On Saturday, Pat Buchanan hosted a conference to discuss how Republicans can regain a majority in America. During one discussion, panelists suggested supporting English-only initiatives as a prime way of attracting “working class white Democrats.” The discussion ridiculed Judge Sotomayor for the fact that she studied children’s classics to improve her grammar while attending college. The panelists also suggested that, without English as the official language, President Obama would force Americans to speak Spanish.
One salient feature of the event was the banner hanging over the English-only advocates. The word conference was spelled “Conferenece.” View it here:
The panelists pressed on with their anti-bilingualism diatribe without noting the irony of the obvious misspelling on the banner:
PAT BUCHANAN: Judge Sotomayor is up there at school in New York, she gets a scholarship to Princeton, she’s graduated with all these big honors and awards they said she never won. What’s she doing there in the summer? They said her adviser told her to read children’s classics so she can learn English better. How do you graduate number one in Princeton if you’re in the summer and you’re reading Rumpelstiltskin and Snow White? [laughter] [...]
PETER BRIMELOW: I really do recommend the language issue because you know that polls better than immigration and affirmative action. Eighty-five percent of Americans say they would favor official language policy. The wonderful thing about this issue if you look at what’s going to actually happen here is you’re going to find that the Obama administration is going to gradually institute institutional bilingualism in the country. It’s going to be required to speak Spanish in key positions, the police force and so on. This is a direct attack on the American working class because they are not going to be bilingual.
ThinkProgress attended the event and obtained audio of the panel. Listen here:
Mocking Sotomayor’s struggle to learn English has become a habit for Buchanan. On CSPAN a few weeks ago, Buchanan tried to undermine Sotomayor’s qualifications by saying she had read Pinocchio as a part of her “college work.” Buchanan was referencing a New York Times article, which talked about how hard Sotomayor had to work to graduate at the top of her class from Princeton. The article stated that she “spent summers reading children’s classics she had missed in a Spanish-speaking home and ‘re-teaching’ herself to write ‘proper English’ by reading elementary grammar books.” Sotomayor never read children’s books as part of her “college work” and the books consisted of classics such as “Huckleberry Finn” and “Pride and Prejudice” — not Snow White, as Buchanan contends.
Peter Brimelow, one of the panelists to the event, is the editor of Vdare.com. He has written extensively against immigration and has long advocated that the GOP must “appeal to its base: white Americans.” Brimelow has defended accusations that he writes and publishes white supremacist material by declaring his content to be merely “white nationalist.”
Brimelow also urged the attendees of the Buchanan conference to attack affirmative action in an effort to attract the votes of “young whites” and “yellow people.” After claiming it would be “suicidal” for any “white man” to vote for Obama, Brimelow contended that immigrants should not be eligible for affirmative action because “they weren’t slaves to this country, they’ve never been discriminated against”: