Republican pundit Pat Buchanan is known for making foolish, racially inflammatory statements. The man who once proclaiming that “conservatives are the niggers of the Nixon administration,” is back at it again, and this time it seems he’s reminiscing about the good ol’ days of the 1950s, when Americans were more united.

In an interview with radio host Mark Davis, agreed with Davis when he said that unlike today, Blacks of the 1950s were “woven into the fabric of the America of that time than many of today’s black Americans are woven into the America of this time.”


Buchanan goes onto explain that during the 1950s, Blacks and Whites “all had a common religion, we all worshiped the same God, we all went to schools where American literature was taught, the English language was our language, we all rooted for the same teams, we read the same newspapers, we listened to the same music. We were a people then. We were all Americans. Now I’m not saying segregation was good. But what I was saying, that did not prevent us from being one people.”

Just to get a little perspective on how (some) African-Americans felt during the ’50s, I asked my mother and grandmother, both of whom were born in segregated Arkansas. Although my grandparents moved North in the late ’50s, my mother remembered just how much she felt separated from (White) America.

Sure, like Buchanan mentioned the majority–not all–Blacks were Christians and watched the same shows and rooted for hometown sports teams (even though many African-Americans weren’t allowed to play), not all Black people at that time felt as American as their White counterparts because they knew they were limited for no other reason except the color of their skin.

When I told my mother Buchanan made these comments, she said, “Of course he feels that way, he’s White. He had no idea what it was like for us.”

Lately, we’ve had a proliferation of “good ol’ days” images. From the success of The Help and other films showing America’s cleaned up segregated past, to the Tea Party claiming they want their country back, going back to simpler times seems like a wonderful place in which America was at it best.

Only it wasn’t.

The 1950s and 1960s were a difficult time for not only African-Americans, but our nation as a whole. The growing Civil Rights and Black Power movements called attention to the inequality present in the country, and images of America’s racist practices blasted screens across the world.

Pat Buchanan’s assertion that Blacks of the 1950s were “more American” completely brushes aside just HOW difficult things were for us during that time (it also minimizes movements such as Pan Africanism and Black Nationalism). Not only is it revisionist to say Blacks were “more American” at a time when we weren’t treated as equal, but it signals the disgusting idea that Blacks have to PROVE we are indeed “American” through our actions (unyielding patriotism) despite this country being our birthplace.

For many Blacks in America, James Baldwin captures our thoughts when he said, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”


What do you think of Pat Buchanan’s statements? Are Blacks today more or less “American” than in the 1950s? 


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  • Usagi

    Hell, being just White wasn’t good enough back than. A little known secret of white folks is that have no real unity between each other. They rarely have a reason.(To oppress POC) Older people in general tend to look at their time with rose-colored glasses. Also, people tend not to believe that if they or someone personal isn’t affected by it. What I find odd is when “Afrocentric” people say things this. Things that I’ve been told : African slavery is a punishment for not being Christian. 2. Black people were way more united back then. (You know, when they had paper bag test and said good and bad hair) It’s funny that most people I heard said/wrote are almost not any older than about 30. There was an article on Clutch was about that. I though it was so rose-tinted and afroidealistic. I mean, sure they went unspeakable pain, limiting life choices, poverty and low-self-esteem, but at least they were Christian, loved America (probably because of the extreme xenophobia taught by WASPS and the stereotype of Dark Africa), and to be around their own “kind”. Yay?????????? He’s lucky he’s old. Old people get away with saying offensive things way easier.

  • Please Excuse Me

    Buchanan and all those who share his ideology have an obsession with AA. Instead of focusing on things that affect us as a nation they are focused on the good old days forgetting that AA and other minority groups were segregated and considered subhuman.

  • Cree

    Well, obviously, as his statment suggests…The feeling of what “American” is, is HIGHLY subjective. That is all.

  • GorgeousSmile

    I don’t like when people say “blacks,” especially white people, it makes me think they’re racist.

    “Blacks,” is a very dehumanizing and demeaning way to address or speak about a group of people.
    Instead of acknowledging us as a people, you refer to us by color, in plural, like we’re animals or cattle.

    We are not just “blacks,” we are black people of African decent. Come correct or don’t come at all!!!!

    • Avi Marranazo

      Sure–as a European American, I always refer to African Americans as such or simply as Africans. As Peter Tosh sang…”no matter where you come from, as long as you’re a Black man, you’re an African…”

      We are learning from you folks, as a result of the war being waged against us. The Pan-European movement is all about White people firstly identifying as European and pursuing our interests as European people with a shared past and a shared future.

  • entro

    Ahhhhhhh I cant even muster up enough strength to respond to this racist. these people make me tired and I dont even think his statement deserves a response.