Taranto Ain't No Genius

James Taranto linked to us again in his WSJ Best of the Web column, and once again demonstrated that he doesn't have much of a clue.

Doubly Negative
VDare.com, the anti-immigrant Web site of immigrant Peter Brimelow, carries a letter from Michael Monastyrskyj that begins: "A couple of days ago I came across a song that might make a good anthem for the immigration reform movement." It's called "America, Red, White and Black" by W.C. Edgar. "Even if honky tonk isn't your kind of music," writes Monastyrskyj (hey, what's with that foreign-sounding name?), "you'll appreciate lyrics like this":

Let's lock these borders down real tight from sea to shining sea,
And make a better tomorrow for you and me

You don't see no white man swimming the Rio Grande
If I want to hear some damn foreign language I'll take the first plane for Mexico or Afghanistan

"You don't see no white man"? The racism is bad enough, but if these nativists refuse to learn proper English, they should go back where they came from.

The double negative (You don't see no white man swimming the Rio Grande) is not no sin, especially in Nashville, where singer W. C. Edgar hails from, but that ain't hardly the point, here. Neither is the very old joke about Brimelow being an immigrant. It's that Edgar's song is not racist .(I should say that W. C. Edgar is not involved in Vdare.com, any more than Green Day is, we're just listeners.)

As for going back where he came from, Edgar's great-great-grandfather fought in the Civil War—for the Union.

Listen to the damn song, Taranto. In MP3 format, no charge. I've transcribed part of it here, but the whole point, as we put in an editorial note, is not about race. : W. C. Edgar's title, Red, White, And Black, refers to the unity of Americans like David Yeagley, D. A. King, and Terry Anderson, who all agree: this ain't Mexico.

Mexico turns out to be, surprise, surprise, not so much a race, as a foreign damn country.

Here's a transcription of part of the song that Taranto objects to, with our usual links.

Things are changing here in America
Things ain't what they used to be.
Things are changing here in America
How much longer is it going to be
'Til we're not free?

The red man was born here, this is his land.
The black man was brought here against his will
My great great granddaddy Edgar helped settle this country,
And he fought with the Blue in 1862.
So let's stand up and fight for America
While we still got something worth fighting for
Let's stand up and fight for America
'Fore every bit of freedom goes walking out the door.
Cause we can take this country back
If we all stick together, Red, White, and Black