Buchanan’s blaming the immigrant: an old story
October 11, 2006
Veteran pundit Pat Buchanan’s latest best seller manages to blame just about everything on immigrants. In “State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America,” he uses fear to manipulate the American public into thinking that immigrants, both legal and undocumented, are responsible for a range of ills, including poor public education and the spread of disease.
“This is not West Side Story,” Buchanan tells us. What it is, in fact, is a very old story called “Blame the Immigrant.”
“California is going home to Mexico,” Buchanan writes. As evidence of this, he cites the mass exodus of white people out of California, and the influx of Latinos and the soaring Asian population. But Latinos don’t want to turn California into Mexico. They are coming here largely for economic reasons. And how does the Asian population have anything to do with Mexico?
Buchanan’s confused analysis runs throughout the book. He lumps immigrants and resident minorities together in such a way as to say that what is true of any one group is true of all. For instance, he makes a violent Salvadoran gang in Los Angeles seem representative of all Latinos. He claims that undocumented workers are just a symptom of a much larger problem with immigrants from the developing world.
Buchanan draws quotes and numbers from places like the controversial anti-immigration website VDare.com to support his claims. A casual glance at his references for Chapter Five, for example, reveals that VDare columnist Steve Sailer is cited six times. Sailer’s work consists primarily of articles on race and IQ. It is typified by an article on Hurricane Katrina, where he blames the disaster and deaths on African Americans with low IQs who were “too shortsighted to worry.” That Buchanan relies on such sources betrays where he is coming from.
Buchanan longs for a time that never truly was. He ignores the long history of diversity that has made this country what it is today.
His is a corrosive and divisive view, just what we don’t need today.
José Miguel Leyva is a freelance writer who lives in Texas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.