Home / General / Pat Buchanan’s not a racist, unless you ask Pat Buchanan, who thinks otherwise.

Pat Buchanan’s not a racist, unless you ask Pat Buchanan, who thinks otherwise.

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Victor Davis Hanson should be celebrated for writing an entire post without mentioning that he taught Classics to poor people. But he shouldn’t be celebrated for writing what he wrote:

[W]e all must deplore that [Pat] Buchanan was booted from MSNBC, and recognize why it happened now.

Must we?  Buchanan begins the book with a lament that “[b]y 2020, deaths among white Americans will exceed births, while mass immigration is altering forever the face of America” (2).  He later opens a chapter entitled “The End of White America” with an analysis of Tom Buchanan—no blood relation, just the ideological one—discussing the novel’s fictional version of Lothrop Stoddard’s The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy.

“Well, it’s a fine book and everybody ought to read it. The idea is that if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.” (123)

Instead of dismissing his namesake’s approval of unscientific racism, Buchanan hems and haws about Margaret Sanger and eugenics as a liberal science and Stoddard being an Ivy League-educated racist who predicted

Japan’s rise to power, its war with the United States, a second European war, the fall of the Western empires, mass migration of peoples of color to the West, and the rise of Islam as a threat to Western civilization. (124)

He can’t decide whether to condemn Stoddard for being a typical academic liberal or praise him for being a prophet. So does neither. Or possibly both.

What Tom Buchanan and [Stoddard] feared [some clearly non-white academic writing in the Atlantic named] Professor Hsu welcomes: “The End of White America is a cultural and demographic inevitability.” (124)

Both Tom and Pat Buchanan align themselves with Stoddard and against Hsu, which is odd considering that Stoddard and Hsu are making essentially the same argument: white America is on the decline. The only difference between any of them is that the Buchanan boys share Stoddard’s “unashamedly racialist” assumption that the death of white America should be mourned. Did Buchanan forget he condemned Stoddard for being a racist when he joined him in mourning? Or does he simply not care about the contradiction? It’s genuinely difficult to tell. He’ll acknowledge that

The Tea Party and town hall protests of 2009 were almost wholly white affairs. (126)

But its impossible to parse that sentence. Is the attempt by white people to organize white affairs to defeat racial and cultural assaults on white America a good thing? Given his assessment of Stoddard, the answer would seem to be clear. But a few pages later he’ll be complaining about the very fact he just he conceded:

CNN, NPR, and USA Today all zeroes in on the racial composition of the crowd [at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally] as “predominantly,” “overwhelmingly,” or “almost all white.” The media’s unsubtle message: the Tea Party is a protest movement of, by, and for white people. (131)

You know who would agree with that assessment? The Pat Buchanan who admitted as much five pages previous. His argument is that the media accurately portrayed the Tea Party movement and should be condemned for doing so. Why? Because America is becoming more racially and culturally diverse and accurate portrayals of white anger about that fact should be avoided—despite the fact that according to Buchanan himself the demographic shift is inevitable and the white anger real. So let me modify my reply to Victor Davis Hanson:

Why exactly must we “deplore” the exit of an inconsistent and incoherent thinker like Buchanan from the ranks of professional political commentators? I’m having problems seeing what value his nostalgia for a whiter America brings to the table—especially when he only acknowledges the anger of white Americas when complaining about media coverage of them. Davis Hanson doesn’t say. Instead, he claims Buchanan had to be pushed out because

Now that there is no Bush to criticize, and given that Obama did not turn out to be a left-wing version of a Ron Paul isolationist, anything Buchanan might say about foreign policy will be critical of Obama—and he will probably say it well and often, given that he is better read, sincere in his convictions, and more informed than the other guests. The Obama agenda at home is the antithesis of everything Buchanan has ever said or written. In the network’s view, the days of Buchanan as a useful idiot are over; and now, in a changed climate, he offers no utility at all.

Let me see if I have this right: because Obama was elected nearly four years ago Buchanan had to be fired last week. I can see why Davis Hanson’s upset. It’s not like he can just change the channel and find a new brother-in-nonsense to embrace.

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  • Nathan of Perth

    Pat Buchanan got the arse from work? Oh, frabjous day!

  • AGM

    I thought it was already well established that using quotes of what Republicans have actually said as indicators of what they believe or are going to do is like really unfair and mean.

  • thebewilderness

    Buchanan has been deeply offended forever that God made “white” a recessive gene. Poor resentful boobie.

    • DrDick

      That is just God’s way of saying, “Black is beautiful!”

  • DrDick

    Deplore it my hairy white hillbilly ass! I celebrate and applaud his long overdue departure and ask what the fuck took you idiots so long?

    I do deplore VDH’s writing and his raggedy ass attempts at “logic” and “reason.” Both of these are clearly concepts that he has read about, but never actually encountered or comprehended.

    • I do deplore VDH’s writing and his raggedy ass attempts at “logic” and “reason.” Both of these are clearly concepts that he has read about, but never actually encountered or comprehended.

      But he says erudite-sounding stuff about Herodotus and Thucydides, so he must be smart.

      • Warren Terra

        Never underestimate the value in the marketplace of ideas of being a classically trained asshole. See also: Chris Hitchens, Niall Ferguson, etcetera, etcetera.

        • Having a British accent helps too.

          • Warren Terra

            I assumed that was a part of being classically trained.

            • It turns out Christopher Hitchens is actually from central Missouri, somewhere around Jefferson City. But he received a classical education and the British accent just came naturally.

              • I saw a banner across the top of a copy of The Atlantic today announcing “the last Hitchens review” on a newsstand today. I resisted the urge.

                • firefall

                  Good, its not the newsstands fault and you shouldnt burn it down

          • Warren Terra

            The one I wonder about is Boris Johnson. He seems to get away with tremendous assholery on the basis of his classical education and general bonhomie, and yes, he does have a British Accent – but so does everyone around him. Does this mean the British Accent isn’t actually critical? Or, going the other way, that it is critical, but not because of any novelty or rarity?

            • Posh Bloke

              It’s the kind of British accent that matters. You want to shoot for somewhere between George VI post-stutter and Tony Blair. Anywhere south of that and you’re just an extra in a Guy Ritchie movie.

        • DrDick

          being a classically trained asshole

          A phrase with unintended ramifications in this context.

        • pete

          Ahem, cough (shuffles feet) … at the age of 12 or so, perhaps a little less, one used to rise early and compose Latin verse before breakfast. One considered this normal behavior. Not long thereafter, one was reading Thucydides, in the original and without benefit of the Loeb version. (Homer was really great.) One therefore feels competent to assert that (a) a classical education is no guarantee of competence in anything except itself; and (b) Victor Davis Hanson is an irremediable asshole.

          • Warren Terra

            I didn’t mean to impugn a classical education – certainly not to say that it makes the recipient an asshole. Merely that a certain veneer of erudition, especially when assisted by a British accent, seems to make it possible for a certain sort of asshole to do really, really well.

            Or to consider it differently: I’m glad you’re not an asshole – but have you considered becoming one? Your background might offer your tremendous opportunities if you were to do so.

            • pete

              Pay’s good, but the conditions are appalling.

  • Fats Durston

    You know who would agree with that assessment? The Pat Buchanan who admitted as much five pages previous.

    Ha! You know who else were inconsistent and incoherent thinkers? The early-twentieth-century race science folks volks that got this ball rolling. They saw the dusky hordes both as swamping whites and as weaker races dying out in the face of white competition. They saw whites as the superior race, but working class whites as mental defectives.

    • Ken

      That’s the thing about racism; once you start drawing the lines it’s hard to stop. You’d think Buchanan would be marginally aware of this, given the history of the Irish.

  • Manju

    Buchanan’s important because he’s the last of anti-free market and anti-imperialist Right Wing.

    He supports protectionism, opposes globalization (at least as far as he perceives it hurts American interests…like driving down wages for working class, jobs going overseas) and regularly mocks free market fundamentalism.

    He’s also not a hack. He was almost alone among the RightWing in praising Obama’s restraint during the 2011 Iranian protests…which I attribute to his Burkean understanding of the role religion, tradition, and tribalism play in all societies. This was not the first time he’s defended the President.

    Sometimes it takes one to know one, and Buchanan is one with the Savages. Take this surreal moment in ’08:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/180147.php

    TPM cuts it off, but I recall Pat laughing his ass off after that. The old Nixonite knew a Southern Strategy when he heard one.

    • Uncle Kvetch

      Buchanan’s important because he’s the last of anti-free market and anti-imperialist Right Wing.

      Sadly, no.

      • DrDick

        Manju is wrong about something – again! Who would ever have imagined?

      • Manju

        You just linked up to all of Daniel Larison’s posts in the American Conservative. This proves that Pat Buchanan is a free-market imperialist?

        • Uncle Kvetch

          No, what I meant was that Larison, being a vigorously anti-imperialist conservative, demonstrates that Buchanan wasn’t the “last” right-wing anti-imperialist. (The fact that Larison manages to combine anti-imperialism with a distinct lack of white supremacy is an added bonus.)

          On further reflection, though, I will acknowledge that Larison is more libertarian in his economic positions than Buchanan, so in that sense they’re not strictly comparable.

          TPM cuts it off, but I recall Pat laughing his ass off after that. The old Nixonite knew a Southern Strategy when he heard one.

          Yeah, sounds like a regular barrel o’ laughs, whatever the hell it is, but I’ll take your word for it.

          • Manju

            No, what I meant was that Larison, being a vigorously anti-imperialist conservative, demonstrates that Buchanan wasn’t the “last” right-wing anti-imperialist.

            Ahhh…ok. I concede the point. “The Last” was just a turn of phrase indicating that the views in question are way out of the mainstream of the modern RWing.

            Yeah, sounds like a regular barrel o’ laughs, whatever the hell it is, but I’ll take your word for it

            .

            Well, Pat is important because he knows what the hell it is. In contrast, the good Uncle Kvetch hedges and haws; “whatever it is”. It’s a Southern Strategy, Uncle. Glad Pat and I could clear that up for you.

            • Malaclypse

              Does this prove that Pat Buchanan is the real Democrat? I can’t be sure what you mean without a reference to Robert Byrd.

              • Manju

                In all seriousness, Buchanan demonstrates why political party/affiliation is more important than ideology. It would be perverse to put his racism on liberals just because the 2 share a similar anti-war and economic protectionist platform.

                I think lefties intuitively understand this. Ergo, the need to revise history in order to create a significant party affiliation between Repubs and the Dixiecrats. See Dr. Dick:

                Dixiecrats…either shifted to the GOP or left politics after 1968.

                Judging from the LGM Faithful’s gobsmacked reaction, this myth is quite prevalent. Even you were caught smoking the opium.

                After being informed that segregationist politicians who migrated to the RW party were in fact an outliers, you were absolutely beside yourself:

                Outliers…

                Seriously, do you actually believe your own bullshit? Are you really as dumb as you act?

                But now you know that I was completely right.

                If I may offer some advice. Instead of continuing to allude to the sarcastic phrase “liberals are the real racists”, contemplate how it was that so many lefty-intellectuals could come to believe falsehoods as false as: “the civil war was not about slavery.

                Perh

  • The only difference between any of them is that the Buchanan boys share Stoddard’s “unashamedly racialist” assumption that the death of white America should be mourned. Did Buchanan forget he condemned Stoddard for being a racist when he joined him in mourning?

    Remember, in the rarefied world of old white men talking race, “racialist” & “racist” are two entirely separate things.

    • Kind of similar to how for Boasian leftists like Lev Sternberg in the USSR considered that ethnicity (culture) were completely different things that functioned exactly in the same manner. Depriving all Koreans in the USSR of their civil rights in 1937 is still not considered ‘racial discrimination’ by American left wing scholars because Stalin said Koreans were a nationality not a race.

      • Oops that should be ‘considered that ethnicity (culture) and race were completely different things that functioned in the same manner.’

      • Malaclypse

        Depriving all Koreans in the USSR of their civil rights in 1937 is still not considered ‘racial discrimination’ by American left wing scholars [*] because Stalin said Koreans were a nationality not a race.

        [*] citation needed.

        • Warren Terra

          Do you suppose JOP is deluded enough to believe this nonsense?

          • Malaclypse

            Yes. And I am sure that he will find at least one American Communist, writing in 1938 or 1939, and trumpet that as proof of a general consensus among liberals today, and he will believe that that means he wins the argument.

            • DrDick

              Absolutely correct. There is no evil he will not lay at the feet of “leftists”, while totally ignoring the grotesque excesses of capitalism and conservatives.

              • There are not large numbers of American academics defending the excesses of capitalism. There are lots of tenured professors in the US doing things like denying that the Soviet deportation of ethnic Koreans into Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in 1937 was an act of racial discrimination. If denying the crimes of right wing regimes were as popular among mainstream American academics I would condemn them too. But, Slavic Review has not to my knowledge carried any articles denying the racism and atrocities of the Russian Whites or the German occupation forces.

                • ajay

                  There are not large numbers of American academics defending the excesses of capitalism.

                  Wait, what? When did they stop?

                • Hogan

                  Denying that a deportation was an act of racial discrimination is not denying that there was a crime; it’s just arguing about exactly what kind of crime it is.

                • Yes, but in almost any other context the forced relocation of an entire group of people defined by their ethnic heritage would be considered racism. For instance the removal and internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The Soviet national deportations were equally as racist. Nobody claiming that the internment of Japanese Americans was merely national, political or an understandable security measure rather than an act of racial discrimination would be taken seriously. They would be hounded out of academia. So why are arguments denying Soviet racial discrimination allowed to dominate American scholarship with regards to the Soviet deportation of Russian-Koreans, Kalmyks, and others?

                • Hogan

                  Um, because there’s evidence to support that claim?

                • Hogan

                  Oh and incidentally, those two articles you cited? Are responses to an article by Eric D. Weitz arguing exactly the opposite. So no, Hirsch’s argument doesn’t exactly “dominate American scholarship.”

                • Eric Weitz, Alaina Lemon, and Keisha Fikes are the only people I know of other than myself who have ever published any peer reviewed articles openly disagreeing with Hirsch and Weiner. The number supporting them is too large to count. So they do dominate US scholarship on Stalinist nationality policies.

                  There is plenty of evidence that decreeing the forced relocation and imposition of apartheid like restrictions against whole groups defined at birth is racist. I am not sure why the USSR gets a free pass on this.

                • Malaclypse

                  There are not large numbers of American academics defending the excesses of capitalism.

                  Which is why Larry Summers is currently adjuncting at East Bumfuck’s College of Fine Clowning. I heard Tyler Cowen supports himself by selling his own blood, which, fortuitously, is allowed under the basic precepts of libertarianism. While Victor Davis Hanson’s lifestyle of turning tricks to support himself perhaps surprises nobody, I think that we can all agree that Greg Mankiw’s recent tragic death in a hail of bullets during that failed liquor-store robbery is clearly evidence of left-wing orthodoxy gone one step too far.

                  There are lots of tenured professors in the US doing things like denying that the Soviet deportation of ethnic Koreans into Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in 1937 was an act of racial discrimination.

                  There are not “lots of tenured professors” who can even spell Kazakhstan, much less describe events there of seventy years ago.

                  If denying the crimes of right wing regimes were as popular among mainstream American academics I would condemn them too.

                  It would be, at this juncture, cruel to point out the names of Milton Friedman and Augusto Pinochet. Pointing out that John Yoo has tenure would be twisting a knife.

                • Hogan

                  To be fair, Summers, Cowen and Hanson don’t defend the excesses of capitalism; they deny that there is any such thing. Totally different.

              • djw

                J. Otto Pohl has several false beliefs about American academia, but the view that we’re basically all unreconstructed Stalinists is by far the strangest.

              • Hogan

                Well, I have to say that no evidence they muster could be as persuasive as your “well iss bleedin obvious innit?” argument.

                And how exactly do we know that Hirsch and Weiner are leftists?

        • Francine Hirsch, “Race without the Practice of Racial Politics,” Slavic Review vol. 61, no. 1, (Spring 2001), pp. 30-43. Hirsch is a tenured professor at the University of Wisconsin today, not some obscure CP member in the 1930s.

          • Malaclypse

            So, one person, that you described as a plural consensus among liberals. I was wrong on one particular of my prediction, presuming, for the sake of argument, that your unquoted summary of her work is accurate.

            • I never said anything about liberals. But, rather American based scholars who refuse to recognize the existence of any racial discrimination in the USSR by the Stalin regime against groups such as Koreans, Kalmyks, etc. In the same issue of Slavic Review Hirsch is supported in this belief by Amir Weiner tenured at Stanford University. See:

              Amir Weiner, “Nothing but Certainty,” Slavic Review, no. 61, no. 1, pp. 44-53.

              One minor correction the issue was published in Spring 2002, not 2001. I typed it wrong.

              • DrDick

                You do need to stop listening to the voices in your head. Nobody I know of has denied the existence of racism and ethnic bigotry in the former Soviet Union or in modern Russia and I am a specialist in race and ethnicity. Indeed, Rusian and Soviet anti-semitism is fairly infamous.

                • I have given you the citations. Hirsch quite clearly claims that there was no official racial discrimination in the USSR under Stalin because the Soviet government classified people by natsionalnost and not race. See page 30 of the article. She is tenured at the University of Wisconsin.

                  Her contention is that race can only be constructed on a genetic and biological basis similar to Nazi Germany and never on a cultural basis (p. 37). She essentially adopts the Soviet definitions of race and from there concludes that ‘racial politics’ did not ever exist in the USSR. Again already stated on p. 30 at the start of the article, but again on pages 37, 39-40, and 42. She again and again asserts that the Stalin regime never engaged in anything that could be described as ‘racial politics.’ Her definition of racism being confined to explicit biological categories of inferiority similar to Nazi Germany.

                • Hogan

                  Her contention is that race can only be constructed on a genetic and biological basis similar to Nazi Germany and never on a cultural basis (p. 37).

                  No, she documents how race was understood in the Soviet Union by citing Soviet scientists (not Stalin), and claims that “racial politics” meant something specific in the 1930s and 1940s, not that there can be only one definition of “racial politics” for all times and places. In other words, she’s doing history.

                • I only got 16 hits on Google Scholar for “Soviet racism”. If you type the words without the quotes you are going to get mostly stuff on Soviet opposition to racism. Almost all of the articles coming up on Soviet racism I got are for the post-Stalin period and only deal with African students or anti-semitism. Yes there is a body of literature on Soviet anti-semitism, but almost nothing about racism against people treated far, far worse than Jews by the Soviet regime under Stalin. That is there is nothing on the deported peoples from 1937-1944 as being acts of racial discrimination.

                  Francine Hirsch’s book, “Empire of Nations” is cited 182 times according to Google Scholar. The article I cited has 16 citations listed. My guess the real numbers are much higher. Most of the citations I have seen in print have been in support of her position.

                • Hogan: No she is claiming that racial discrimination did not exist in the USSR because the government classified people by the term natsionalnost not race. The 1965 ICERD is quite clear that discrimination on ethnic or national basis is racial discrimination. The fact that the Soviet government and its ‘scientists’ claimed that it was not racist is not a good defense against the charge. How is mistreating entire groups of people based upon their birth into immutable categories defined by ancestry and passed on to future generations at birth not racial discrimination? The South Africans and Israelis have also denied practicing racial discrimination. So what?

                • Hogan

                  JOP: As I said, she’s trying to understand the Soviet population displacement project as the Soviets understood it. That’s doing history. You’re doing categorical moral judgment. Which is fine, but it’s not the same thing and doesn’t have the same goals, and it’s not right to blame her for failing at something she’s not trying to do.

                • Malaclypse

                  This proves that Hogan is the Real Stalinist. Or something. I’m sure one person in an obscure journal that Otto once read must proves something, right?

                  And nobody could have predicted that this would end up being all about a consensus consisting of one person.

                • Hogan:
                  I am saying what the actual effect of the Soviet institutions of special settlement were racist in practice. Hirsch denies they were racist because she thinks the Soviets did not have a racist motivation or intent. A motivation she defines very narrowly to cover very few cases outside of Nazi Germany.

                  The special settlement regime denied people on the basis of inherited and immutable group membership equal life chances with most Soviet citizens. On the basis of their ancestry they could not choose where they lived. They suffered from discrimination in education. They had much poorer material conditions than other Soviet citizens. I could go on. These conditions were brought about be the actions and laws of the Soviet govt. People of certain nationalities had to carry special passes and needed to present them to the police to move even short distances from the areas where they had been forcibly relocated and assigned ‘navechno’. I think most reasonable people outside of LGM agree that such a situation constitutes racial discrimination.

                  Nobody ever claimed that the S. African pass laws were not racist because the White govt. viewed it as ‘separate development’ not racial discrimination. Likewise how the Soviets ‘understood’ their actions is irrelevant as to whether these laws and institutions were in fact racist. Hirsh’s trying to understand the Soviets on their own terms is apologetic and no American academic would do it for the Nazis, S. Africa, or other such regimes.

                • Hogan

                  As I said. She’s doing history. You’re doing categorical moral judgment. And “it was a horrible mass murder, but it doesn’t appear to be racially motivated” is apologetics, then she’s not doing it right.

            • DrDick

              And quite prominent scholars as well, since, as a specialist in race and ethnicity, I have never heard of either of them or seen their work cited anywhere.

              • Hirsch and Weiner are cited all the time in Soviet studies. They are not cited in general literature since they deny the existence of racism in the USSR. But, I already gave the citations to the 2002 issue of Slavic Review.

                • DrDick

                  And as you say, they are not relevant among scholars who actually study race and ethnicity. Nice try, but I really begin to understand why you could not find employment in the US.

                • Malaclypse

                  Nice try, but I really begin to understand why you could not find employment in the US.

                  Well, in one thread, it was the fault of people like me – you know, someone who was adjunct-track 15 years ago who left academia a decade ago. All my fault.

                  I, however, am blaming Loomis.

                • dave3544

                  Seriously, your evidence for “American left wing scholars” denying that Soviet discrimination against Koreans was not “racial discrimination” is two scholars who you admit are not cited in the larger literature because of these beliefs.

                  For fuck’s sake.

                • Hirsch and Weiner are cited extensively and positively in much of the recent literature on Soviet ethnicity and nationality policy. Go do a search on Google Scholar for God’s sake. There is no body of literature on Soviet racial policies because the main stream scholars of the Soviet Union claim ‘racial politics’ did not exist in the USSR under Stalin. Obviously general literature on race and ethnicity in the US, UK, and other regions are not going to cite them.

                • DrDick

                  Two scholars are not a significant number on any topic and being cited is not the same as being supported. Lots of people are cited to refute them. As to Soviet era racism, Google Scholar lists “about 31,200” hits for “Soviet anti-semitism” alone and “about 69,500” for “soviet racism”. Also JSTOR only show one article citing the Amir Weiner article and 2 articles citing the Hirsch article. That is not anything resembling “widely cited. I rest my case.

              • DrDick

                I would also point out that, even though I am not a Soviet or Eastern European scholar, I have assigned a couple of articles on Soviet racial/ethnic discrimination in my race and ethnicity class. These were easily available to me as someone studying race and ethnicity.

                • There is stuff on ethnicity in the USSR and there is stuff on anti-semitism. There is a huge amount on Soviet nationality policy. There is very, very little literature using the terms racism, racialization, racial discrimination or any of its derivatives to describe Soviet policy other than in relation to Jews. Lemon and Fikes use the term in relation to people of African descent in the USSR. But, Weitz is the only person of note in the last decade to use it with regards to the deported peoples such as the Chechens. Again my Google scholar search showed only 16 hits on ‘Soviet racism’ most of it on African students. Hirsch’s book is listed as having 182 citations. But, these things are of course grossly incomplete.

                  Today is the 68th anniversary of the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush an act that Hirsch and Weiner deny was racial discrimination. If according to Hogan ‘racial politics’ only means Nazi policies than the internment of Japanese Americans and South African apartheid was not racist at all. That is just stupid. But, it is the logical conclusion of Hirsch’s argument.

                • DrDick

                  So because they do not call it racism, which frankly has a specific meaning in the literature which the treatment of the Chechens does not actually meet, they are not dealing with ethnic and racial discrimination. Not all ethnic discrimination falls into the model of “racism” and one can easily deal with this using other terms, which much of the literature you mention does in fact. The problem is you do not understand the technical language and proper framing. The Rwandan genocide was not the result of “racism,” but it clearly was a case of ethnic conflict.

                • The treatment of the Chechens by Stalin meets the ICERD 1965 definition of racial discrimination. I do not believe there are any other definitions that have the status international law.

                  It also fits the definition of racism formulated by scholars such as George Fredrickson, Etienne Balibar, Kennan Malik and a host of other scholars whom I am sure you are familiar. The ethnic categories in the USSR became hardened into racial ones during the 1930s. They were determined at birth based solely on ancestry, immutable, immune to assimilation, and passed on to future generations automatically. So yes the deportation was racist. But, feel free to keep defending Stalin from the charge of racism. You have lots of supporters.

                • But, feel free to keep defending Stalin from the charge of racism.

                  And you feel free to keep ignoring every argument Hirsch makes in support of her position, because being a crazed murderous dictator is not a big deal unless you’re a racist crazed murdeous dictator.

                  Now let’s never speak of this again.

  • Tom

    This also confirms my belief that The Great Gatsby is one of the more misread, misunderstood, and misremembered texts of the 20th century.

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