Pat Buchanan


Are African Americans Part of Pat Buchanan’s America?

Earlier this week, we asked conservative commentator Pat Buchanan how he proposes eliminating D.C.’s economic racial disparities. Buchanan, who firmly believes diversity hurts America, suggested stopping immigration to combat high national black unemployment, and general national unemployment. “We’ve got to start putting our own people first,” he said.

The Root’s Nsenga Burton takes issue with Buchanan’s rhetoric:

“Our own people?” Since when did blacks become “our own people” to folks like Buchanan? Invoking the Willie Lynch strategy of dividing and conquering those who would benefit from coming together (African-Americans and immigrants) as opposed to functioning separately is foul. Buchanan and his cronies who try to pretend that they give a damn about black folks, need to stop the shenanigans. This is not a plantation lullaby — this is real-life. Pretending that immigrants are having a greater impact on black unemployment as opposed to the perpetuation of racist ideology that works in tandem with dominant power structures invested in the continued oppression of marginalized groups, is disingenuous… Pat Buchanan needs to go back to the drawing board because pretending that he thinks of black people as part of his version of America is downright insulting.

Buchanan, known for controversial remarks, has once again come under heat; black political advocacy group Color Of Change is petitioning MSNBC to fire Buchanan as an analyst for what they deem as his “white supremacist ideology.” He has said that blacks and whites in his hometown D.C. were more united under segregation than they are now. “America has been the best country on earth for black folks,” Buchanan wrote in 2008. “It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.”

Pat Buchanan on How to Lower Black Unemployment

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Political commentator and former presidential adviser Pat Buchanan.

Conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan discussed his views on how diversity harms America this morning on WAMU 88.5′s “The Diane Rehm Show.” After the show we caught up with Buchanan, who is a native Washingtonian, and asked how he proposes addressing D.C.’s wealth disparities that break down along racial lines.

Buchanan said that D.C. is one of the wealthiest places in America, in part because of federal government jobs. “D.C. has problems, but I don’t think D.C., with its unemployment rate and things like that, is hurting as bad as some of the other cities and states around the country,” he said.

D.C.’s unemployment rate is 11.1 percent, which is higher than the national rate of 9.1 percent, but still lower than some of the hardest-hit states, such as Nevada. The District is also home to extreme poverty. Some nearly all-black wards of the city face Depression-era unemployment levels. Buchanan suggested a solution to the disproportionately high national unemployment rate among African Americans, now at 16 percent:

“One thing I would do is stop immigration into the country until all unemployment is down to 6 percent,” he said. “We’ve got to start putting our own people first.”

The notion that immigrants take jobs from out-of-work African Americans is the subject of recent debates in D.C. where 13 percent of the population is foreign born. Critics have raised the issue in response to Mayor Vincent Gray’s signing last week of an executive order that prevents police officers from inquiring about the immigration status of those arrested. Leo Alexander, 2010 mayoral candidate, told the Washington Examiner that Gray was “blowing the opportunity to make sure undereducated populations have jobs.”

Overall, Buchanan said “a lot of these things demand national solutions rather than local ones.”