks, I want them discriminated against, I dislike them, I use bad words about them … No! It's not that … (Then Pat speaks against affirmative action & the breakup of our common culture.)

[JD: I honestly have no idea what that word means, and I no longer use it. Since you just did use it, Juan, presumably you do know what it means. So here's a deal: I will answer truthfully any question you care to ask me about my own attitudes, beliefs, and behavior in the matter of race. Then you tell me if I am a racist.]

JW: You say things like "Mexico is moving north." People who are listening, especially people of Latino descent, are thinking "Is Pat afraid of people who are coming from Mexico or who are Latinos?" Do you see those folks as a threat to the American dream?

PJB: (Boilerplate tribute to Mexicans as "hard working" and "friendly." Easy with the stereotypes there, Pat! Then something about the country being likely to break up if tens of millions from another culture move in.)

[JD: Threat to the American Dream? Yes. The Mexicans we're getting are a low-mean-IQ population, from the lower SES levels of a nation that has accomplished nothing in its 500 years of existence. This is bound to degrade the U.S.A.'s human capital. Further, Mexican society is rigidly stratified by race. These low-SES levels are disproportionately Indian and Mestizo, so by admitting them in quantity we are acquiring a new race problem, while we are still struggling with the old one. This is dumb. No, it's beyond dumb; it's insane.]

JW: But Pat, in the 1950s I couldn't be sitting here talking to you, I wouldn't be hired by Fox News, I wouldn't be talking to you for Fox News Latino … My job opportunities, my educational opportunities, my residential opportunities were limited on the basis the color of my skin.

PJB: Exactly. We were divided by race. What was it that made us both Americans? … These are the things we're losing. Look, you had Jewish folks, Irish folks, Greeks, Poles, Slavic folks, all these folks that came over, whose parents or grandparents came over from 1890 to 1920 … They were all Americanized …

[JD: Let's see … "Jewish folks, Irish folks, Greeks, Poles, Slavic folks …" Anything in common among all those folks? Nope, nothing I can see. Not a thing.]

JW: Don't you think that the history of discrimination, particularly in the area of education, but continuing disparities in terms of educational outcomes — in terms of things like income, families, all the rest — the terrible history of slavery and all its consequences — you don't think that's a legitimate factor?

PJB: I think with African Americans it was … but did we enslave Puerto Rican Americans? Did we enslave Mexican Americans? No! Why is someone in Puerto Rico given affirmative action against some guy whose parents are from Portugal? Or from Poland? Why?

[JD: The outcome disparities are a natural and predictable result of differences between the races. Races are big old inbred local branches of the human stock, like dog breeds. They are bound to exhibit different statistical profiles on all kinds of traits, including traits of behavior, intelligence, and personality. Those different profiles cause the observed differences in outcome. They are observed in all multiracial societies, even where no history of slavery or oppression has been present: in Malaysia, for example. They are also observed between geographically separated populations, where there has been no history of mutual oppression: Compare the destinies of (say) Madagascar and (say) Taiwan. Differences in group outcome follow quite directly from basic laws of biology.]

JW: But I'm saying: If you're Puerto Rican, if you're Mexican, if you're from Central America, Latin America, and you come to the United States and you find that there are, given our history, preferences for people who are white in the society … I don't think there's any question …

PJB: Do you think they really loved the Polish folks that came, and the Greeks, and the Portuguese … They were all privileged?

[JD: "Preferences for people who are white in the society?" Which the heck society are you talking about, Juan? All of current American society, from billboard and TV advertisements to affirmative action programs, from crime reporters telling us that "the suspect was described as a tall man in his thirties" or that a gang of raceless "teens" trashed a convenience store, to the media swooning over a dramatically under-qualified presidential candidate because of you-know-what, to the hysteria over "racial profiling" and the incoherent, reality-defying judicial doctrine of "disparate impact," to immigration officers waving in welfare-hungry Somalis, Haitians, Salvadorans, and Mexicans while slamming the door in the face of white South Africans fleeing torture and murder, the entire society has for decades been giving nonwhites every possible break, and then some, all at the expense of whites. "Preferences for people who are white?" Hoo hoo hoo hoo!]

JW: Didn't LBJ say that if you have one guy that's been in chains and held in a dark place and not fed good food, and then you bring him to that starting line …? That is not a fair race, Pat.

PJB: Tell me why, then, African Americans have succeeded. They succeed in Hollywood, they succeed as writers, as journalists, on TV, and they succeed in athletics, obviously disproportionately … They should be given an equal chance. If they don't make it, they don't get in.

[JD: "Been in chains and held in a dark place and not fed good food …" For crying out loud, man, LBJ was speaking half a century ago. Slavery ended a century before that. How long do you think this excuse will keep its power? It's not as though American blacks have been the only people to labor under legal disabilities. The Jews of Europe did so until the 18th century; women did so all over the Western world until the mid-20th. Once the legal disabilities were removed, those groups asserted themselves in a single generation. Slavery was commonplace in the ancient world. Epictetus had been a slave; Saint Patrick had been a slave. Once given their freedom, slaves quickly assumed normal lives. Many American blacks did likewise. That the overall social, educational, criminological, etc. profile of American blacks as a group has remained so distinctive after so many decades, in spite of massive legal favoritism, preferences, and the institutionalization of white guilt, bespeaks intrinsic race differences.]

JW: And you think that if we look at American business, the top of the American structure for law, for medicine, and we see an absence of people of color, that there's no problem there.

PJB: Let's take the biochemistry class. I would assume that anyone that's good in biochemistry will get into that graduate class, and if somebody is kept out because of his race, I would say, when did you do that, look at the grades …

[JD: Correct, Juan. That is no problem. Because of race differences, meritocratic filtering will never deliver equal group outcomes: not in business, not in medicine, not in the NBA, not in homicide statistics. If there's a problem there, it's a problem with reality. Carve it on a board and hang it on the wall: MERITOCRATIC FILTERING WILL NEVER DELIVER EQUAL GROUP OUTCOMES. You can have meritocracy, or you can have equal group outcomes, but you can't have both. Which one do we want?]

JW: But you know, Pat, that historically, people of color were kept out of schools.

PJB: Who was discriminated in the 19th century … The Irish … but also the Japanese and Chinese on the West Coast were brutalized … My sister says she went down to a school to see whether her son was going to go there, she went to check the school out, she went into the library on a Saturday, everybody's out at the big game, cause it's a big football team, and the place was filled up, all of them Asian Americans. So those kids are studying … If they get the grades, then they get the scholarships.

[JD: And now "people of color" are preferentially admitted, with much lower test scores than whites and East Asians, leaving them to struggle in classes where they are out of their depth. How about let's try the one thing we have not yet tried: race-blind meritocratic admissions?]

JW: When you talk about Latinos, about folks who are concerned that there is an anti-immigrant attitude, atmosphere in America these days, with the new laws in Arizona and the like; people who are concerned about this are oftentimes labeled as xenophobic, as racist, as nativist, when you think in fact they have a legitimate concern.

PJB: Well sure … (Proceeds to mention legal immigration! On a website accessible to impressionable young minds! Oh my God!!)

[JD: Immigration is an aspect of national public policy, like defense, interstate highways, or air traffic control. It is of course a legitimate concern of all participating citizens. Why should it not be a legitimate concern? Immigration policy determines, among other things, what the demographics will be of the U.S.A. our children and grandchildren live in. How is that not a legitimate concern of all citizens?]

JW: You don't think that the immigrants, legal and illegal, who are here are valued by their employers, valued by their communities, and performing important functions in American society?

PJB: Businessmen, let's say they bring 'em into a car wash. These illegal immigrants, they'll work for less, they don't need to pay all this other stuff, they'll work off the books, sure businessmen love that!

[JD: For once I can't improve on Pat's answer. Immigration, legal and illegal, is mainly a cheap-labor racket, with immigration practice and the enforcement, or more often non-enforcement, of immigration laws mainly dictated by powerful business lobbies — people like Microsoft Corp. and Big Agriculture, with the anti-white race-favoritism claques cheering from the sidelines. Both major political parties are paid whores for these lobbies. Current U.S. immigration policy, as implemented, is nothing but a continuous assault on the livelihood and rights of American citizens.]