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Peter Brimelow Interview With Thom Hartmann
[Peter Brimelow was interviewed by Thom Hartmann, [Contact him]the left-wing or progressive host of a popular Air America talk radio show on December 16, 2008. This is the transcript, with our replies to some of his points, and links.]
[Listen to the show in MP3]
Thom Hartman: Bill O'Reilly bloviating about the War on Christmas—the War on Christmas, an ongoing theme. O'Reilly is really the guy that brought it to national prominence, but it didn't start with Bill O'Reilly. It really started with Peter Brimelow. He's the author of Alien Nation: Common Sense about America's Immigration Disaster.. He's the founder of a website called VDare.com, and Peter Brimelow, welcome to the show.
Peter Brimelow: Thanks for having me, Thom, and I do agree with you about Bush. We've been calling for his impeachment.
HARTMANN: Yeah. Well, you know, from Right to Left—
PETER BRIMELOW: That may put you off from impeaching Bush, of course, but nevertheless we agree on it.
HARTMANN: Yeah, I've changed my screensaver now given the realities of the day, from "impeach Bush" to "convict Bush." But, Peter—
PETER BRIMELOW: I don't know what the Democrats are waiting for.
HARTMANN: Yeah, indeed. Peter, V. Dare was the name of the first British citizen of the United States. Do I have that right, where you got the name from?
PETER BRIMELOW: No, it's the name of the first English child that was born in the United States. She was born in the Lost Colony, and of course, subsequently was lost—vanished completely, when the Lost Colony was lost.
HARTMANN: Right. Which would be the first natural born, I guess, American citizen.
PETER BRIMELOW: I'm sorry?
HARTMANN: You know, if you use the definitions of the 14th Amendment—but we're splitting hairs.
[VDARE.com comment: Interesting. The intelligent Left (which obviously includes Thom Hartmann) is clearly gearing up to defend the stupid and catastrophic 14th Amendment misinterpretation. This outrage is the main legal/political reason why America as a nation is teetering on the brink of oblivion—while Switzerland, with very similar native/immigrant demographics—continues serenely to be Switzerland.]
PETER BRIMELOW: Well, you see the thing is, the reason—she was once very well known and Franklin D. Roosevelt went down to celebrate her 400th anniversary—whatever it was—was that it was the beginning of America as we know it, you know, as an English-speaking power based on—a big country based on the Common Law and all that kind of thing. That all came from England.
HARTMANN: Right. Now, the winner of your 2001 War on Christmas Competition, Tom Piatak, if I'm pronouncing that right, said that those behind the assault on Christmas evidently prefer Hanukkah, which he called the Jewish Kwanzaa, a phony holiday—a faux holiday.
PETER BRIMELOW: Oh, you're reading Max Blumenthal's article.
HARTMANN: I am. Yeah.
PETER BRIMELOW: But you know, as Tom has said on our website, he didn't say that. That first of all, the Jewish Kwanzaa thing actually came from a writer called Schwarz, I believe, who was writing in the American Heritage and he was arguing that, you know, that Hanukkah is not a serious Jewish festival.
HARTMANN: Okay. Well, I go over to VDare.com, your website, and you know, there's the normal, "hey, help us out financially" stuff there and you say, "On our second thank you gift, we'll send you a free copy of the Social Contract Special Issue for every donation of $100; and if you send $250, not only will you get that, you'll also get a copy of America's Half-Blood Prince." Who is America's—
[VDARE.com comment: Listening to the audio version of this is very revealing at this point. Hartmann gets emotional. Any reference to "blood" seemingly gets the Adrenaline pumping. As Peter Brimelow has said, Hitler's Revenge…]
PETER BRIMELOW: That's a book that was just published by Steve Sailer. It's based on a very careful analysis of Obama's own book, you know, whatever it's called [Dreams from My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance] and his autobiography.
HARTMANN: Why does it matter that—
PETER BRIMELOW: Steve comes to the conclusion that on the one hand Obama is not a transcendent candidate. He's motivated by his own scars—psychological scars—from—abandoned by his father and his racial heritage and so on. But on the other hand, he comes to the conclusion that Obama is going to be a moderate in his first term because he is intensely cautious personally.
HARTMANN: He's going to be a moderate, he's saying?
PETER BRIMELOW: I'm sorry.
HARTMANN: A moderate?
PETER BRIMELOW: That seems to be borne out by—
HHARTMANN: But here's the question, you know, Keith Olbermann has talked about you guys. In fact, you've got his picture on your homepage at VDare.
PETER BRIMELOW: Yeah, he's good for us. You know, we can raise a lot of money against Olbermann.
HARTMANN: Well, no doubt. And you know, Max Blumenthal did this exposé piece on you guys, and basically what they suggest is that you guys are white supremacist; that in your 1995 book, Alien Nation, you talked about "weird aliens with dubious habits."
PETER BRIMELOW: Have you not read our refutation of that?
HARTMANN: I beg your pardon?
PETER BRIMELOW: Have you not read my—I mean, first of all, Max is wrong to say that we started this competition on VDare. I started it when I was at National Review in the mid-nineties. They dropped it when they had the purge and they fired John O'Sullivan and dropped the immigration line, but—
HARTMANN: Right. They brought in Rich Lowry, who's a little more moderate.
PETER BRIMELOW: Well, he's a Republican, isn't he. He's basically a Republican hack, whereas we're just an idea.
HARTMANN: Yeah, but here's the point: Why do you care what race a person is? It seems to me this is like just really toxic stuff.
[VDARE.com: Getting emotional again—listen!]
PETER BRIMELOW: Well, you know, the short answer is we don't. VDare.com is a forum site where we publish people who are critical of current immigration policy, and a lot of these people are not all conservatives.
HARTMANN: But the basis of that criticism tends to be cultural or religious or very often racial.
PETER BRIMELOW: No. A lot of the people who write for us are people who are environmentalists. We even have some progressives who are worried about the impact of immigration on the wages of the vast bulk of Americans. Wages in this country have stagnated for thirty years, you know.
HARTMANN: You're not going to find any disagreement with that here, but again, reading your site and you know, books—
PETER BRIMELOW: I'm sorry, Tom, you're breaking up. I didn't catch your answer.
HARTMANN: It very much sounds like what you're saying is—well, let me just ask right straight out: Do you believe that the white race is superior to other races?
PETER BRIMELOW: No. I think it is different though. I think there probably are racial differences. What I was going to say was—we publish a wide range of writers and there are some people who you could fairly describe as white nationalists.
HARTMANN: So you think that the color of a skin of a person, which is one set of genes and another set of genes for the color and type of hair they have, and another set of genes for the eye color; I mean we know now that there actually is no gene for race. You think that the color of a person's skin causes them to be different?
HARTMANN: I'm just saying, are you suggesting that we should be dividing people by race for some particular reason?
[VDARE.com comment: This has to be heard to grasp the emotionalism. Those Holocaust movies work! Even if they are boringly repetitive.]
I mean if they're different, different how?
HARTMANN: And there are a whole variety of inherited conditions.
PETER BRIMELOW: But let me answer you. Let me make a specific point here, Thom.
PETER BRIMELOW: If you look at the way Americans vote, that does differ systematically by race. And the voting patterns don't shift a great deal over time. They all sway one direction or they all sway another, but basically they differ enormously by race—
HARTMANN: By and large because we have a racist nation.
[VDARE.com comment: Truly fatuous remark. If there are multiple races, racial conflict is inevitable.]
PETER BRIMELOW:—So if you have a [cross-talk] of that, as we do at the moment, which is actually importing very large numbers of people, basically from Third World countries—and we all know that they are going to vote Democratic—you're basically shifting the country to the Left through public policy, and that is an irrefutable and completely logical argument. Why are we importing—
HARTMANN: Well, and the basis for that is the Republican party represents, and always has, or at least has since the 1880s, has represented the interests of large corporations and very wealthy people. And in a nation that is built on racism, that has been by and large white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
PETER BRIMELOW: Well, you know, white Protestants make up 45 percent of the electorate right now, so that is a pretty large—I mean, you know, all kinds of white Protestants living in poverty in Appalachia and so on, it's not—
HARTMANN: But what are you so afraid of—
PETER BRIMELOW: I'm inclined to agree with you by the way about the Republican Party. I think the Republican Party is in the pockets of big corporations. But one of the consequences of that of course is they want vast amounts of cheap labor, which is exactly why George Bush staked his entire presidency trying to force through amnesty for illegal aliens, not once, but twice—
[VDARE.com: A Paleo-Conservative analysis Thom Hartman is definitely not in business to promote!]
HARTMANN: But Peter Brimelow, you're the guy behind the War on Christmas. What are you so afraid of?
PETER BRIMELOW: You know, I got interested in this in the mid-nineties when people were afraid to say Merry Christmas. They think it's offensive. And I regard this as Christophobia. Apparently, there are people out there who just can't bear to hear the word 'Christmas' because—
HARTMANN: I don't see it as offensive. But if I don't know if somebody is Jewish or Moslem or atheist, which I respect as well, I don't want to shove something in their face. It's a whole lot easier to say "Happy Holidays."
PETER BRIMELOW: Why have we got to get to the point—
[commercial break interruption]
HARTMANN: Our quote for the day from Oliver Wendell Holmes: Man's mind stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.
Well, this War on Christmas idea has been around for years. Bill O'Reilly—"Bill O'the clown" as Keith Olbermann refers to him and I think it's a marvelous appellation—has been flogging this for some time, but the real founder of this is Peter Brimelow, and Peter, the author of Alien Nation: Common Sense about America's Immigration Debate and other books. His website: VDare.com.
And Peter, I'm sorry, we stepped on you in mid-sentence there toward the end. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this idea that people are different racially and that if somebody wants to say "Happy Holidays" that that's somehow a slap on Christianity, and why you would have people like white supremacist Jared Taylor and Kevin MacDonald (who says that Jews are genetically equipped to outcompete gentiles)
as writers for your site? The whole gestalt of this, of trying to divide us by race—not even trying to, doing it—and by religion, and doing it in a highly adversarial, highly "oh, you're trying to come and get us, we're the big victims." I mean this is so last year's right-wing talk-radio.
PETER BRIMELOW: There is no doubt that Christmas is a victim of political correctness. You know, Christophobia is a real force in American society. There are a lot of people out there who don't like Christianity and one of the ways they do expressions of this is they try to stamp out any mention of Christmas because it contains the name of Christ. And we have a whole series—more than two hundred examples of this over six or seven years.
HARTMANN: What we're talking about really here is the market place.
PETER BRIMELOW: Let me interrupt. First turn the question back to you. By the way, Jared Taylor is not a white supremacist, he's a white nationalist. There's a difference. He's trying to represent the interests of whites, who are still the majority of people in this country—
HARTMANN: They won't be in 10 years.
[VDARE.com: Hear the gloating?]
PETER BRIMELOW: Just as La Raza represents the interests of Hispanics and Zionist organizations represents the perceived interests of Jews and black nationalists represent the interests of blacks. Now, if you have a highly diverse society, particularly one where diversity has been imported by public policy, it's absolutely inevitable that at some point whites are going to organize to defend their own interests just as every other racial group is doing.
HARTMANN: Hey, they started back in the 1700s. It was called the KKK.
[VDARE.com comment: Below-par slip by Hartmann. The KKK was a post Civil War/ Reconstruction Resistance phenomenon.]
PETER BRIMELOW: We don't only run white nationalists on the site. We have a wide—anybody who is interested in immigration policy. And for that reason, Thom, I know it's hard to believe it, but I have people all the time writing to me who say they're Democrats and they're fed up with the immigration disaster, or who are environmentalists. We have Hispanics who write to us and say—
HARTMANN: Hey, some of the most virulent racists I know are Democrats.
[VDARE.com comment: How very interesting! Who? All white southern Democrats are gelded on this issue.
Hmmm, let's think…]
PETER BRIMELOW: I beg your pardon?
HARTMANN: I said some of the most virulent racists I know are Democrats. It sounds, Peter, like you're saying, "Well, yeah, one of my friends is black…"
PETER BRIMELOW: Is it racism if people object to their wages being beaten down by the import of cheap labor? What's racist about that? Samuel Gompers was fearlessly in favor of immigration reform in the early 1900s for exactly this reason: If you increase the supply of labor, you drive down its price. And this is becoming increasingly obvious in the technical literature. The Quarterly Journal of Economics carried an article five years ago by George Borjas from Harvard, who found its effects right across the board in American wages. [The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2003,(PDF)] Even impacting—
HARTMANN: You know, Peter Brimelow, you are right. You are right. I've got a chapter about this in my book Screwed . The fact of the matter is that if employers can bring in illegal workers and people who are not citizens to increase the workforce—I mean David Ricardo wrote about this in 1817 in his book On Wages, that when the supply of labor roughly equals the demand for labor, the cost of labor will fall to a subsistence level. In other words, we will be back to Victorian England. But you guys are taking it a step farther and saying—as by the way we did in the United States in the 1880s, when we passed laws against "yellow people" (that was the phrase used in the legislation)[VDARE.com commnt: This is wrong, as far as we know. Certainly the phrase doesn't appear in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Perhaps he was thinking about the phrase "yellow peril" which was popular at the time.]—Chinese, Asians—being imported in to work on the railroads because the railroads were trying to bust the unions by importing Chinese labor, much like Mexican labor is coming in now. You guys take it a step further by pointing out the race and religion of these people. And that's where I say it gets toxic. That's where it becomes anti-American. That's where it becomes destructive to this Republic.
PETER BRIMELOW: That's why it's impossible to get an immigration debate going in this country for 30 years because anybody whoever says anything critical about immigration is accused of racism. Now, let me ask you—
HARTMANN: I haven't been, and I've been quite up front about this for years on this show.
PETER BRIMELOW: I've seen from the Wikipedia entry for you, Thom, that you have a very commendable interest in attention deficit disorder and you have advanced a theory, it says here, that ADD is related to an evolutionary adaptation from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Now, if that's a fair statement of what you're saying, that's a sociobiological argument. It's a racial argument. You're saying that it's in our genes.
HARTMANN: It's not a racial argument. It is a genetic argument absolutely and you can make the same thing for coeliac disease or Huntingdon's disease or anything else.
PETER BRIMELOW: But it is a sociobiological argument, isn't it?
HARTMANN: That doesn't imply—
PETER BRIMELOW: It is a sociobiological argument, isn't it?
HARTMANN: No it's not. It is—
PETER BRIMELOW: Of course it is.
HARTMANN: Well, okay, arguably it is, but it is not talking about power. What you guys are talking about is power; is, who's in charge.
PETER BRIMELOW: In other words, if it's okay for you to talk about evolutionary psychology, it's okay for Kevin MacDonald to talk about it.
HARTMANN: I don't mind when he's talking about it. My problem comes along when he says, "Therefore, these people should be in charge, and these other people shouldn't."
PETER BRIMELOW: In charge?
PETER BRIMELOW: This country was fundamentally a white country when it started off. Do you want to see that changed?
HARTMANN: I have no problem with that as long as our core values are the same.
[VDARE.com comment: At this point, the broadcast was abruptly terminated without giving Peter Brimelow a chance to respond. Possibly, based on the clumsy commercial break intrusion, this is the way this station works.
"As long as our core values are the same."
Of course, this is the crucial issue (Sorry, Christophobes). Why should anyone in their right minds expect the Somalis, or the Hmong, the Refugee Industry's recent favorites, to have America's core values? Because of our effective educational system? As Milton Friedman told Peter Brimelow years ago
"t's a curious fact that capitalism developed and has really come to fruition in the English-speaking world. It hasn't really made the same progress even in Europe--certainly not in France, for instance. I don't know why this is so, but the fact has to be admitted"
[Must America also?]
Peter Brimelow (email him) is editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, (Random House - 1995) and The Worm in the Apple (HarperCollins - 2003)