In his latest column, old-school racist paleo-conservative Pat Buchanan declares that America is “no longer 1 nation, 1 people,” as if we ever were such a thing. But what he means by this is that we have too many brown-skinned people here now and he doesn’t like it one bit.
The real issue: Will America remain one nation, or are we are on the road to Balkanization and the breakup of America into ethnic enclaves? For, as Ronald Reagan said, a nation that cannot control its borders isn’t really a nation anymore.
Ronald Reagan? The same Ronald Reagan who signed into law a bill that allowed any undocumented person who had entered the country prior to 1982 — everyone, not just young people who were brought here by their parents — to stay and become legalized? I believe that’s what Pat calls “amnesty” today and is firmly opposed. In fact, Reagan said during his 1984 campaign debate with Walter Mondale:
“I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.”
So once again we see a conservative cite Ronald Reagan to support the exact opposite position of the one he actually supported.
We were not a nation of immigrants in 1789.
They came later. From 1845-1849, the Irish fleeing the famine. From 1890-1920, the Germans. Then the Italians, Poles, Jews and other Eastern Europeans. Then, immigration was suspended in 1924.
Hey, you know who he doesn’t mention? The Irish. His ancestors, who immigrated here. The ones who were met with the same xenophobic racism — “Irish need not apply” — that he now spews at immigrants today. He didn’t mention them, of course, because they’re white so they obviously belong here. And it would be embarrassing to point out how much of a giant hypocrite he is.
But we are no longer that “band of brethren.” We are no longer one unique people “descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion.”
We are from every continent and country. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are a multiracial, multilingual, multicultural society in a world where countless countries are being torn apart over race, religion and roots.
We no longer speak the same language, worship the same God, honor the same heroes or share the same holidays. Christmas and Easter have been privatized. Columbus is reviled. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are out of the pantheon. Cesar Chavez is in.
He’s dancing around, pretending to say something different than what he’s really saying: We’re no longer white like him. He sees dark people and it gives him dark, dystopic visions. If he thinks we’re being “torn apart” by race now, what were we 50 years ago or more? Oh, but those were the “good ol’ days” for Pat, when white people were still in charge and could keep those with more melanin in their skin in their proper place. Today, those people actually get treated as human beings. What’s next, liberty and justice for all?
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