If by some chance you haven't heard yet, last night on the Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC pundit Pat Buchanan, who's been urging the GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor by blissing out to their inner sense of racial superiority, had something of an epic battle with Rachel Maddow over the History of Race in America. Maddow concluded that Buchanan was "dating himself," and basically made Buchanan look like a fool, but first and foremost, let's remember that this tilt was probably great for ratings, and Buchanan will likely be back on MSNBC tomorrow, spitting whatever nonsense comes dribbling out of his face, right after Steve Capus finishes popping champagne over this most recent, awesomely successful advancement of the political discourse.
Anyway, my favorite part of this wondrous dialogue came after Maddow asked Buchanan why he thought that 108 of the 110 Supreme Court Justices had been white. He replied:
"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, who were 90% of the nation in 1960 when I was growing up and the other 10% were African-Americans who had been discriminated against. That's why.
Damn straight! And what were all those black people doing at the time when heroic white people were setting about the important business of founding this great nation of ours? You guessed it! Hanging around fields, picking cotton, like bone idle jerks! None of that ever contributed anything to the common weal, of course! I mean, what is "cotton?" Not exactly THE FABRIC OF OUR LIVES, right?
Sure, at that time, their presence in the New World was based upon the economic need for a cheap and readily available supply of ambulatory chattel, and yeah, the consensus opinion was that they weren't even really members of the human race, but as Pat Buchanan has, in the past, endeavored to explain to black America, being dragged to this continent in leg irons was the best and most generous thing that anyone has ever done for them! Surely, out of pure gratitude they could have ponied up a decent amendment to the Constitution or inscribed three-fifths of their signature on the Declaration of Independence.
Did you know that only twenty-percent of the people killed in 1770's Boston Massacre were black? It's true! One guy, named Crispus Attucks, who was obviously an affirmative action slaying!
How many blacks fought in the Union Army during the Civil War? A paltry 163 units! And it's not like any of them had to risk life and limb, fleeing bondage to join up and fight to preserve the Union? No, no! Black people had it totally easy! And don't get me started on their teensy contributions in defense of the civilized world in World War Two. The Tuskegee Whats Exactly? Why, blacks comprised a mere pair of infantry divisions and a single cavalry division and a single air corps division and only thirty-two field artillery battalions and eleven tank destroyer battalions! Why didn't more black people show up to fight for America? Why, you'd almost have to imagine that the armed forces weren't even integrated until 1948 or something!
So yes. before we rush off and do something foolish like appoint Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, which would give Caucasians the biggest sad of their misbegotten lives, let's try to remember that it was white people that built this city, on rock and roll (which they stole from black people!).
And, look, sure, there was that one time that a bunch of white people decided to sell a crap-ton of bad mortgages, chop them up into junk-ass derivative marm, and sell it to one another while leveraging it all out the ying-yang and getting it bona-fide ratings from Moody's and backing it all on a daisy-chain of gossamer horseshit from AIG, only to have the whole arrangement implode in a furious supernova of massive systemic risk that nearly destroyed the entire global economy, but believe me, ALL THOSE HONKY-CRACKERS WERE JUST HAVING AN OFF DAY, NO WORRIES! And hey, the good news is that all those white people learned from their experience, and came up with an awesome plan to get American taxpayers to put everything right, and make them all unbelievably wealthy again.
You know, there's always someone who'll point out that it's not fair that there's a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, when a National Association for the Advancement of White People would be decried as racist. But you know what? There is a National Association for the Advancement of White People! We just pronounce it, "Troubled Asset Relief Program."
But seriously, if MSNBC wasn't here to provide America with the always incisive historical perspective of Pat Buchanan, we might all have to go out and grow brains, or something.