Monday, 23 February 2009

Buchanan angrifies up the blood

Shorter Pat Buchanan: "Hey, I heard somewhere that some black people live in ghettos and then shoot at each other. That means they're racist and pro-segregation, as they're separating themselves off from us blameless white folks, who have only ever tried to help them!"

Nobody puts themselves in a situation like that, dumbass! Black communities like that aren't like those gated, white-only communities you've heard about, they were formed under circumstances so entirely different that I'm genuinely shocked that I'm even having to type this sentence in order to try and explain something so patently obvious.

To me, Buchanan's way of thinking ultimately traces back to a very common conservative fallacy: the idea that people's social status is informed by their nature, not the other way around. Put in the very simplest terms possible: people are poor because they are bad, not bad because they are poor. In his worldview, the state of black people in America today is entirely the fault of black people not pulling themselves together and trying harder. This is such a completely myopic worldview that I barely know where to begin, and yet I see it everywhere. I talk to (totally abhorent) anti-feminist women who insist that sexism doesn't really exist and in actuality is just a complaint thrown out there by whinging women who don't try hard enough to be successful (they owe nothing to women's lib, I suppose). The very idea that there aren't innumerable social barriers to success is one based on total naivety.

People don't just wake up one day and decide to start a revolution (whether that be overthrowing Batista or busting up Sal's). Circumstances beyond these people's control squeeze them to the point where they explode and simply have to act out upon the system that's put them in the godawful position that they're in. Crime in the black community of contemporary America is so clearly a result, not a cause, of a legacy of second-class citizenship that is not even close to coming to an end (you know they're only just phasing out segregated prom nights in some Southern schools? Way to keep the rest of your country behind, South!).

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