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August 23, 2006 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Buchanan Argues For Immigration Moratorium To Preserve White Dominance His new book also explains that western civilization is dependant on white people's "genetic endowments". Could explain why John Gibson famously called for "more white babies" a couple months ago. Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?
posted by delmoi (161 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?

Depends on the scale. Blatant racism is okay within certain communities, and the Internet allows certain sizes of communities to aggregate and communicate amongst its members.

Clearly, on the national scale, you have to tone it down to a level acceptable to all or you won't get much air-time. But when preaching to your choir, anything goes, including discussion of how to keep the burden in the White Man's Burden.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:56 PM on August 23, 2006


Wasn't there a time when people like Buchanan weren't "white," NINA?

When the Irish were the "macacas"?
posted by orthogonality at 12:59 PM on August 23, 2006


Clearly, on the national scale, you have to tone it down to a level acceptable to all or you won't get much air-time.

Yeah, except both of those examples are from the national news media, not the internet. Buchanan has been making regular news media appearances and isn't a major internet presence, and Gibson has a fox news show.
posted by delmoi at 12:59 PM on August 23, 2006


I love this bit of false self-justification: "Had Francis said this of Chinese civilization and the Chinese people, it would have gone unnoted."

Bullshit. Well, it might have gone unnoted in some corners of China, but does he really think that the wine-sipping lefty intelligentsia would really let any argument of anybody's genetic superiority stand? Really?
posted by adamrice at 1:00 PM on August 23, 2006


Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?

I'd say yes.
Considering Pat was on Today show this morning pushing this point of view, I don't see how one could not think so.

Also, as you mention, racists like Gibson and Coulter get star treatment from major media outlets.

Racism, the new black. Err ...
posted by nofundy at 1:02 PM on August 23, 2006


Buchanan has been making regular news media appearances and isn't a major internet presence, and Gibson has a fox news show

When he does make "regular" media appearences though, he does turn it down a notch, at least compared with his usual racist blather. FOX News is not as mainstream as its detractors or News Corp would like to believe. If they were, they would not support Hillary Clinton.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 PM on August 23, 2006


I would say "no," it seems like most of the younger generations consider it to be worse than nearly anything.
posted by keswick at 1:06 PM on August 23, 2006


Haven't neo-nazis been using the "we need more white babies" line for years, when, really, they mean "we need less brown babies"?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:07 PM on August 23, 2006


I think the George Allen stuff, to cite the most recent example, has proven that it's not becoming less taboo on the national scale, but rather that mass media and national attention access (blogs, YouTube, etc.) has made it easier and more blatant to reveal inherent racism people previously tried to avoid. In Allen's case, I think he honestly didn't realize he was being racist until national attention forced him to go into damage control. There isn't an increase in racism, just an increase in tape recorders at the board meetings.

On the other hand, CNN lets racists like Michelle Malkin on the air without batting an eyelash, and politicians are now calling to racially profile people. It's almost as if people are willing to accept that there are a certain number of racists in the world, like some kind of bizarre Tony Montana rhetoric- "you need people like me," etc.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:07 PM on August 23, 2006


yes.
posted by Kifer85 at 1:08 PM on August 23, 2006


"Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?"

Yeah, apparently.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:11 PM on August 23, 2006


Astro Zombie writes "Haven't neo-nazis been using the 'we need more white babies' line for years, when, really, they mean 'we need less brown babies'?"


They really mean "we need more white babies": "[t]hey had a one-night stand, and nine months later Mathilde gave birth in a "Lebensborn," or "Source of Life," home "
posted by orthogonality at 1:12 PM on August 23, 2006


This is a pretty piss poor summary of Buchanan's arguments. But it plays well on thinkprogress.org, so it must be accurate.
posted by wabashbdw at 1:12 PM on August 23, 2006


In Allen's case, I think he honestly didn't realize he was being racist until national attention forced him to go into damage control.

You say that as though it were the case that Allen actually realizes that he was being racist. Being forced by his campaign consultants to go into spin cycle and to issue a boilerplate apology doesn't mean that Allen has suddenly seen the light on the road to Damascus.
posted by blucevalo at 1:13 PM on August 23, 2006


This is a pretty piss poor summary of Buchanan's arguments. But it plays well on thinkprogress.org, so it must be accurate.

Wow, I wonder what of Mr. Buchanan's nuanced, subtle, bright-burning flame of genius I'm missing by failing to buy and read his crap book instead of reading the potted summary at thinkprogress?
posted by blucevalo at 1:16 PM on August 23, 2006


Perhaps distilling this to racism is an oversimplification? Buchanan's argument seems to be that rampant immigration of the current type (ie: predominantly Mexican/Latin American) is diluting American culture and values and....oh, forget it, this is Metafilter and there won't be any discussion on this topic anyhow - just shouting and name calling.
posted by tgrundke at 1:16 PM on August 23, 2006


Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?

If so, great. Haul it out into the light of day where it can be dissected and discredited and combatted rather than letting it fester in a closet like an alluring mystery.

It's almost as if people are willing to accept that there are a certain number of racists in the world

Well, yeah. Just like I accept that there are a certain number of rude people, and stupid people, and annoying people. It's an imperfect world.
posted by jonmc at 1:16 PM on August 23, 2006


I was in a big political argument and the guy asked me "Do you want your kids to grow up speaking Spanish?"

I couldn't think of any reason why not and when prompted, neither could he.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:19 PM on August 23, 2006


So, I suppose the better question is: why are men like Buchanan scared of illegal, unfettered, unstopped, unchecked immigration into this country? Seems okay to everyone else here in this thread! What's he scared of that many here aren't?
posted by tgrundke at 1:22 PM on August 23, 2006


When has it been taboo for arch-conservatives to be blatantly racist?
posted by owhydididoit at 1:22 PM on August 23, 2006


Republicans have long used racism (and its code forms such as "law and order") as a pushable button. This election cycle the Republicans don't have much going for them so expect to see more overt and coded racism.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 1:23 PM on August 23, 2006


I see no difference in only dating white girls, or Jewish girls, and Pat Buchanan's ethnic preference.

It is the same xenophobia, not racism.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 1:23 PM on August 23, 2006


...or for arch-liberals to be blatantly oblivious to a potentially legitimate point because they *think* it's racist?
posted by tgrundke at 1:23 PM on August 23, 2006


tgrundke writes "Perhaps distilling this to racism is an oversimplification? Buchanan's argument seems to be that rampant immigration of the current type (ie: predominantly Mexican/Latin American) is diluting American culture and values...."

I don't get this argument at all. If anything, shouldn't conservatives be happy that we're getting immigrants from a culture that puts a great emphasis on family, has a deep connection to a very old-school Christian church, and has strong strains of homophobia running through it? I mean Patrick fucking Buchanan certainly isn't concerned that they're Roman Catholic instead of WASP, is he?

Seriously, what's the contention? Is Spanish the problem? No serious difference with Italian immigrants in the last century....

Also, is Patrick Buchanan just lifting schtick from Samuel Huntington now? It seems pretty shameless.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:24 PM on August 23, 2006


What's he scared of that many here aren't?

Fluoridation, I think. Though after the coup d'etat in 2000, my country was already Floridated.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:24 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


why are men like Buchanan scared of illegal, unfettered, unstopped, unchecked immigration into this country?

Because it benefits them and their ilk politically. There is no other reason.

Why were men like Buchanan beating the war drums about same-sex weddings two years ago? Heard much about the horrific assault of illegal, unfettered, unstopped, unchecked homo-marriage this summer?
posted by blucevalo at 1:26 PM on August 23, 2006


It does seem strange to see white people being able to get away with saying this stuff. In my experience only African Americans enjoy this kind of racist carte blanche, and even then only on a smaller scale not nationally televised "news" shows and whatnot, so this is more then a bit troubling.
posted by Jezztek at 1:28 PM on August 23, 2006


One thing I never understand about 'they're outbreeding us' type arguments:

As the 'immigrants' or 'outsiders' become more educated, more affluent, etc., they're going to have less kids. This pattern always holds true: educate the women, see kids-per-family-drop. Go from an agrarian to an industrial or service-based economy, see kids-per-family drop. Increase life expectancy of children, see kids-per-family drop.
posted by Firas at 1:30 PM on August 23, 2006


For what it's worth, I don't think the argument is 'bad' per se. It's worth asking how the national character changes in a democracy when cultural demographics change. What's wrong with that?
posted by Firas at 1:31 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


fester in a closet like an alluring mystery.

this must win the thread in the "best mixed-metaphor" category.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:35 PM on August 23, 2006


Secondly, to counter the racism charge:

Would you drive your brand new Mercedes S500 through a housing project, windows down, at 2am? Why not? Are you racist?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 1:36 PM on August 23, 2006


It is bad, Firas, because Metafilter is a microcosm of this country in general: we can't hold an intelligent discussion on these issues because eveyone will jump to conclusions about the other side and simply issue snarky remarks and witty retorts that do nothing to advance the discussion.

But I digress with my snarky commentary....
posted by tgrundke at 1:37 PM on August 23, 2006


Are you assuming everyone in said housing project is the same colour, TJH? If so, what colour?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:38 PM on August 23, 2006


tgrundtke: He's arguing the "genetic endowments" of white people are what make our culture great. That is a textbook example of racism. I don't see how you can shrug that off as merely something that arch-liberals perceive as racism.

Now, perhaps there's a way to make his argument without the self-discrediting stain of racist reasoning. Perhaps you'd like to pick up that challenge--I'd like to see how it works.
posted by adamrice at 1:41 PM on August 23, 2006


Well, yeah. Just like I accept that there are a certain number of rude people, and stupid people, and annoying people. It's an imperfect world.

That doesn't mean we should make it more imperfect by putting them on television as credible commentators. At least people recognized Archie Bunker as a fictitious comedy character; people actually call Malkin and Buchanan political analysists.

That's partically what made the Mel Gibson thing so funny to me; they ran all of it as an entertainment peice, immediately discussing "can Mel recover from his racist words?" and rhetoric like that, and then an hour later on The Situation Room, it's "let's go to Ann Coulter about why Muslims should be anally probed at airports."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:46 PM on August 23, 2006


Would you drive your brand new Mercedes S500 through a housing project, windows down, at 2am? Why not? Are you racist?

Surely what you mean to say here is "would you flaunt your wealth in front of the poor and deprived when there is a good chance that the only people out on the street might be drunk/inclined to violence/etc."?

I think this applies, actually, to our local suburbs, too, where people out and about at 2 a.m. tend to be young and have been to parties and so on.

And, of course, being America, people have guns and stuff.
posted by jokeefe at 1:46 PM on August 23, 2006 [2 favorites]


I agree Firas, but it's pretty inevitable for issues of racism to bleed into that.

It's a ironic in a way, because I think there are a lot of people (especially on the left) who are critical of American culture creeping around the globe into previously unique cultures and homogenizing things. But it's really the same issue as we are facing here, but in reverse.

Example A: No one is invading any-one's borders when they raze a block of old world shops in Germany to make way for a Gap and McDonalds. But people who found value in Germany's cultural heritage find it distasteful.

Example B: No one is invading any-one's borders when Mexican immigrants choose to retain their language and culture when moving to the united states. But people who found value in Americas cultural heritage (relatively young as it may be) find it distasteful.

The irony is that it seems like many from the left tend to find example A offensive, but can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with example B, and many from the right tend to find example B offensive, but can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with example A. And I think both stances are plainly inconsistent and just go to reveal the biases of the speaker.
posted by Jezztek at 1:47 PM on August 23, 2006 [2 favorites]


Would you drive your brand new Mercedes S500 through a housing project, windows down, at 2am? Why not? Are you racist?

Umm... if it's a high-crime area, no, I wouldn't. Is that a trick question? If so, are you suggesting that we're supposed to immediately think of black people when you mention housing projects? Are you automatically assuming whoever read your comment is white? Hmmmm.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:48 PM on August 23, 2006


adamrice, you can make the argument using 'our culture is ours, goddamnit' rather than 'our culture is objectively better'. The whole planet thinks like that, especially when responding to American culture—the French are a good example.

The danger of course is that, when you seal off 'your culture, your nation' from the outside world, your civilization declines and fails to keep up (eg. China).
posted by Firas at 1:48 PM on August 23, 2006


let's go to Ann Coulter about why Muslims should be anally probed at airports.

hahaha, cant you take a joke PC librul its a joke

you the real racist
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:48 PM on August 23, 2006


"That doesn't mean we should make it more imperfect by putting them on television as credible commentators."

It depends on who gets to define "credible". Who are you to imply that PB isn't credible? As long as the television program's viewers and advertiser find him credible that's all that matters.
posted by MikeMc at 1:50 PM on August 23, 2006


Oh and as a sidenote: The moment "genetic superiority" gets bandied about, then you know the speaker is racist.

While many of his opinions *could* hypothetically be held by a non-racist, and might be wrongly interpreted as such, there is no way to pretend that is the case once you cross the "genetic superiority" line.
posted by Jezztek at 1:52 PM on August 23, 2006


That's true. Sounds suspiciously like Manifest Destiny to me.

Also, culture isn't carried in genes. What a notion! DNA doesn't change that fast.
posted by Firas at 1:55 PM on August 23, 2006



If so, great. Haul it out into the light of day where it can be dissected and discredited and combatted rather than letting it fester in a closet like an alluring mystery.


How true. I was watching a segment about these girls last night, and several white-supremacists were interviewed. While these people are clearly insane and racist, they are quite media-saavy. Their whole M.O. is to frame their racism in terms of pride in their white culture. Now, in theory, white people should be able to take pride in their racial heritage just like every minority does. They like being racially pure, they want to marry their own and raise their kids according to their beliefs. I know a lot of Jews, Asians, Blacks, etc. who say pretty much the same things, and nobody calls them racist. Of course, they're typically not denying the Holocaust, inciting racial violence, or infiltrating the army to train for coming race-wars.

Yeah, we must fight racism, but lets throw white culture a bone, in the name of multiculturalism. It wouldn't take much. At my university, the Multicultural center puts on lots of events and performances by different cultural and ethnic groups. I feel like all it would take is one bluegrass concert a year to take the wind out of the sails of these cynical racists. When they argue for killing minorities or implementing racist policy, we should call them on it. When they say they want to celebrate their white heritage, we should just roll our eyes and oblige them, however distasteful we find it.

Every time we apply a double standard, we let these groups somehow convince themselves that they are an embattered minority, we give them a cause, and we enhance their righteous certainty. I think the prevalence of blatant public racism is more likely to strengthen the backlash against said racism, but this trend is still quite frightening.
posted by SBMike at 1:55 PM on August 23, 2006


.
posted by Mister_A at 1:55 PM on August 23, 2006


hahaha, cant you take a joke PC librul its a joke

you the real racist


That's actually something important to point out- a good sign for ourselves as a culture is that we actually still recognize racism as a bad thing... conservatives have frequently realized that being stigmatized with racism is a very bad thing, and rush to defuse it... Allen's recent backtrack was because he realized apologizing was like admitting he was racist, and so now the line from his campaign was "it wasn't racist at all." Pundits often rant about how "Liberals are the real racists!" because it diffuses the openly racist arguments many extremists make about Affirmative Action, civil rights, gay rights, etc.

That's not to say there isn't racism on both sides, but I think there's a noticable difference- the left most definitely has racists, especially when it comes to Israel, but I think the Left is also much more empowered in dismissing racists from their ranks than the Right. I find it hard to believe Louis Farrahkan will ever be on Hardball talking about the Zionist devils, yet you'll see someone wailing about "Islamofascists" on the same network almost nightly.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:56 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


If so, great. Haul it out into the light of day where it can be dissected and discredited and combatted rather than letting it fester in a closet like an alluring mystery.

That would only work if all people were convinced by sound reasoning, rather then specious reasoning that supported their own biases. But putting racism "out into the open" it will re-enforce preconceived notions and, more importantly, make racists feel that their views are normal and acceptable just as these pedophile communities amplify people's pedophilic desires, people hearing the view that racism is ok will amplify and normalize them. Also, if racism is taboo, people won't feel comfortable passing it on to their children.

But please, the idea that bad ideas can be removed by being argued against is, itself, a bad idea.

Buchanan's argument seems to be that rampant immigration of the current type (ie: predominantly Mexican/Latin American) is diluting American culture and values and....

Yes, and that's racist... It assumes a certain race can't 'assimilate', and weirdly that American and Mexican culture are somehow vastly different. I got into a discussion with a friend of mine who said they wouldn't assimilate and I asked him what the difference was. The only thing he could come up with was their music. That's a ridiculous argument.

Would you drive your brand new Mercedes S500 through a housing project, windows down, at 2am? Why not? Are you racist?

Well, how else am I supposed to deliver these five keys of coke?
posted by delmoi at 1:58 PM on August 23, 2006


adamrice writes "Now, perhaps there's a way to make his argument without the self-discrediting stain of racist reasoning. Perhaps you'd like to pick up that challenge--I'd like to see how it works."


Very quickly: culture is important.

1. Different cultures have different mores and different goals. Western democracy requires, if it is to work, reverence for certain cultural goals, e.g., egalitarianism, universal education, secular government, toleration, etc. If immigrants (e.g., Muslim immigrants in Europe) who don't share the same reverence for these values become a large proportion of the voters in a democratic society, they can destroy the very values that make Western democracy possible.

2. By certain quantitative measures (wealth inequality, social inequality, political equality, coups or other undemocratic upheaval, literacy rates, economic output), the immigrants' home cultures are different from and arguably less preferable than, US culture.

3. If we abjure racism, then we can't lay those differences at the feet of genetics, so those differences must be cultural. (Or entirely contingent, that is, arising purely by chance. Assuming that societies aren't ruled purely by chance...) We prefer to preserve the American culture because we think it quantitatively and qualitatively better than the culture the immigrants will bring with them.

(Sotto voce: of course, you can make the same argument about fundamentalist Christians, or Mormons, or Muslims.)
posted by orthogonality at 1:58 PM on August 23, 2006


It wasn't really that long ago that we had a sitting president who was openly a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

That is, if you think 90 years isn't a long time...
posted by mds35 at 1:59 PM on August 23, 2006


Oh and as a sidenote: The moment "genetic superiority" gets bandied about, then you know the speaker is racist.

"I'm not a racist, but..." (S-L)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:59 PM on August 23, 2006


jokeef - part of the problem is that people in border areas, in particular, feel as though their neighborhoods are turning into poverty-stricken and dangerous areas where they cannot drive through like they used to without feeling scared.

I know there have been multiple threads on MeFi in the past and a number of people from these border areas have commented on the immense pressure and strain that has been placed on local resources such as fire, EMS, police, hospitals, schools, etc. due to unchecked immigration.

The problem is that people in these areas feel like their neighborhoods are slowly becoming someone elses', where they are the minorities and this scares people.

And here's the catch: if government won't work to help control the situation and alleve people of these concerns, then the people (read: populists) will do that instead, whipping up a firestorm of debate and hyperbole.

That's where we are now.
posted by tgrundke at 2:00 PM on August 23, 2006


Buchanan's argument seems to be that rampant immigration of the current type (ie: predominantly Mexican/Latin American) is diluting American culture and values and...

And if it is, so what? No culture stays the same, ever; it changes with every generation.

And what exactly are these American values, anyway?
posted by jokeefe at 2:01 PM on August 23, 2006


You know... being white... not being something else...
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:02 PM on August 23, 2006


Would you drive your brand new Mercedes S500 through a housing project, windows down, at 2am? Why not? Are you racist?

If I could afford a Mercedes S500, I wouldn't drive it through any neighborhood like that. Not because I'm afraid of minorities, but because I'm revolted by disgusting poor people.

As far as Buchanan goes, I think that his words are based more on the fear of change than the fear of race. Indeed, the term "conservative" suggests a reluctance to do things in new or different ways.

I propose that, while Buchanan's statements are specifically about Mexicans, they are consistent with his fear of cultural change from any quarter. This fear of change is ludicrous, since virtually every culture has gone through changes over the history of the world. Indeed, it is a culture's ability to succesfully adapt and change that often helps it survive.

That all being said, I think Buchanan's fears are unfounded. History suggests that immigrants adopt the language, norms and mores of the country to which they immigrate. The people who should be concerned about losing aspects of their culture in the long run are the ones moving here.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:03 PM on August 23, 2006


blatant racism has become acceptable fare on tv news only since Bush got in--directed at blacks, arabs, and hispanics primarily. The utter hate used to be ignored by newspapers and tv but not anymore. Orcinus has been covering it all (and the mainstreaming of it)
posted by amberglow at 2:03 PM on August 23, 2006


...and, orthogonality, you make a very good point: culture is important. At heart, humans are petty, self-absorbed, worrisome and have a tendency to lash out when they feel that their 'culture' is under attack, warranted or not.
posted by tgrundke at 2:04 PM on August 23, 2006


I just don't get it. How is "white dominance" a good thing? Isn't this country supposed to be a melting pot? Aren't we supposed to be the nation of immigrants?

It seems like ever since the first pilgrim landed some small minded group of bigots has been saying, "Those [insert culture here] immigrants are corrupting our culture. They breed more than us, and soon there'll be none of us left. We must stop it or America is doomed." (Of course, only the Native Americans were right about that.)

You know what? It's never been doomed. The Irish, Slavic, and Italian immigrants added to our culture. The Chinese, Laotian, and Korean immigrants didn't cause the end of American civilization. And I'm damn sure the influx of Hispanic immigrants isn't going to fuck us up any time soon.

For the most part, those that come here...they want to be like us. Many want to be Americans and that includes picking up all the good and bad bits of American culture.

No matter how you dress it up, racism is still racism. Maybe this country will be a better place once white folks are a minority. Maybe it will be the same. I don't know, but if "white dominance" is what has gotten us to this point, maybe it's time for it to go.
posted by teleri025 at 2:05 PM on August 23, 2006


jokeef - part of the problem is that people in border areas, in particular, feel as though their neighborhoods are turning into poverty-stricken and dangerous areas where they cannot drive through like they used to without feeling scared.

But that's a problem of poverty, not race, or even, necessarily, immigration. Are you saying that all those Mexicans risking their lives to come across the border to America are doing so in order to live off the fat of the land in urban slums? Or are they looking for work? I would imagine the latter, in which case I'm unsure of the problem here. A lot of American citizens not only live in poverty, but the number of those has risen in the last ten or fifteen years-- all that shrinking of the middle class stuff. If people are becoming frightened of the poor, perhaps they should be agitating to increase the minimum wage.
posted by jokeefe at 2:05 PM on August 23, 2006


TJH, I can honestly answer your question, "no," but that's just because at 2 am I'm probably in no state to be driving.

In all honesty, though, I'm white and live a block from a Brooklyn housing project, and yet I've never felt the need to hide my iPod while I walk through, and as far as I can tell, none of the residents have ever felt the need to steal it.

In fact, for those who are wondering, if you drove the S500 through "my" housing project, at least, the main reactions would probably be people running up to check out the car and compliment you on it. It's an interesting question you raise, but I've heard variations on it my whole life, and I've always wondered if it's supposed to point out hypocrisy, justify snap-decision racism, or both.

And Firas, it's fine to discuss where the culture is heading, but when those discussion become prescriptivist, things tend to get a little dicier.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:06 PM on August 23, 2006


I wonder why no one minds the influx of Asian Americans dominating academics.

THE CHINESE MATH WIZARDRY IS NOT BENIGN.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:06 PM on August 23, 2006


Buchanan is trying to get his spot back--Coulter and Malkin stole it (along with Horowitz and every single person on Fox News)--he has a new book to sell. He's always been anti-semitic and racist, and put the "culture war" into mainstream discourse back in the 90s. The only good thing about him is that he doesn't believe in interventionist foreign policy a la Iraq.
posted by amberglow at 2:07 PM on August 23, 2006


...once you cross the "genetic superiority" line.

Um. But. What if , now just for the sake of argument, one day science proves that correct. In that one race IS genetically superior (IE: Life expectancy, physical attributes, intelligence, etc) over others? This is supposing we prove "race" exists at all.

I suppose it's possible, right?

I could be considered genetically superior in many ways to my neighbor who suffers from, amongst many things, Downs Syndrome. Though that is not tied to race.

My point is I think claiming things like "superiority" over one group or individual is NOT so grievous.

What IS unacceptable is denying any group or individual equal rights and recourse under law. If anything, people who are LESS able than you should have special protections under the law. Not fewer protections.

Also. There is no guarantee it's WHITE people who may be found genetically superior.
posted by tkchrist at 2:07 PM on August 23, 2006


Western democracy requires, if it is to work, reverence for certain cultural goals, e.g., egalitarianism, universal education, secular government, toleration, etc.

Well, if that's the case, then I'd say the battle is over in America already. Might as well fold your tent and go home, there to brood over the lost glories of Western civilization.
posted by jokeefe at 2:08 PM on August 23, 2006


I propose that, while Buchanan's statements are specifically about Mexicans, they are consistent with his fear of cultural change from any quarter.

I dig, but the culture these folks are aiming at has never existed anywhere. It's not so much a reluctance re: change, but a reactionary impulse towards this fuzzily-envisioned future culture.

There has never been a white, fundamentalist Christian (we'll fight over denominations after the revolution, comrade), capitalist country.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:09 PM on August 23, 2006


The Jesse Helms - Secondly, to counter the racism charge: Would you drive your brand new Mercedes S500 through a housing project, windows down, at 2am?

Your name suits you.
posted by bshort at 2:09 PM on August 23, 2006


immigration does impact culture, but there is no monolithic american culture. having a chinatown in manhattan didn't decimate the population of super-rich white people on the upper west side. it's one thing to be interested in how culture(s) change, it's entirely another thing to assume that the US is successful/can only continue to be successful because of the whiteness and christian-ness of many americans and that something must be done to preserve that white dominance. that's racist, and it comes from fear, and it's lame, and it's sad that kids might see this stuff on the news and think it's acceptable.
posted by snofoam at 2:13 PM on August 23, 2006


Also. There is no guarantee it's WHITE people who may be found genetically superior.

Actually, tkchrist, I think I remember reading a related theory in Guns, Germs, and Steel.

If I remember correctly, Jared Diamond said that it was possible that "native" peoples possibly had a higher genetic capacity for intelligence than European peoples. The reasoning was that Europeans were more likely to live in dense cities and were therefore more likely to die by disease, which kills people indiscriminately. In native cultures, war was a more likely cause for death, one which selects intelligence as a survival benefit.

Don't know if this has been tested (good luck finding an objective test for something as nebulous as intelligence), but it's an interesting theory.
posted by SBMike at 2:13 PM on August 23, 2006


Also. There is no guarantee it's WHITE people who may be found genetically superior.
posted by tkchrist at 2:07 PM PST on August 23 [+] [!]



Right, because its Jews and the Chinese.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:15 PM on August 23, 2006


This is supposing we prove "race" exists at all.

Which we won't. There's no such thing as "race". There's more genetic variation in a troupe of chimpanzees than there is in the entire human species. Differences of skin colour and features that we use as racial markers matter about as much as the difference between one spotted puppy and another in a litter.

Culture, however, is very real. It's just that culture is a constantly adapting thing, and any attempt to stymie those changes and adaptations is doomed to failure. Buchanan's just another blowhard racist, and his arguments are only cyncial attempts to manipulate fear and insecurity in whatever audience it is that he has.
posted by jokeefe at 2:16 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just throwing my two cents in:

Would you drive your brand new Mercedes S500 through a housing project, windows down, at 2am? Why not? Are you racist?

Well, when I was 15 years old, I got a brand new bike. Picture me, a tall, thin white kid with spiked blond hair, a white preppie shirt with an obnoxious 80s pattern on it, and no muscle tone to speak of.

Now, picture me riding that bike, by myself, from the North side of Chicago (at Devon) down past the South side of Chicago, all the way into Cicero. Alone. Down Cicero Avenue.

That journey (and the reverse to get back home) took me through the worst neighborhoods I've ever seen. My parents didn't know I'd gone, and while they raised me with a "live and let live" point of view, I'm fairly certain they would have advised against the journey had they been aware of it. By the time I got back home, night had fallen.

And hey, guess what? 99.9% of the people I encountered once I hit the South side were African American, and I rode through several projects in each direction. The trip (which took the better part of a day and evening) taught me a few things about people, and poverty.

For the record, two people spoke to me as I rode around and sat waiting at red lights: a young African American boy asked me if I wanted to buy a flavored ice that he and his brother were selling in front of their apartment building (I did), and on one street as I rode by a prostitute, she yelled after me, "Hey, want a date? I got a bike, too!"

To be fair, I wouldn't drive my brand new S500 through the projects at 2am with the windows down, but I wouldn't do that in a wealthy, all-white neighborhood, either. That's because a car like that, at an hour like that, is a target for car thieves, and that's not racist. Assuming that all car thieves are African American, however, is.
posted by davejay at 2:18 PM on August 23, 2006


What's a "native culture"?
posted by signal at 2:19 PM on August 23, 2006


I think I misunderstood the question. If the taboo we're talking about is part of the media culture, as opposed to part of a conservative pundit's soapbox, then I agree that it has changed. As to why, I tend to think of the two big "wars" -- on drugs, and on terror.
posted by owhydididoit at 2:20 PM on August 23, 2006


"Maybe this country will be a better place once white folks are a minority. Maybe it will be the same. I don't know, but if "white dominance" is what has gotten us to this point, maybe it's time for it to go."

At what point are we exactly? In the end as long as there are white people there will be racism so, the only way to eliminate racism is to eliminate white people. Once white people are gone everyone will hold hold hands and sing songs whilst re-distributing the wealth of the world equally.
posted by MikeMc at 2:20 PM on August 23, 2006


I think on the whole racism has stayed the same, but minorities have gotten more power... which is why you see more who are concerned about their dominance as tied to their race getting concerned.

In effect, I think that people like Buchanan etc. are saying "I'm afraid of minorities because my race is what helps keep me powerful, rather then my abilities".

On the flip side you have the Bush family, mostly as lily white as can be but assured that the wellspring of their dominance comes not from race, but from some other source (pure evil?). They've long been friends/business partners with all numbers of non-Whites and even married outside the Northern European gene pool. Basically, if there is huge money to be made, a Bush will be there, ideology be damned.
posted by cell divide at 2:20 PM on August 23, 2006


Orthogonality: Yes, culture is important. The question is whether the newcomers can/will adopt it or will overwhelm it. Buchanan and his ilk apparently think they are genetically incapable: "nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted by a different people.”"

I imagine a lot of people were discussing this about 100 years ago, when my non-WASP ancestors, with their alien language/religion/appearance, came to the USA. I'm glad that the naysayers didn't rule the day then, and it's churlish to think that the current wave of immigrants is inherently different from that wave.
posted by adamrice at 2:24 PM on August 23, 2006


What's he scared of that many here aren't?

Brown people. Especially brown people who talk to each other with words he can't understand and take up cable channels with their vaguely terrifying programs with the dancing and the jokes he can't get but that might be about S-E-X. Double especially brown people who cook funny-smelling spicy food that wasn't served on the Mayflower. Triple especially swarthy muscular men who might harbor secret lusts for decent God-fearing white women who God Himself decreed could only be serviced by white men with a somatic resemblance to Pop-N-Fresh.

Plenty of decent reasons can find good or at least not terribly objectionable reasons to be concerned about immigration. But Buchanan isn't one of them; he's just a racist prick.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:24 PM on August 23, 2006


jokeefe -

You clearly don't live in a border area. I have a large number of family and friends who do, and they *are* concerned that the people flooding across the border are coming here to live off of the fat of the land, regardless what the nice and fluffy NPR pieces about the hardworking immigrants say.

"Risking their life" to come across illegally. Should I feel better knowing that someone is illegally trying to enter the country just because they are risking their life? Please, tell that to my girlfriend who, legally, couldn't get a damned visa into this country for a job she already had lined up.
posted by tgrundke at 2:26 PM on August 23, 2006


related and continually occuring with each new wave of "terror alerts" like clockwork: Terror Alerts Causing General Racist Reaction
posted by amberglow at 2:36 PM on August 23, 2006


1. Different cultures have different mores and different goals. Western democracy requires, if it is to work, reverence for certain cultural goals, e.g., egalitarianism, universal education, secular government, toleration, etc. If immigrants (e.g., Muslim immigrants in Europe) who don't share the same reverence for these values become a large proportion of the voters in a democratic society, they can destroy the very values that make Western democracy possible.

Ugh, what a mishmash of crap rhetoric crammed into two sentences. No offense. First of all the idea that cultures can have goals is novel and needs some evidence before it can be taken seriously.

And what do you mean by western democracy? Do you mean American democracy, founded on the ideals of the enlightenment? How does universal education fit into that? How does toleration fit into black slavery that existed in our democracy for a hundred years? It doesn't. You just chose some nice sounding adjectives that describe the current United States and declared them perquisites for western democracy even though they didn't exist the founding of the country (except for secular government). I could go on and on about the perquisites for a successful vs. non-successful democracy and I'm sure academics have gone over this in depth.

And we're not talking about Muslim immigrants; we're talking about Mexicans, who culturally are no different when measured by your criteria anyway.

The last bit, about destroying "Western" democracy is circularly contradictory -- if democracy requires gerrymandered demographics in order to keep people voting for the "right" things, then what's the point?

By certain quantitative measures (wealth inequality, social inequality, political equality, coups or other undemocratic upheaval, literacy rates, economic output), the immigrants' home cultures are different from and arguably less preferable than, US culture.

I suppose that might be true in some extreme cases, such as Saudi Arabia or other Islamic nations, but between the US and Mexico? Islam is much a political philosophy as it is a religion, and it's difficult to disentangle them, but again buchannen is talking about Mexico and Mexicans. What exactly about Mexican culture do you think makes it prone to bad government. Be specific and give evidence.

If we abjure racism, then we can't lay those differences at the feet of genetics, so those differences must be cultural...

This is wrong. It can be from any other cause besides genetics, of which there are an infinite number. This is called the fallacy of false choice, if you're wondering.

We prefer to preserve the American culture because we think it quantitatively and qualitatively better than the culture the immigrants will bring with them.

Which assumes that immigrants will keep their culture over multiple generations, which never happens. Do you know of any third generation American who still has any of his parents culture? Studies show that children are acculturated by older children, not their parents.

Anyway racism defended by specious logic, belived by people who want to believe it. That's why Jonmc's suggestion that racism can be 'combatted' by having it out in the open is absurd.

Tgrundke writes:

...and, orthogonality, you make a very good point: culture is important. At heart, humans are petty, self-absorbed, worrisome and have a tendency to lash out when they feel that their 'culture' is under attack, warranted or not.

No surprise that orthogonality's specious reasoning is embraced by the guy defending Buchanan
posted by delmoi at 2:36 PM on August 23, 2006


Tgrundke writes: The problem is that people in these areas feel like their neighborhoods are slowly becoming someone elses', where they are the minorities and this scares people.

That fear has a name. It's called xenophobia.
posted by delmoi at 2:38 PM on August 23, 2006


adamrice Yes, culture is important. The question is whether the newcomers can/will adopt it or will overwhelm it...

I imagine a lot of people were discussing this about 100 years ago... it's churlish to think that the current wave of immigrants is inherently different from that wave.


Well, I think you succinctly stated the issue, and then retreated from it.

The question is whether the newcomers can/will adopt it or will overwhelm it. How do we determine which it will be? How can you flippantly assume that it wont fall on the other side, just because it didn't 100 years ago, when there are such major differences between the massive influx of immigration that took place 100 years ago, and what is happening now.

The fact is the influx of immigration during the 1900 was radically different for two big reasons:

Immigration in that time was from dozens of different cultures several different continents and many different languages. While our current influx of immigration is overwhelmingly from one continent sharing a single language and a vast overlap of culture.

Immigration in that time severed people's ties to their homeland. Crossing the ocean inherently distances you from the land you once called home. Most of our current immigration comes from Mexico and people are settling in the areas near Mexico giving them radically stronger ties to their previous way of life.

Will these new immigrants assimilate just as their turn of the century counterparts did? Perhaps. But once you reach a certain threshold of un-assimilated people in a single area, sharing a single un-assimilated culture the motivation to change and assimilate drops dramatically. Because of the two reason I listed above, the immigrants from the 1900's never had a chance to reach that critical mass.

However, no one knows for sure whether that will be the case this time around, so you might very well be wrong about it being "churlish to think that the current wave of immigrants is inherently different from that wave".

Of course, that doesn't mean it's time to panic either, like the right would have you believe.
posted by Jezztek at 2:57 PM on August 23, 2006


Mark my words: If global warming and Peak Oil don't interfere, there'll be a time when somebody with a Spanish surname writes a similar screed against allowing Indonesians or Mongolians into the country for the same reasons as Paddy me boy.
posted by pax digita at 3:11 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


White dominance.... So Buchanan is into the BDSM culture, eh?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:22 PM on August 23, 2006


What exactly about Mexican culture do you think makes it prone to bad government. Be specific and give evidence.

I'll play devil's advocate here and say that maybe growing up under a corrupt government might make you so inured to corruption that you fail to fight it in your new homeland. On the other hand, the converse could be true. However I wouldn't call someone a racist for believing the former.

I will call Pat Buchanan a racist however.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:24 PM on August 23, 2006


Example A: No one is invading any-one's borders when they raze a block of old world shops in Germany to make way for a Gap and McDonalds. But people who found value in Germany's cultural heritage find it distasteful.

Example B: No one is invading any-one's borders when Mexican immigrants choose to retain their language and culture when moving to the united states. But people who found value in Americas cultural heritage (relatively young as it may be) find it distasteful.


OMG, you're right! They're the same thing!
posted by MikeKD at 3:30 PM on August 23, 2006


While our current influx of immigration is overwhelmingly from one continent sharing a single language and a vast overlap of culture.

"One continent"? Are you referring to Mexico and Central America, or Mexico and South America? Or both?
posted by blucevalo at 3:36 PM on August 23, 2006


I'll play devil's advocate here and say that maybe growing up under a corrupt government might make you so inured to corruption that you fail to fight it in your new homeland.

You mean like the millions of us in the US who've been made so inured to corruption in our non-new homeland that we fail to fight it?
posted by blucevalo at 3:37 PM on August 23, 2006


MetaFilter doesn't do race well.
posted by keswick at 3:41 PM on August 23, 2006


blucevalo, I don't think we've even begun to see true corruption in this country when compared to most third world regimes.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:46 PM on August 23, 2006


keswick, does anyone discuss race well?
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:47 PM on August 23, 2006


You clearly don't live in a border area. I have a large number of family and friends who do, and they *are* concerned that the people flooding across the border are coming here to live off of the fat of the land, regardless what the nice and fluffy NPR pieces about the hardworking immigrants say.

"Risking their life" to come across illegally. Should I feel better knowing that someone is illegally trying to enter the country just because they are risking their life? Please, tell that to my girlfriend who, legally, couldn't get a damned visa into this country for a job she already had lined up.


tgrundke, surely your girlfriend wasn't going to take one of the jobs that traditionally go to illegal immigrants or migrant workers? She wasn't getting ready to move to the States so that she could pick fruit or sweep floors? She wasn't in direct competition for her job with illegal immigrants; the two situations aren't equivalent. If she is having trouble getting into the States-- and my sympathies, genuinely-- wouldn't you see the logic of loosening immigration regulations rather than tightening them?

As fas as border living goes, well, I do live in a border area, but the border is the American/Canadian one. On the other hand, I've seen the demographics of my city change hugely in the last twenty years, and it's probably a better place for it. But even if I didn't think so, it doesn't matter one way or the other. Cities change, countries change, people move. That's the way it is.
posted by jokeefe at 3:58 PM on August 23, 2006


If people are becoming frightened of the poor, perhaps they should be agitating to increase the minimum wage.
posted by jokeefe


But, there's money to be made from the poor.
posted by taosbat at 4:02 PM on August 23, 2006


lol raising the minimum wage helps the poor
posted by keswick at 4:05 PM on August 23, 2006


I see no difference in only dating white girls, or Jewish girls, and Pat Buchanan's ethnic preference.

It is the same xenophobia, not racism.


Uh, I see one! Because Pat's not talking about fucking all of them.
posted by jet_silver at 4:07 PM on August 23, 2006


uh... wait...
posted by jet_silver at 4:08 PM on August 23, 2006


Hmm...I wonder whether Mr. Buchanan will be watching the new season of Survivor.
posted by owhydididoit at 4:13 PM on August 23, 2006


SWAT teams may step up role on U.S.-Mexico border
Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:47pm ET

By Tim Gaynor

TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - Elite U.S. Border Patrol units armed with assault rifles and stun grenades may be set to play a more prominent role as authorities gain greater control over the porous border with Mexico, border police say.

Little known outside law enforcement circles, the Bortac tactical teams have been deployed to remote reaches of the border to hunt drug and human traffickers using out-of-the way routes since the 1980s.

The Bortac members wear full battle-dress uniforms and carry state-of-the-art night vision and thermal optics. They are armed with weapons including M4 assault rifles and "flash-bang" stun grenades developed for the special forces...

The special response team members on active duty in the deserts south of Tucson, Arizona, believe they may play a larger role interdicting determined smugglers forced to cross through ever-more remote areas as authorities choke off easily crossed routes.

"They are going to have go to those isolated areas," one team leader, who asked not to identified for reasons of operational security, told Reuters during a patrol just yards from Arizona's border with the Mexican state of Sonora.

"Specialty teams like ours are going to have to be deployed there ... to work that traffic."

The Border Patrol will not say how many agents are in the units. Some are members of Bortac, the patrol's federal special response team, while others belong to teams drawn from sectors across the 2,000-mile (3,200-km) southwest border...

The volunteer units are often brought in by helicopter or make miles-long hikes to deploy in remote desert wilderness areas and along jagged mountain ridgelines that are beyond the reach of Border Patrol agents in sports utility vehicles and on dirt bikes.

Whereas Border Patrol agents will typically track intruders, following their trails until they catch up with them, the special teams stake out known routes and stage "soft" ambushes for often heavily armed smugglers.

"We will go in hard, often with a flash-bang grenade to maintain the element of surprise," one unit member said as he sat in pitch darkness training a night vision scope on a cactus-studded trail leading up from Mexico.

"Even if they have weapons, it can turn a lethal situation into a non-lethal situation," he said.

Team members say they encounter increasingly well-organized gangs in Mexico, who mount counter-surveillance operations using their own night vision optics to spot their pursuers...
posted by taosbat at 4:23 PM on August 23, 2006


Excellent!
posted by keswick at 4:25 PM on August 23, 2006


Jezztek: But people who found value in Americas cultural heritage (relatively young as it may be) find it distasteful.

Isn't this ignoring the rather obvious fact that former subjects of Spain have just as much claim to "America's cultural heritage" as former subjects of England? After all, the U.S. currently has within its borders Alta California, Florida, Puerto Rico and almost half the historic territory of Mexico. Why should the former colonies of New England and Virginia get priority?

tgundke: "Risking their life" to come across illegally. Should I feel better knowing that someone is illegally trying to enter the country just because they are risking their life? Please, tell that to my girlfriend who, legally, couldn't get a damned visa into this country for a job she already had lined up.

Isn't this mixing up the two issues? It's quite possible to make appeals for immigration reform and enforcement without needing to indulge in the myth of evil Italian Irish Polish Latino breeders undermining the American work ethic.

Jezztek: Will these new immigrants assimilate just as their turn of the century counterparts did?

Actually assimilation of late 19th and early 20th century immigrants didn't happen all that gently. Before the red scare of the 20s triggered a change in mail service, publishers in the U.S. printed hundreds of periodicals in dozens of languages. Immigrant communities changed American culture as well. It's not hard to drive across the U.S. and find communities with a strong German influence, and then jump the next county over to find a town with a strong Irish influence. Urban ethnic communities still remain strong more than a century after they were founded.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:41 PM on August 23, 2006


After reading all of this, I am left with one (actually two) questions, which most of you will probably find stupid.

What is American Culture? What is White Culture? If someone asked me to define it, I wouldn't be able to, and I am an American. Maybe I don't know/get/understand what culture it is in America that needs protecting because I have always lived in very ethnically diverse neighborhoods and my personal "culture" is a mish-mash of what I grew up and lived with ... which is sort of what I thought American Culture was in the first place, a melting pot where we all blend together.
posted by Orb at 4:50 PM on August 23, 2006


So THAT's what happens when you let the Irish write books! (j/k of course)
posted by clevershark at 4:50 PM on August 23, 2006


"What is White Culture? If someone asked me to define it, I wouldn't be able to..."

Come to Utah. We're chock-full of white culture.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:00 PM on August 23, 2006


Which we won't. There's no such thing as "race".

I would not be so confident if I were you. I think it may be wishful thinking to dwell along that line too much. Certainly what we think of as race is very, very, complicated. So much so as to be irrelevant in the abstract. But what creates culture?

Genes, we are now learning, play a much greater role than we thought imaginable in human behaviors. Genes CAN distribute themselves somewhat along racial lines. The manifestation of these behaviors certainly CAN influence culture. To a degree. Then culture, in turn, influences the individual. Now in modern times this all silly because we are all cross breeding.

What I find interesting is supposing WE (I use that lossly since I am not typically caucasian) are the ones 'genetically superior."
Why should we think this? After all if we are being out-bred then we are NOT superior.

If we believe in the dictates of survival of the fittest and the brown people of the world manage to survive long enough to keep breeding, and white people keep contracting in population, then it seems to me the Brown people have won the "race" race.

So what Buchanan is saying is not about evolution or genetics at all. He is saying that white people are made special. And not because of some provable scientific thing... but because HE is white.

I don't know if we White Folk are Genetically Superior or not. But we sure have been lucky. An easy distinction he may be missing.

Also. There is a danger to a nation when an influx of people who all speak different languages don't assimilate. It's what leads to sectarian and ethnic division. I don't see any evidence of a lack of assimilation at this point. But it can be a problem and we shouldn't pretend it isn't.

Everybody is paranoid about their status in the social hierarchy shifting downwards. Why shouldn't they? It's why you NEED a just social order in the first place. I think poor Pat should concentrate there.
posted by tkchrist at 5:02 PM on August 23, 2006


Every once in a while, I play a weird game when I think I'm in a room (or a forum) full of white people, which is, and has always been, very often. I first look for other black people (the safety that comes from numbers doesn't aid the game), and if there are none to be found, I try to figure out who would be most likely to string me from a tree or spit on me if these were the [good] old days down South and I didn't avert my eyes when they spoke to me. Any metafilter post that has anything to do with race takes all of the "fun" out of this game, since it becomes so obvious who those people are. I've never understood why white people think they have something to fear.

If in 50 years, everyone is speaking Spanish, eating shitloads of refried beans, and fucking dancing the flamenco, who the hell cares? That America would be, if nothing else, way less uptight than this one.
posted by eunoia at 5:11 PM on August 23, 2006


I would not be so confident if I were you. I think it may be wishful thinking to dwell along that line too much. Certainly what we think of as race is very, very, complicated. So much so as to be irrelevant in the abstract. But what creates culture?

Genes, we are now learning, play a much greater role than we thought imaginable in human behaviors. Genes CAN distribute themselves somewhat along racial lines

We are huh? Then I assume you have a link or two to enlighten us about this hiertofor unknown connection between genetics and behavior?

My understanding is that pre-natal hormone levels have the greatest impact on what we consider to be in-borne behavioral characteristics. There is even strong evidence that homosexuality is caused by hormone levels during pregnancy. Scientists were actually able greatly increase the odds of lab rats being homosexual by stressing their mothers during pregnancy, for example.

Anyway, I await your evidence. It's certainly not something I'd heard much about.
posted by delmoi at 5:19 PM on August 23, 2006


not that i'm knowledgeable on this, particularly, but is there any example in which correlating ethnic identity with national identity leads to any kind of success in establishing or maintaining democracy or the values that we say we hold dear? is there some reason to believe that our culture, after generations of being forged by cultural mixing and cross-influences, now has finished baking or whatever and has reached its highest potential? are there cases in which the effort to study racial differences in some legitimate way (not to mention claims of superiority of one quality over another) have not led to some kind of justification for persecution or mistreatment of 'inferior' cultures/races? i mean, examples in our recent history sting on this point...

i don't get buchanan on this stuff...first, because there is no way his insular rich-white-man world is in any way compromised, and i don't see that he has some compelling interest in saving or protecting the rest of us...but also those he appreciates (according to this article) like john rocker are pretty much spouting off the equivalent of the not-too-bygone irish stereotypes that would have condemned pat himself...

...with immigration, a useful equivalent i find on metafilter is 'the site has really gone downhill with all these new members'...in both cases, the attitude is kinda like 'now that i've made it inside, we need to shut the doors'
posted by troybob at 5:23 PM on August 23, 2006


I await your evidence.

Oh fer... is this what we do now?

Ask these guys. Jesus.
posted by tkchrist at 5:25 PM on August 23, 2006


...and is the assumption generally that jesus was white, or was he one of those inferior races as well?
posted by troybob at 5:27 PM on August 23, 2006


Genes, we are now learning, play a much greater role than we thought imaginable in human behaviors. Genes CAN distribute themselves somewhat along racial lines. The manifestation of these behaviors certainly CAN influence culture.

Proof of any of this, please, siuch as scientific studies that pass any kind of peer-reviewed test and that aren't "evolutionary psychology" nonsense or speculation.

Whoah, I agree with delmoi.
posted by jokeefe at 5:28 PM on August 23, 2006


If in 50 years, everyone is speaking Spanish, eating shitloads of refried beans, and fucking dancing the flamenco, who the hell cares? That America would be, if nothing else, way less uptight than this one.

Exactly! I hope I can still dance in my nineties, let alone the flamenco.
posted by jokeefe at 5:29 PM on August 23, 2006


delmol -

What you so flippantly reject (xenophobia) because you (and I) dislike it, is a major current running through many of these communities on the border. Ignore it at your own risk.

I'm not defending Buchanan at all - merely pointing out that his comments have hit a chord with a large number of Americans for a reason. We can reject these sentiments and we can sit back and tell ourselves we're better because, apparently, we all love everyone and want everyone to enter our country unfettered (here in Metafilterland), but the reality on the ground is quite different.

My point is that Buchanan has struck a populist chord that has the potential to resonate even louder if the federal government is not careful to address these issues of illegal immigration seriously.
posted by tgrundke at 5:31 PM on August 23, 2006


Whoah, I agree with delmoi.

Ok. Then I await YOUR evidence that there is NO race.

Is this the game metafilter plays now? Let's just post peer reviewed papers all day instead of opinions. That'll be interesting. Or is that only necessary when YOU disagree.

What I said was not out of the mainstream. It's not like I said I had a perpetual motion machine or said we're winning the Iraq war or something.
posted by tkchrist at 5:33 PM on August 23, 2006


Here's an article in 'The Nation' called 'White Heat' about the new 'nativist' movement. Scary stuff. What the hell is happening to my country? It's being taken over by screwheads. Or should I say *has* been . . . Flying Spaghetti Monster help us all . . .
posted by mk1gti at 5:36 PM on August 23, 2006


Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?

If so, I hope kicking blatant racists in the balls is also becoming less taboo.
posted by Foosnark at 5:38 PM on August 23, 2006


... a populist chord that has the potential to resonate even louder if the federal government is not careful to address these issues of illegal immigration seriously.

yeah, but you kind of skirt that this populist chord tends to fade but for the fact that it is strummed time and again by buchanan and his ilk, particularly around electiontime...republican strategy anymore is rooted in trying to appeal to the worst within us, hate and paranoia--not satisfied to push the idea that somebody out there is trying to take what is yours and is keeping you from having all you deserve, they go as far as to point fingers at potential culprits...
posted by troybob at 5:44 PM on August 23, 2006


I await your evidence.

Oh fer... is this what we do now?

Ask these guys. Jesus.


Okey-dokey.

Fortunately, I'm logged on with my University account, so I have access to all the articles in Behavioural Genetics. Which is cool in itself, but I digress. The most recent issue has articles which focus on genetic links in ADD, alcoholism, Neurofibromatosis Type-1 (NF1) in Children and relation to cognitive impairment, response to novelty and anxiety in rats as linked to genetic factors, and maternal defense behaviour in mice.

Of course, all of this is research positing links between certain genetic structures and behaviour. But the links between this research and human behaviour is not yet established to any degree (a genetic predisposition towards alcoholism in an individual does not necessarily become expressed in that individual becoming alcoholic), and I believe that any one of the scientists who wrote these papers and conducted this research would agree. Not to mention that the most important jump which you made in your post is not between the unproven genetic determinants of human behaviour extrapolated from that of mice, but that the genetic makeup of individuals determines culture. No reputable geneticist would go so far as to assert this (any geneticists care to comment? I don't mind deferring to expertise if necessary).

At any rate, I am not a scientist, but even I can puzzle my way through the technical language here to see that there's nothing here that backs up your statements.
posted by jokeefe at 5:46 PM on August 23, 2006


troybob -

You make a good point, except for the fact that in border towns this is an issue that has been a hotbed for years now - not just around election time. Head over to Texas, Arizona or Southern California and take a poll of the 'natives' and ask them how long it has been an issue. We keep forgetting that all politics is local, and sure, people like Buchanan will use this to whip people up into a frenzy at times - but that does not diminish the fact that illegal immigration is a huge issue to the people who live near the Mexico border.

This is one of the issues that may end up tearing the Republican party apart, as well. There are the "true" Conservatives such as Buchanan who believe that illegal immigration is very bad for America, and there are the "Rockefeller Republicans" who want to be permitted to hire as many illegals at whatever wage they can. For all those saying it's a 'good thing' that these people come across the border, get practically sold to work for peanuts with no chance at representation, have no opporuntity to organize or demand safer work conditions, higher pay or benefits - I scratch my head.
posted by tgrundke at 5:54 PM on August 23, 2006


A populist chord?
posted by owhydididoit at 5:56 PM on August 23, 2006


and I just heard that Survivor is going Segregationist this season--4 tribes, each of a different race.
posted by amberglow at 6:18 PM on August 23, 2006


Yes, Buchanan is a racist jerk. But...
There still is something to be said for preserving the notion that Beethoven and Shakespeare are supreme deities.
posted by diplomacydiplomacy at 6:25 PM on August 23, 2006


Oh, and tkchrist, here's something, as per your request; it's not highly technical, as it's written for a general audience, but I think it gets the idea across.
posted by jokeefe at 6:28 PM on August 23, 2006


Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?

Yes. Disturbingly so. Between posts like this and amro's; the popularity of commentators like Coulter, Malkin, Savage and Robertson; the fact that the MSM is increasingly taking stories from blatantly racist sites like LGF; that even DailyKos has advertisements and posters caricaturing Arabs as "oil ticks"; that a magazine like Forbes can list LGF as a "top site" : my pessimistic side is convinced that battle lines are being drawn in the psyche of the American republic.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 6:45 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


There still is something to be said for preserving the notion that Beethoven and Shakespeare are supreme deities.
posted by diplomacydiplomacy


Various high cultures have seen their célèbre artists, each in their own age(s). Artistic masterpieces form part of the definition of high culture. To argue any one perspective before all others is just provinçial.
posted by taosbat at 6:53 PM on August 23, 2006


Jezztek: once you reach a certain threshold of un-assimilated people in a single area, sharing a single un-assimilated culture the motivation to change and assimilate drops dramatically

Cross-generational evidence, please? Examples? My experience is that most 3rd generation members have either completely assimilated, or retain the parts of their grandparents' cultures that they like (eg food, colourful holiday rituals, grandparents' language as a 2nd language after English) and drop the rest. (Granted, religion seems to have more staying power.) Like others here, it looks to me like "American" culture consists of stimulating contributions from previously reviled "aliens":

"Each new wave of immigration to the United States has met with some degree of hostility and popular fears that immigrants will harm American society or will not conform to the prevailing “American way of life.” In 1751, Benjamin Franklin complained about the “Palatine Boors” who were trying to Germanize the province of Pennsylvania and refused to learn English (Archdeacon 1983: 20). Throughout the 19th century, Irish and German Americans, especially Catholics, were not considered to be fully American in terms of culture or status by old stock Americans."

Many of them, as others have noted above, didn't used to be considered "white" (German, Greek, Irish, Polish, Italian, eg, and their spawn - just kidding. David Roediger and Matthew Frye Jacobson have written the classic works investigating how "swarthy" people "became white" Americans. Previously.) So "white" meant something way different two hundred years ago, different again one hundred years ago, and no doubt a hundred years from now. Anybody going to try to argue that whatever changes there were in the past, "white" as we think of it now is perfect and must be preserved as is, indefinitely?
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:09 PM on August 23, 2006


diplomacydiplomacy: There still is something to be said for preserving the notion that Beethoven and Shakespeare are supreme deities.

Certainly, but why not Cervantes and Goya in the pantheon as well?

And now that I think about it, why the assumption that a German-speaking composer is more relevant to the English-speaking world than the Spanish-speaking world?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:12 PM on August 23, 2006


Genes, we are now learning, play a much greater role than we thought imaginable in human behaviors. Genes CAN distribute themselves somewhat along racial lines. The manifestation of these behaviors certainly CAN influence culture. To a degree. Then culture, in turn, influences the individual. Now in modern times this all silly because we are all cross breeding.


What the fuck are you talking about? Have you ever taken a genetics course? Do you even know what a gene is? Can you cite a paper or a review that shows a link between the genome and the behavior, especially as it applies to race? And, since we're all cross breeding anyways, what the hell is your problem to begin with?

Is this the game metafilter plays now? Let's just post peer reviewed papers all day instead of opinions. That'll be interesting. Or is that only necessary when YOU disagree.

What I said was not out of the mainstream. It's not like I said I had a perpetual motion machine or said we're winning the Iraq war or something.


You get called out when you're talking out of your ass. Not just on Metafilter, but everywhere else as well. And as far as "mainstream" goes, it might be in Redneckistan but it's considered pretty batshit insane in the rest of civilized world.
posted by c13 at 7:30 PM on August 23, 2006


Not only is blatant racism becoming less taboo, but it's going to get worse and worse as the demographics of the United States changes and the Republicans continue their fear-mongering.

According to this May 2006 Congressional Research Service study [PDF], "The population of Hispanic or Latino origin is projected to steadily increase as a percentage of the total U.S. population through 2050, rising from 12.6% in 2000 to 24.4% in 2050." The black percentage of the population is projected to rise from 12.7% in 2000 to 14.6% in 2050. The Asian percentage of the population is projected to rise from 3.8% in 2000 to 8.0% in 2050. The white percentage of the population is expected to fall from 81.0% in 2000 to 72.1% in 2050. (The percentages don't add up to 100% because the Census Bureau defines Hispanics and Latinos as "a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race" and "the most commonly reported race for Hispanics was white alone.")

The Census Bureau uses six criteria:
  • White refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa
  • Black or African American refers to people having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
  • American Indian and Alaska Native refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent.
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander refers to people having origins in the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
  • Some other race
Most people of Hispanic origin (48%) selected "white," and 42.2% selected "some other race."

(See also: the US Census Bureau's U.S. Interim Projections by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin)
posted by kirkaracha at 7:42 PM on August 23, 2006


The more discussions I see/hear like this one, the more I think the world should embrace the benevolent despotism of this man.

Oh and by the way, it was White American Gentile guilt over the Holocaust, even though we didn't do it, that got European-descended Jews "promoted" to White. In Whites' eyes: most of those we now call "nonwhite" have always seen Jews that way. The exception I've heard about most concerns the former slave-holding states, where Jews were often considered White -- "Christ-killers" to some but White just the same.

And by the way, why are Australian aborigines not considered Black? What's so frightening about the idea that Black peoples of African origin could use boats 40,000 years ago?
posted by davy at 7:55 PM on August 23, 2006


that a magazine like Forbes can list LGF as a "top site"

That's not all Forbes has been up to recently.

On preview: interesting, they've replaced the original story with the story and a rebuttal. Quote: "Forbes.com published a story Aug. 22 by editor Michael Noer on two-career relationships that provoked a heated response from both outside and inside our building." I fucking well bet it did.
posted by jokeefe at 7:57 PM on August 23, 2006


What's so frightening about the idea that Black peoples of African origin could use boats 40,000 years ago?


Well, as we're learning now, there are no boats in dark people's genes. So where would they get them from?
posted by c13 at 8:04 PM on August 23, 2006


Buchanan: If we do not get control of our borders, by 2050 Americans of European descent will be a minority in the nation their ancestors created and built.

And oh my goodness, I overlooked the obvious problem staring me in the face. "Mesitzos," of European descent are a majority in the Latin American countries with the highest rates of legal and illegal immigration to the United States. What we have here is a classic example of one drop theory in action. Obviously having an Amerindian ancestor negates having European ancestors.

Beyond the high percentage of people with Amerindian ancestry, I'm trying to figure out how Latin American culture is less "European" than the U.S.. A supermajority speaks a European language and practices a European religion. The culture of Latin America is shaped by a painful period of colonialism and post-colonialism, but then again, similar forces shape the culture of Ireland and former Soviet Block states like Poland.

davy: And by the way, why are Australian aborigines not considered Black? What's so frightening about the idea that Black peoples of African origin could use boats 40,000 years ago?

Well, in many cases they are called "black." However if the "out of Africa" theory is correct, they are more closely related to European and Asian groups than to many Sub-Saharan Africans. Which is one reason why skin color really shouldn't be used as a reliable marker of "race." "Black" in the U.S. is universally applied to people with dark skin, while ethnicity in Africa is quite a bit more complex.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:35 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


In Buchanan's melting pot, all of the chocolate is white.
posted by caddis at 10:10 PM on August 23, 2006


To play devil's advocate - if 1000 Fark posters were sneaking in to MeFi on a daily basis most people here would be outraged beyond belief. MetaTalk would be a continuos stream of "they don't belong here" and "they are lowering the standards" and "BAN THEM". In the spirit of this thread maybe we should wave the 5 dollar sign up fee (which acts as a "border" for people less fortunate than us), and everyone should post their passwords for all to use on Fark or Digg. How bout it Delmoi? You go first.
posted by vronsky at 11:23 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


posted by vronsky:"and everyone should post their passwords for all to use on Fark or Digg. How bout it Delmoi? You go first."

Passwords are like names, names for individuals. Giving someone else your name to use is a loss of identity, personal identity. In this case you would be, by default, misrepresented. Obviously, no one would do that. The analogy you're trying to make here, comparing passwords with race or cultural identity (whatever that is), is, I suppose a good one for those that view or associate their individuality with their race.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:24 AM on August 24, 2006


No, passwords are like keys. Keys to the gates which surround protected areas. I say, let the walls and gates fall, give every one a key - all are welcome. If you disagree with me, you are an antifarkite. Mr.Mathowie... tear down this wall.
posted by vronsky at 12:45 AM on August 24, 2006


vronsky: To play devil's advocate - if 1000 Fark posters were sneaking in to MeFi on a daily basis most people here would be outraged beyond belief. MetaTalk would be a continuos stream of "they don't belong here" and "they are lowering the standards" and "BAN THEM". In the spirit of this thread maybe we should wave the 5 dollar sign up fee (which acts as a "border" for people less fortunate than us), and everyone should post their passwords for all to use on Fark or Digg. How bout it Delmoi? You go first.

Confusing the issue. It is possible to accept that illegal immigration is a problem that needs to be fixed, while rejecting arguments that such limits are necessary to stave off the brown and yellow barbarians at the gates.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:57 AM on August 24, 2006


Orthogonality-

According to Richard Jensen's article, NINA signs were rare to the point of near non-existent in America.

Not to say that the sentiment did not apply, of course.

(Don't know if the professor's been refuted, interested if you have updates.)
posted by IndigoJones at 6:17 AM on August 24, 2006


To play devil's advocate - if 1000 Fark posters were sneaking in to MeFi on a daily basis most people here would be outraged beyond belief. MetaTalk would be a continuos stream of "they don't belong here" and "they are lowering the standards" and "BAN THEM". In the spirit of this thread maybe we should wave the 5 dollar sign up fee (which acts as a "border" for people less fortunate than us), and everyone should post their passwords for all to use on Fark or Digg. How bout it Delmoi? You go first.

So you believe that Mexicans are a bunch of juvenile morons?
posted by caddis at 8:30 AM on August 24, 2006


Way to avoid the question caddis. And thanks for the insult. My brother's wife is Mexican, and my three year old nephew was speaking spanish before he could speak english, and no, I don't think they are morons.

Maybe I could dumb down the question a bit for you. You have been around long enough to remember some of the discussions on MetaTalk that every new wave of new signups was ruining MetaFilter. That we had gotten too big. And the complaints from old timers that the blue just isn't what it once was. The newbies had ruined the culture and that what was once comparable to the Algonquin round table was now just a bunch of shitty youtube posts. And I certainly have seen many requests for Matt to close the signups for a while so that the newbies coujld adapt to "our" culture. Or that we are in danger of turning into fark. How, pray tell is this different, or are you so blind that you fail to see the hypocrisy here.
posted by vronsky at 9:39 AM on August 24, 2006


vronsky: How, pray tell is this different, or are you so blind that you fail to see the hypocrisy here.

Still confusing the issues. It is quite possible to accept that there needs to be limits on immigration for a variety of reasons (job protections, limited social services) without invoking as Buchanan does the myth of brown barbarians at the gate of "American civilization."

The fact that Buchanan argues for imigration reform in terms of ethnocentrism and racism, does not mean that everyone else has to accept those terms.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:56 AM on August 24, 2006


Again Kirk, how is this different from mefites wringing their hands over influxes of new members ruining our "culture" and asking Matt to close down new memberships? If MeFi is as "likeably lefty" as I hope it is, why not have an open border and do away with sign up fees? Surely advertising fees are enough to defray server costs by now? I am not confusing the issues, you are refusing to see that what we decry as racism in Buchanan's views is promoted here as lets keep the farkites out of mefi. Unless you can say that posting our passwords over on fark would not change the blue at all - you are agreeing with Buchanan.


"the fact that Buchanan argues for imigration reform in terms of ethnocentrism and racism, does not mean that everyone else has to accept those terms."

On what terms would you enact immigration reform? Job protection? Lack of social safety nets? How could I tell that these weren't just masks for your racism and ethocentrism? I mean, you want to keep the poor and disadvantaged out to protect American jobs? Really? By what right do those jobs belong to Americans first? Because we are different colors?
posted by vronsky at 10:46 AM on August 24, 2006


Black students ordered to give up seats to white children
Status of Red River Parish bus driver is unknown.
August 24, 2006
By Vickie Welborn

COUSHATTA -- Nine black children attending Red River Elementary School were directed last week to the back of the school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children.

The situation has outraged relatives of the black children who have filed a complaint with school officials.

Superintendent Kay Easley will meet with the family members in her office this morning.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also is considering filing a formal charge with the U.S. Department of Justice... (via)
posted by taosbat at 10:53 AM on August 24, 2006


One thing that has bothered me about this country since I came back when I was 12 years old is the myopia of language. Overseas you learned language and culture and used it to intermingle with the native children there. In the U.S. it's just 'english, english, english, if you don't want to learn it, go somewhere else.' Then there was Vietnam and the influx of refugees; Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, Hmong. Many of them chose not to learn english. In addition to that a large influx of middle eastern peoples from Kurdistan, Armenia, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, etc. and many of them chose not to learn english or speak it minimally. And of course there's the influx from Central and South America; Mexicans, Argentinians, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Columbians and Cubans.
In addition to that, now it's mainland Chinese as well as migrants from India, Pakistan and other countries.
Whether white americans want to face the fact or not, the U.S. has become a melting pot of cultures and with every passing day the dominant 'color' is most definitly not white.

I know this is looking at the country through rose-colored glasses but it would be to this country's benefit to start teaching more about other cultures and languages and the benefits of integrating rather than splitting and marginalizing. Because the way things are going, according to The Nation article cited above don't look good for 'the melting pot'. Not good at all.

Just an aside: If you're white and sympathize with the Palestinians, think about them the next time you see a lower-income black or hispanic person in this country. You're looking at this country's palestinians.
posted by mk1gti at 11:26 AM on August 24, 2006


vronsky, perhaps you want to reread my comment; I insulted Farkers, not Mexicans, but perhaps my answer was not simple enough for you to understand. (hee, hee, this condescension thing is fun, isn't it?)
posted by caddis at 11:26 AM on August 24, 2006


Oh I see, so it is wrong to criticize based on race or ethnicity, but ok to criticize based on supposed mental inferiority. At least KJS had the cojones to enter the debate.

What a joke coming from MetaFilter, which even its staunchest supporters admit is a total sausage fest. And I am betting is at least 95% white. Where is the diversity on the blue? How hard would it be for some mefites who live in border states to help illegal aliens set up accounts? Where are the posts written in Spanish? Could you imagine half of the fpp's written in spanish? Do you really think everyone would be shaking hands and slapping each other on the back? Who would be the first to say - "English, motherfucker, do you speak it?"
posted by vronsky at 12:54 PM on August 24, 2006


I remember walking the halls when I worked at this hellish Wall Street IT job a few years ago, and noticing that some 90% of the hardcore IT workers (i.e., the ones running the systems that keep the entire Tower of Babel that is Wall Street running) were H1Bs, most of them Indian. I see such folk being used to keep a LOT of successful corporations afloat at an infrastructure level.

Let's call Buchanan's bluff and send them all home. And I'll take my wise, very productive, too-smart-for-my-own-good self to Canada or India, too, even though I was born IN the capital of these not-so-United States, because after all, I'm brown and we know Buchanan doesn't like that. If this motherfucker wants to play skin color politics, I'll play that too and go with the Indians-from-India crowd. America loses another productive citizen and upper-middle-class taxpayer. And if more Indians in America follow my lead, America loses large numbers of the most wealthy ethnic group in this country.

Then let's see this motherfucker (i.e., The Once Great United States) crumble to the ground 10x faster than it already is, while India and other countries formerly sending lots of IT and engineering grads to the US finally see significant slowdowns in their "brain drain." The burgeoning economies in many of those nations (e.g., India and China) will benefit, and rivals to the US will experience a boon of intelligent, qualified immigrants when the US is busy turning them away.

Then let pissants like Buchanan and the like continue to believe their once-great, but now 14th-rate arrogant former empire is The White Jesus's Hallowed Heaven On Earth.

In short: Go ahead and try it, motherfucker.
posted by CommonSense at 1:07 PM on August 24, 2006


Or for that matter, to show our solidarity with multiculturalism, and our disdain for English only mindsets, we should randomly translate half of the fpp's into Spanish. Jesus that couldn't be easier. Someone could write the code for that in 30 minutes tops. Who is with me? Delmoi? Caddis?

(crickets chirping)
posted by vronsky at 1:09 PM on August 24, 2006


vronsky, honey, what the goddamn fuck are you going on about?
posted by signal at 2:32 PM on August 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


vronsky: Again Kirk, how is this different from mefites wringing their hands over influxes of new members ruining our "culture" and asking Matt to close down new memberships?

Because no one has said that the local culture of MeFi is dependent on having a majority of "European descent."

I am not confusing the issues, you are refusing to see that what we decry as racism in Buchanan's views is promoted here as lets keep the farkites out of mefi. Unless you can say that posting our passwords over on fark would not change the blue at all - you are agreeing with Buchanan.

The core of Buchanan's argument appears to be this: "If we do not get control of our borders, by 2050 Americans of European descent will be a minority in the nation their ancestors created and built." (emphasis added) It seems pretty explicit to me that Buchanan is making the case that "Western culture" is fundamentally tied to race.

I think there is a world of difference between an internet site with a history of about a half-dozen years, and the U.S. which has existed for over 200.

On what terms would you enact immigration reform? Job protection? Lack of social safety nets? How could I tell that these weren't just masks for your racism and ethocentrism? I mean, you want to keep the poor and disadvantaged out to protect American jobs? Really? By what right do those jobs belong to Americans first? Because we are different colors?

I think that in many cases it is reasonable to be suspcious that they are masks for racism and ethnocentrism. But, governments and services have limited resources and must prioritize those resources. Giving priority to those who live, work, pay taxes and vote within a geographic area seems to be reasonable.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:54 PM on August 24, 2006


At least one of the key differences between U.S. citizenship (or residency) and MeFi membership is that U.S. citizenship (or residency) is a big deal, while MeFi membership isn't.

But if we are going to strain to make the analogy work. Both processes require some economic cost, an agreement to abide by norms of behavior, and an understanding that bad behavior might get you excluded from the community. All of these are reasonable, don't you think?

Now one big difference between the two processes is that MeFi appears to be officially blind in regards to the country of origin, while U.S. immigration and residency has quotas. I could be wrong, but it doesn't look as if there is anybody to say, "Ohh, you are from aol, we've had more than enough aol members here." I suspect that a ban on participation from entire countries or continents in the name of preserving "MeFi culture" would be considered questionable.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:23 PM on August 24, 2006


a better comparison would be the language thing--here it's English. If we had a growing influx of people posting in other languages and discussing in them, then people might complain the way Buchanan does. (i'd love to see that tho)
posted by amberglow at 4:13 PM on August 24, 2006


1000 Fark posters were sneaking in to MeFi on a daily basis most people here would be outraged beyond belief. MetaTalk would be a continuos stream of "they don't belong here" and "they are lowering the standards" and "BAN THEM".

all users over 14k shouldnt be here , fact of life , get used to it , god genetically endowed the 14k crowd with many blessings and talents so numerous that were i to list them all , the worlds servers would collapse under the weight.

Pats just upset that he's on the losing side of the reformation.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:36 PM on August 24, 2006


what sgt said ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:50 PM on August 24, 2006


mk1gti: with every passing day the dominant 'color' is most definitly not white.

Uh...did you skip over kirkaracha's comment above?
"The white percentage of the population is expected to fall from 81.0% in 2000 to 72.1% in 2050." I agree with you about prioritizing the teaching of other languages and cultures, though.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:04 PM on August 24, 2006


"vronsky, honey, what the goddamn fuck are you going on about?"

I was going on a bit - sorry about that. I'll shut up now. I'll say my sgt. serenity prayer and walk out into the evening's amber glow.
posted by vronsky at 7:16 PM on August 24, 2006


vronsky : >

"Can't we all just get along?"
posted by amberglow at 7:23 PM on August 24, 2006


In short: Go ahead and try it, motherfucker.
posted by CommonSense at 1:07 PM PST on August 24


CommonSense, he's not talking about the smart, over achieving Asians and Indians. He's talking about the lazy Blacks and Mexicans.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:31 PM on August 24, 2006




/You know who else found value in Germany’s cultural heritage?

Metafilter: You get called out when you're talking out of your ass. Not just on Metafilter

Metafilter: what a joke coming from MetaFilter

Metafilter: even its staunchest supporters admit is a total sausage fest

Metafilter: In short: Go ahead and try it, motherfucker.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:54 PM on August 25, 2006


IndigoJones: According to Richard Jensen's article, NINA signs were rare to the point of near non-existent in America.
(Don't know if the professor's been refuted, interested if you have updates.)


Kevin Kenny, “Race, Violence, and Anti-Irish Sentiment in the Nineteenth Century,” in J.J. Lee and Marion R. Casey, eds., Making the Irish American: History and Heritage of the Irish in the United States, p. 371-72, 375: "Jensen implausibly infers from this absence of evidence that the American Irish therefore encountered no real prejudice at all, a conclusion that no historian of the field endorses. But his basic point about labour is a good one: demand for unskilled male heavy labor and unskilled female domestic labor in the nineteenth century was simply too great for the Irish to have suffered much by way of anti-hiring discrimination, racial or otherwise. . . .

“If we grant that the Irish in America were not initially regarded as 'fully white,' this does not mean that they were regarded or treated as 'black' or 'yellow.' The Irish were never denied entry into the United States or the right to acquire citizenship; unlike Americans of African or Asian descent, they could vote, serve on juries, and move freely from place to place; and they were more likely to deliver violence than to receive it. . . . The Irish were subject to vicious racial caricatures and stereotypes. But . . . [prejudice did not] translate into a system of racial discrimination or subordination enshrined in law. Invoking the ambiguities of Irish “whiteness” tends to obscure this distinction between prejudice and discrimination, with sometimes unfortunate results in the classroom, where Irish-American students, newly empowered with a sense of past victimhood, too often embrace a single lesson: “If we pulled ourselves up through hard work, then why can't they?”"

The article includes illustrations of “simianized” Irish, eg “The Champion of the Fenians”.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:23 PM on August 29, 2006


CI- good links, thank you. I was not endorsing the man's conclusions, mind, only pointing to his evidence on the NINA issue. I've always thought it odd that, given the wealth of genuine grievance, the sign should become such a totem, to the extent that Tip O'Neill used to claim seeing it frequently as a young nipper in Boston.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:18 AM on September 15, 2006


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