A friend of mine sent me a copy of Patrick Buchanan’s response to Barack Obama after his speech on race which in turn was a response to his former minister’s statements on the race problem in America. (You may find Buchanan’s post here: http://www.buchanan.org/blog/?p=969)
Rather than post my opinion about this racist diatribe, I thought I’d ask a friend of mine – who happens to be African American – what he thought about it. I asked him for two reasons: 1) because he has to live with the race problem, and 2) he is a student of history, in particular the history of slavery in America.
He initially responded that he’d have to take some time before responding, so that he wouldn’t just go off on a rant. This is the response he finally gave to me:
“No dander up anymore. This just solidifies what many like me believe.
Now I’ll get to the business at hand. Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, Tavis Smiley and he quite eloquently addressed this subject in many of the same facets I will here. I will try to quote them and bring my own perspectives to light as well.
The first thing on the agenda is to refer back to the Obama speech in Philly which I will send as an attachment. Pat Buchanan is not just some ultra rightwing conservative loudmouth gas bag who on TV often represents the very judgmental and UNCHRISTIAN “Christian Right” as many think. Barak, Bill and Tavis have all made the point “Many middle class, blue collar, costal and middle Americans who happen to be white feel the way that Buchanan does.” Therein lays the real problem. It is a problem not because of Jeremiah Wright’s statements or Barak Obama’s response; it is not even a problem because of Buchanan himself. The problem is America’s denial of a race problem and the lack of courage to get all valid issues and grievances out in the open and not just have REAL dialogue but takes action upon them.
Second I want to talk about those statements made by Buchanan. 350 years of slavery and discrimination. That is a fact that no one can argue. But 600K of my ancestors brought here in chains? Point in fact you know very well by now form your visits to CW that while mainland N. America, the US in specifics, received less than 3% of all Africans brought over in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade the number far exceeded 600k. Now let’s take a close look at what those men, women and children did from 1619 to just 1865. The blood and sweat of their labor is the foundation for the economy, albeit extremely shit with the Bush regime, that we enjoy today. Internationally the first marketable American export (tobacco) which was then raised by slaves is still being treated as if it is gold overseas. We may have much anti-tobacco legislation, but reminiscent of Hollywood prison films, American Tobacco is hard currency internationally both in industrial and third-world countries. This is a crop many black families as well as white in rural areas (including my in-laws) raised up until the early 80’s. I use this as just one example to coincide with the things we are always beat over the head with during black history month to make one point; Buchanan says “Black America should thank White America for all that’s been given to us.” Excuse me but fuck Buchanan, my ancestors living and deceased weren’t given a damned thing. THEY EARNED IT, THEY DESERVE IT. Why would anyone tell a battered wife to thank her husband for continuing to beat the living hell out of her just because she lives in a 10,000 sq. ft. house and drives a Bentley?
Third, allow me to address the federal subsidies and crime stats given. Whether its welfare, section 8, school lunch programs or any federal aid program; proportionately the Black community may have a higher number of its group receiving aid. But, the vast majority of those receiving aid are actually White, Point number one. Point number two, what Smiley infers to in reference to the crime rate stats is this: “Buchanan is either saying that one race is morally deficient in comparison to the other or that not the socio-economic class system which transcends race, but that Blacks as opposed to Whites are genetically predisposed to race.” Henceforth, Buchanan is just by making those statements, justifying the national need for America to deal with racial problems that exist today.
Fourth, in addressing Rev. Wright’s Statements, not much can be said that has not been said already in the media and by politicians at both extremes and in the middle. I will say this though; I dare anyone on either side of politics to 1.) Listen to Rev. Wright’s whole sermon and not just a twenty second blip on YouTube, 2.)Spend one year in a Black Church 3.) Read “Black Like Me”. After doing all of these things, I guarantee you will agree with Maher last week when he said “Barak was right” and “THANK GOD, rightful qualms the black community has are vented somewhere. Let them at least have Sunday Church Services to pitch a Bitch!”
Finally, I will say a few things of my own. I grew up around a lot of older Black men and women; this gives me a very jaded and cynical yet still very patriotic view of America. I will concede one thing to Buchanan, there has been a major failure in the black community. That failure as my “old folks” would say is integration and I agree….. A lot can be said from that statement. If you look back from that failure of our history as a nation called reconstruction to the nadir of race relations, Jim Crow, segregation and the civil rights era there was something ever present in the black community then that is not any longer. Allow me at this point to quote Marcus Garvey in his many speeches “Up You Mighty Race You Can Accomplish What You Will!” what he means is that with self-determination the limits of success are without boundaries. During those times of high oppression black Americans were in a situation where they had no choice but to accept was forced upon them by the ruling elite. In this situation many great accomplishments arose. Among them a very viable an functioning brand of socialism necessitated by the fact that they are all segregated and united by race they had no choice but to look out for each other in a time when they are all second class citizens. With integration, the community stopped being as unified and looking out for each other. It became a situation wherein as long as I make it, “screw the next guy to hell with him.” In my eyes the failure of the black community is the loss of ethnic unity that came once we assimilated with American culture as a whole. The ruling elite really worked us all over as Americans. In their ceding to integration, they turned the tables by creating a thriving middle class and poor of all races and then pitted them against each other. In my words congrats to the Gentry class – you still have the power and are making sure you always will.”
I earnestly pray that you will take these words to heart and reflect upon them.