November 4, 2011

Oh, what a “loverly” time we are having in post-racial America. Except when the outrageous holy of holies of the American conservative movement elect to have their say, as happens often, most recently with right-wing oracles Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan.

It fell to Coulter, a successful author, columnist and Fox News contributor, to drive home the point that, notwithstanding what African Americans might think of the 14th Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation, we remain the property of white America.

Thus Coulter proclaimed on the “Hannity” TV show on Monday, during her stout defense of black conservatives such as Herman Cain, “Our blacks are so much better than their blacks.”

That is to mean, presumably, that Cain and other black conservatives belong to Coulter and her ilk. Blacks who don’t think like Cain et al. are, under Coulter’s line of argument, the property of white liberals.

Either way, Coulter would apparently have those of us of color believe that it matters not what we think or where we stand on the political spectrum but that, when it comes to the relationship of blacks to white folks, we still are theirs.

Coulter also attempted to justify her taste in blacks. Appearing on Joy Behar’s CNN show the next day, Coulter bragged that her black conservatives are “more impressive.” Show better on the stump, I suppose.

Thanks, Ms. Coulter, for reminding us of our place in post-racial America.

Speaking of our place in America, MSNBC contributor, author and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan reminds us in his just-released book, “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?,” of what black folks have been missing. I never knew we had it so good.

Writing about the segregation era, Buchanan observes, “Back then, black and white lived apart, went to different schools and churches, played on different playgrounds, and went to different restaurants, bars, theaters, and soda fountains. But we shared a country and a culture. We were one nation. We were Americans.”

Gosh, I didn’t know that. Buchanan and I grew up in the same segregated Washington, D.C. I don’t recall black folks having much of a say in the decision to live “apart.” The situation about which Buchanan speaks so wistfully was, to my recollection, a racial apartheid arrangement strictly of white people’s making. And Lord help us if we strayed across the line.

That’s what we thought at the time. Now, thanks to Buchanan, I know that before Brown v. Board of Education and the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we were one, sharing a country and a culture.

Why didn’t someone bother to tell us?

Buchanan’s latest screed to white Christian America’s decline (he’s written on this theme before, and it apparently sells) cites reasons for the deterioration. “Racial diversity,” he writes, is a major contributor to the country’s downfall.

His book is peppered with gripes.

“The European and Christian core of our country is shrinking,” Buchanan laments.

“Old heroes like Columbus and Robert E. Lee may be replaced on calendars by Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez,” he complains.

Robert E. Lee, my hero?

Forecasting “The End of White America,” Buchanan writes, “Those who believe the rise to power of an Obama rainbow coalition of peoples of color means the whites who helped to engineer it will steer it are deluding themselves [sic]. The whites may discover what it is like to ride in the back of the bus.”

Buchanan apparently hasn’t conducted a racial census of the Obama administration.

Buchanan’s well-known fixation on Jews also makes a bold emergence in his book. “By 2050,” he writes, “the U.S. Jewish population will shrink another 50 percent to 2.5 million. American Jews appear to be an endangered species. Why is this happening?” he asks, and then answers: “It is a result of the collective decision of Jews themselves.”

What decision? Why, he suggests, the one to support and have abortions. Then he lists “Jewish women who have led the battle for abortion rights,” citing “Betty Friedan to Gloria Steinem in the 1970s to Ruth Bader Ginsburg today.”

Buchanan even works in Auschwitz, bringing up a fictional character in a Philip Roth book who says “what Hitler couldn’t achieve . . . American Jews are doing to themselves in the bedroom.”

Asks Buchanan, “How many of the fifty million abortions since 1973 were performed on Jewish girls or women? How many Jewish children were never conceived because of birth control?

Ah, our post-racial America. A country where racism and anti-Semitism have no place . . . except on mainstream television networks’ talk shows, with coast-to-coast audiences who love to hear Coulter and Buchanan talk like that.

kingc@washpost.com

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