Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative magazine has taken issue with my posts on using cash incentives to prevent HIV infection. The idea of giving people money in return for not contracting sexually transmitted diseases, Freddy Gray writes, “has a strong whiff of the Third Reich,” since it rewards the fit and punishes the unhealthy (given Buchanan’s long history of defending former Nazis, you’d have thought they’d approve!).
He then describes me as a racist, for suggesting that “the only way to stop black people from fornicating recklessly is to offer them a cash reward” (their words, not mine). Aside from the strong sense that Gray is interpreting what I wrote in the light of his own prejudices, it’s a bit rich for Buchanan’s mag to call others racist.
After all, isn’t this the guy who once said of South Africa that there was nothing wrong with white rule of a black majority? And who thinks America took the wrong side in the Second World War and that it would have been better if the “courageous genius” (um, and murderous racist?) Hitler had won?
Mind you, at least Buchanan’s magazine doesn’t describe me as homophobic for suggesting ways of tackling AIDS. That, after all, is his area. As he has famously said, “homosexuals have declared war on nature,” and “AIDS is nature’s retribution for violating the laws of nature.”
Given the American Conservative’s rich tradition of tolerance and goodwill to all men, I don’t know whether to feel outraged or proud at being the object of its ire!