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Ask the White Guy: Did White America Die With This Election?

This Ask the White Guy column was  based on “Buchanan: ‘White America’ Died Last Night,” a satire published by The Daily Current. At the time of publishing, DiversityInc mistakenly thought the article was factual, rather than satirical. However, this column and its opinions are still valid: Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan’s view that  ‘white America is a dying tribe’  is supported by other articles linked here.  Read the column then visit these links by Buchanan:

A.D. 2041 – End of White America?
Death Knell for the Silent Majority?

Pat Buchanan says 'White America' is deadQuestion: Pat Buchanan‘s comments that “‘White America’ Died Last Night” make me angry. What do you think?

Answer: Don’t get angry; take solace in what we are witnessing. Buchanan is a bigot—a racist, anti-Semitic creep. He’s chronologically old, but he’s one of those people who was born a bitter, ugly, little, shrunken, mean, horrid old man.

His white America may have died, but my white America didn’t die with this election—it was strengthened and improved. My white America is the one of Thomas Payne, Franklin, Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Franklin D. Roosevelt , Eleanor Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. My white America may not understand Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as it should, but it knows what side of the trajectory of justice it wants to be on.

My white America is an ongoing experiment in human dignity, freedom of thought and free will. It is evolving. It is struggling to improve itself. My white America knows the wisdom of Frederick Douglass, who said, “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man, without at last finding the other end of it fastened about his own neck.”

My white America knows when it’s time to pick up a rifle and fight tyranny, even as it struggles with the desire to use the rifle in evil ways. My white America wants to see the time when we can put down the rifle for the last time.

My white America knows that its future is in becoming OUR AMERICA with no adjectives, embracing all, shouldered by those who are strong and caring for those who are weak.

Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.

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31 Comments

  • Interesting that you picked LBJ as one of your standard-bearers. My daughter learned the n-word from him. She was assigned to write a report on his life for elementary school and listened to some of his tapes via YouTube to see what he was like. He called black people the n-word all the time.

    But hey, Buchanan’s a creep and LBJ’s a hero, so I guess I shouldn’t have mentioned it.

    • Yes, LBJ was indeed a product of his time and environment; so that is why I celebrate his sociological seismic shift all the more. How profound was it that this supporter of Jim Crow found within his heart and soul the compassion to put his political capital on the line to push through Congress the Voting and Civil Rights Acts. Courage is not fighting for your beliefs. Courage is sincerely examining your beliefs — and changing them you recognize they’re wrong.

      • Luke Visconti

        Well put. If you want to read a very good book, Robert Caro’s latest, The Passage of Power, covers LBJ’s life during his transition from the Senate to the Vice Presidency, then to his Presidency (after JFK was assassinated). Caro explains how LBJ got the civil-rights (and immigration-reform) legislation through Congress. I wish our current President would read it. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Awesome response! Thank you.

    • In some cases, as your daughter discovered, LBJ was a product of his time. In other cases, LBJ was ahead of his time. His deligence on passing the Civil Right Act of 1964 was a courageous and bold act which not only affects rights of all citizens but directly impacts our political landscape today (the extinction of Southern Democrats).

  • Gayle Edmond

    Once again, Good Job, Mr. Visconti! I didn’t think there were supposed to be different AMERICAS for different types of people. Some co workers of mine told a Latina co worker that President Obama was HER President. That would mean NO ONE of color has ever had a president before, the President was only for White people until now. I was very insulted by that. I always considered the White Presidents “mine” also. As usual, thanks for what you said.

  • karen blackwell

    Tha.nks, it is good to get a fresh prespective.

  • L J Savadge

    It seems that your White America is the same as my White American! Being a Christian, I embrace all God’s children including those who travel a different path than me. I know that not all Christians feel that way but it is a fact that we are all God’s children – even Pat Buchanan. The Bible teaches us that. I’ll pray for Mr. Buchanan.

  • P. Matejka

    Score one for the good guys – who incidentally may be white, black, yellow… as well as female, child, etc. We need more people thinking like you do. Keep up the good work.

  • grannybunny

    Wow! Awesome, powerful, impassioned statement. What more can we say?

  • Paul Shew

    While the remainder of your response is thoughtful I do not see the value in your first paragraph. We do not need more people screaming names at each other. I am no fan of Buchanan and I doubt he was “born” the way he is, even if your labels are accurate. Our parents and certain aspects of our society and culture have a bigger influence in our attitudes and perceptions. Are you sure you are not angry? I do not take solace in witnessing people who have the same view as Buchanan and I am sure he is not the only one. I did appreciate your other article you linked to about bigotry, racism and white privilage. I plan to share it.

  • Linda Bouie

    “My white America knows that its future is in becoming OUR AMERICA with no adjectives, embracing all, shouldered by those who are strong and caring for those who are weak.”

    Your last statement expresses my sentiment perfectly, and I dare say, most people who are weary of divisive adjectives and language that perpetuate racism and discrimination in this country. The Gen Y population gives me hope that we will truly overcome someday and become “One America.”

  • Luke,

    “My white America is an ongoing experiment in human dignity, freedom of thought and free will. It is evolving. It is struggling to improve itself.”

    Exceptional. Beautiful in its succinct yet powerful message. No need to expand on it.

  • How wonderfully stated! This American of African decent, appreciates your candor and your willingness to educate all. Thank You!

    • LBJ may have begun his political career at one phase of his cultural identity, but not elect to remain there.

      Given the era, and the decisions he made to encourage the Civil Rights Act – which was very unpopular within many white American circles, he demonstrated the moral courage to do what was right. He elected to grow in his thinking and changed his actions. These are some of the characteristics of a leader. Actually, it was an excellent example.

  • In response to you, Amy –

    While it may be true that LBJ used the n-word (by the way, probably my least favorite word), one must place this in the context of history. I’m sure he wasn’t the only one at the time who did so. Doesn’t make it right, even through our lens. And I wouldn’t say he’s a hero. But he did sign the Civil Rights act, which probably has a lot to do with why he’s on the list. And Buchanan’s behavior comes at a time when one would hope most people have gotten past color and religious affiliation as a means of judging people. He obviously has not.

    Mr. Visconti, thank you so much for your eloquent statement.

    • Luke Visconti

      I think LBJ profoundly changed his views and certainly changed his actions during his lifetime. And it was LBJ—not JFK—who spearheaded both the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act through Congress. I just finished Robert Caro’s latest book on LBJ—it’s excellent. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • I agree!! I’ve told others that though the media spouts off about JFK all the time, that his administration was more interested in Cuba than civil rights. It wasn’t until they saw the dogs attacking people on national TV that they stepped forward. LBJ used his influence and pushed through Civil and Voting Rights. Sorry, but I admire him more than the camelot folks.

  • The GOP learned absolutely nothing from this last election. Mr. Buchanan‘s comment was an attempt at the old “tried (but now tired) and true” (but no longer true) tactic to strike fear in the hearts of white Americans (and tap into deep-seated racism).

    The relection of President Obama, which left many of them scratching their heads and trying to figure out (and blaming everyone but themselves in the process) “wot went ‘wrong'” proved that those tactics are indeed tired and no longer viable.

    The people hath spoken and the majority of the people showed through the power of their vote that the ideas of the likes of Buchanan and his ilk “died with this election”.

    Mr. Buchanan and his way of thinking are going the way of the dinosaur and we all know what happened with the dinosaurs – they failed to evolve and thus were rendered extinct.

  • I wish that we could truthfully say (as somebody did above) that Patrick Buchanan’s way of thinking was “going the way of the dinosaur.” But history tells us different. This powerful, angry, disaffected group for whom he speaks will bide their time until an opportune moment (such as an economic or political crisis) and then reappear in the form of a violent, extremist movement. How do I know this? Because people in Weimar Germany were saying that anti-Semitism was old and dying out, and yet, all it took for the Nazis to rise to power was propaganda, fear of Marxism and a terrible economy. What is America other than propaganda, fear of Marxism and a bad economy? Yes, people, it IS time to be afraid!

    • A very excellent point John, and worth keeping in mind always. However, I see a silver lining in the storm cloud. First, I think that extremism is already happening. I also see it thus: acts of desperation by a group that perceives itself as increasingly irrelevant and unable to achieve or even attempt the growth required to remain relevant. In the short term, they may be frightening, and do damage. In the long term, they will be seen as pathetic, to put it bluntly. The Nazis did horrific damage, but ultimately, they lost. I believe that inevitably, equal opportunity will prevail. It will require persistence and yes, more sacrifice, until it is truly realized. And it’s not just with color; gender is seeing an upsurge in these violent extremist targetings, but it too shall pass, because there are so many with the passion of Civil Rights still strong in their hearts.

  • Very well put. Thank you, Luke! This is the America that will keep us both honorable and competitive.

  • Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell

    Whenever I read or hear Pat Buchanan, I remember these words that have been attributed to English Literature:
    “I do not like thee Dr. Fell, the reason why I cannot tell.
    But this I know and know real well, I do not like thee, Dr. Fell”.
    It is sad that Buchanan with his historical awareness and journalistic gifts is not “comfortable” in his own white skin, thus in order to feel superior, he seeks to diminish and demean those of us who are black and/or other people of color.
    One day,Buchanan’s obituary will be written. When Alfred Nobel read his own obiturary that was printed by mistake and he saw that up to that point, his greatest contribution to society was listed as a participant in the creation of dynamite, he introduced the Nobel Prizes.”Pat,and you?”

  • John Hoade

    Mr. Visconti wrote a very powerful article. I’m also touched by the outpouring of emotion and support for our President. It is my belief that we have the responsibility to correct our so-called friends when they spout racist comments.
    Racism is a learned behavior and as long as people are tolerant of racist comments from their so-called friends, they allow racism to live in America. It is time to put people like Pat Buchanan in their place and stop accepting their remarks and covering for them with Statements like “that’s just Pat being Pat”. Believe it or not, when those racist friends talk to others, they’ll mention you as a supporter of their remarks since you’ve never taken the opportunity to correct them. Think about it, then get involved.

  • America is neither “White” nor “Black”!

    It is America, a place where we all live, work, get educated and co-exist with each other regardless of the amount of melanin in our skin. We try not to visually reject each other any more, we now try to take a few minutes to listen to words that come out of our mouths and our compassion for our America regardless of color that we support.

    We are evloving into the America that we were born to be a land of the free and the brave!! Our America is one of hope for a better future for all of our children. If the Republican Party is defining themselves as “White,” then shame on them!! This election was not about color, it was about ideals! ~We are an America where everyone can Dream, Believe and Achieve. Amen to the comments by Joan Hoade, who reminded us all that racism is learned behavior. ~The TIP Lady

  • Great post Luke. There was a time just before the 2008 election when I feared that “traditional white America” (the divisive, racist, bigoted, misogynistic,authoritarian one) would rear its ugly head and put the kabosh on an Obama presidency. Instead, I found that many of my straight, white friends voted for the President and did so again a few weeks ago.

    It seems fairly clear to me that many, many straight, white Americans of all ages are embracing diversity, realizing that we are so much stronger and more effective as a nation working together than we are as a nation embattled.

    As for Buchanan, not only is he everything you say he is, he’s also a failed presidential candidate who was given the role of spokesperson for “traditional white America” by the NBC networks which were attempting to find a conservative who was loud and obnoxious enough to be a counterpoint to their own commentators. He never belonged there, but it took MSNBC a long, long time to get rid of him. And good riddance!

  • While I had a very visceral reaction the original question Luke posed I’m even more taken aback by the following excerpt from Buchanan’s “official site” in the article “A.D. 2041 – End of White America?”

    “Can Western civilization survive the passing of the European peoples whose ancestors created it and their replacement by Third World immigrants? Probably not, for the new arrivals seem uninterested in preserving the old culture they have found.
    Those who hold the white race responsible for the mortal sins of mankind – slavery, racism, imperialism, genocide – may welcome its departure from history. Those who believe that the civilization that came out of Jerusalem, Athens, Rome and London to be the crowning achievement of mankind will mourn its passing.”

    I urge you to read the entire article for its cunning context and attempt to soften the message of hate and ignorance so boldly presented in these four sentences above. There is no single word to describe this content for what it is and yet no combination of words in the pejoritive seem to do it any justice as well.

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