An open letter to Pat Buchanan:
Hi Pat, how’s things these days? Don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but there’s this device out there now called the “internet.” An interesting idea: the ‘net can put your words in front of a large audience. In the old days, you could say something relatively inflammatory, even in print, and generally have it read or heard really only by people who already agreed with you or at least shared your basic attitudes. Nowadays, though, someone like, say, Media Matters can pick up one of your columns and distribute it to a very different group of readers, including a few who might not share the assumptions underlying a statement like this, which you wrote yesterday in response to Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright’s now-famous screed:
America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.
Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.
Now, I’m not going to go into great detail about how I think you might just be missing the point, though I will suggest that perhaps you’d be more persuasive if you considered the question of whether anyone ASKED those “black folks” whether or not they wanted to be brought in chains to the New World, kept in servitude for centuries, stripped of their cultures and their very names and forcibly converted to an alien religion. Oh, and largely trapped in relative poverty and second-class citizenship up until my lifetime, and I ain’t that old. But I digress.