Coulter Spouts Racist Bile

Via WorldNetDaily we have Ann Coulter in all her glory: Bush’s America: Roach motel in which she rants about immigration.

The grandest irony in the piece is that in the second paragraph she ponders:

I don’t know why conservatives like Linda Chavez have to argue like liberals by smearing their opponents as racists.

She then launches into an incoherent argument that Ted Kennedy personally decided to change American immigration policies so as to increase the number of Third World natives in the US to affect “a dramatic chance in the nation’s demographics.” And his goal was to

radically transform the racial composition of the country. Instead of taking 15 immigrants from England and three from China, America would henceforth take three from England and 15 from China. Payback’s a bitch, Daughters of the American Revolution!

Coulter’s entire argument is wholly predicated on calling up bogeymen. First is the notion that this is all about Ted Kennedy, perhaps the member of Congress least liked by hardcore conservatives; and second the idea that there is some grand conspiracy to change American demographics (i.e., race). The almost nonsensical reference to the Daughter of the American Revolution is clearly an attempt to label this change as somehow a reversal of American ideals.

What this is based on, however, is rather unclear. I may not be a fan of Ted Kennedy’s, but the notion that he has been on some kind of subversive anti-American crusade since 1965 is beyond ludicrous.

However, the really amazing thing about Coulter’s piece is that despite the protestations about how awful it is that she feels like she is being called a racist is that fact she engages in blatantly racist argumentation in the column. To wit:

In 1960, whites were 90 percent of the country. The Census Bureau recently estimated that whites already account for less than two-thirds of the population and will be a minority by 2050. Other estimates put that day much sooner.

One may assume the new majority will not be such compassionate overlords as the white majority has been [because there has never been a time in our history when a majority of whites ever abused the minority-Ed.]. If this sort of drastic change were legally imposed on any group other than white Americans, it would be called genocide. Yet whites are called racists merely for mentioning the fact current immigration law is intentionally designed to reduce their percentage in the population.[Because it is–to claim this is to be claiming a falsehood for the express purpose of stoking fear–it is simple race-baiting-Ed.]

If one frames the “problem” as a decrease in the number of white people, then it would seem that one is saying that the “problem” is the increase in the number of not white people. It would seem, therefore, that one is arguing about race.

I do not lightly use the term “racist” but she is blatantly making her fundamental argument on the issue of the amount of melanin one has in one’s skin. If one is primarily concerned with skin color as a defining feature of the nature of a person then that is, by definition, racism. This is especially true if one ascribes to a given color of skin superior abilities or if one believes that certain cultural traits are created by/carried by specific races.

Coulter, like Pat Buchanan, is making a clearly racist argument: that we have to stop immigration because darker skinned people can’t be as American as white people. What else can this be called than racist?

And what about the title of the piece–likening immigration reform to turning the US into a “roach motel”–that’s nice. There’s certainly nothing offensive about likening Latin America immigrants to roaches. Very classy.

I found this piece because of an unsolicited e-mail I received from the Conservative Heritage Times blog which lauds the Coulter piece–as do a number of commenters which include Michael Hill of the League of the South (a neo-Confederate movement) who sees stopping immigration as “a matter of survival for our people” by which it is pretty clear he means white people.

So while I think it is true that there are those who oppose immigration reform for various good reasons, it is also clear that a goodly number of those folks are nativists and racists. I don’t like saying it, but it as plain as day when you read their own words.

Further, Coulter and her ilk, which allegedly in the past haven’t like racial categories (e.g., in affirmative action or in the census or the like) are now wholly buying into the notion of racial categories. Yet the truth of the matter is, these categories are largely constructs.

Latin Americans easily underscore this fact: it is possible to meet someone from Mexico or elsewhere in the region who may have very light skin. Indeed, they might even *gasp* appear white! Image that! So, are those European-descended Mexicans able to come here and be “American” in Ann Coulter’s world? Is there a sliding scale where the darker you are, the less “American” you can be? Middle Son and my Youngest Sister both tan better than the rest of my family, are they less “American” than the rest of us pale folk?

And what are we going to do with Condaleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Elaine Chao, Linda Chavez, Alberto Gonzales, Clarence Thomas, Mel Martinez, Michael Steele, Carlos Guiterrez, Alphonso Jackson, and any number of other Not White People? By Coulter’s own logic, it would seem that they can’t be real Americans, now can they?

What about all those hard working American who are of African, Asian or Latin descent?

This whole situation is, quite frankly, sickening.

It is one thing to think that we need border controls, it is yet another to spout off about how America’s whiteness is being threatened. The ideals that founded and sustain this country are not color-specific, despite whatever abuses have been perpetrated in their name. And for people like Buchanan and Coulter to assert that America will die if whites become a plurality is to say that those ideals have no power unless they are wielded by the white man, which is to then be saying that whites are morally and intellectually superior to other people groups. And that, as I have already said, is racism–pure and simple.

Update: To simplify my entire post: if one doesn’t want to be accused of being racist, don’t make arguments based on race. More to the point, don’t make arguments predicated on the idea that one race is inherently superior to another.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. floyd says:

    You seem to speak out of both sides of your mouth.
    How could it be racist to to want to control the access of a group which is as racially diverse as as the American population?
    “Hispanic” is certainly NOT a race.
    The real fear seems to be one of cultural{not racial} annihilation from uncontrolled immigration, whether founded or not.
    Still,I guess it is human nature to see the mote and not the beam.

  2. Bithead says:

    Again, I say, the issue is not race. The issue is culture.

  3. William d'Inger says:

    Whew, that’s an awful lot of words to make a point.

    Everybody needs someone to hate, someone to vilify, someone to whom one may feel morally superior. For Christians it’s the Devil. For Muslims it’s the infidel. For liberals it’s the racist. How is that any different than Coulter and the non-Anglo/Nordic immigrant?

    I’m sorry, but I can’t reject Coulter’s argument without likewise rejecting Mr. Taylor’s rant about it.

  4. ffloyd,

    If you would note, I did not use the term “hispanic”–and really you hit on at least part of my point: that “race” is largely a construct.

    What, precisely is you point, btw?

  5. William,

    So you are saying that that we should never point out racist arguments because everybody somewhere hates somebody?

    That is a rather odd position to take.

  6. are you saying that no race is better than others? that is clearly preposterous. all races aren’t equal. there simply are races, in general, that are more successful than other races. name one predominately black first world power country. i know this is non-pc.. but it is a fact. i’m tired of people claiming racism simply because you believe another race is better, in general. sure, there are specific examples of other races not fitting the mold but to compare specifics with generals is apples and oranges.

  7. My point is that a human being is a human being and all are equally capable of being fully American and adhering to the ideals of America. Further I am arguing that America will be no less America if over time it were to become less “White.”

    Further, you seem to be confusing specific civilizations with race, which is not the same thing. Indeed, you seem to be conflating a great deal into race.

    And yes, by definition it is a racist to say that one race is inherently better than the other–that’s what the word means.

  8. William d'Inger says:

    So you are saying that that we should never point out racist arguments because everybody somewhere hates somebody?

    No. That wasn’t my point. What I’m saying is that your position is morally equivalent to hers, the only difference being the objects of your dissatisfactions.

    I presume you think you’re right. I presume Coulter thinks she’s right. Me, I think you both make vaild points, but you both also go overboard in expressing your opinions. Of course, that’s just my opinion for whatever it’s worth.

  9. floyd says:

    SSteve;
    The point is that you misdefine racism and this may blind you to the fact that your own prejudices are being exposed even in the process of legitimate criticism.
    Angst, fear, prejudice,bigotry,discrimination,
    racism are really not all the same, thus their existence in the language.
    There is such a self righteous proliferation of the word “racism” in today’s America that it’s meaning has degraded to something that sounds as primitive as …. You bad!!… Me Good!!
    We all must measure our opinions in light of our perspective and thus mitigate our own prejudice with no hope of pure objectivity.
    Sincerely
    One f

  10. G.A. Phillips says:

    William, nobody needs any one to hate , but most of us do, because of our opinions. It’s to bad we don’t have some commandments or something that we could all live under, instead of living under our stupid opinions about the objects of our dissatisfaction’s. of course, that’s just my opinion for whatever it’s worth.

  11. Nate says:

    No real conservative would accuse someone of being a “racist.” This charge is only 100 years old (see the OED), and it was largely popularized by neomarxists (Frankfurt School) to undermine Western Civilization. To call a Westerner a “racist” is to commit a soft form of terrorism against the West.

  12. Nate says:

    “My point is that a human being is a human being and all are equally capable of being fully American and adhering to the ideals of America. Further I am arguing that America will be no less America if over time it were to become less “White.””

    This is left-wing proposition nation nonsense.

    Under a traditional, conservative concept of a nation, blood and soil, kith and kin, and genophilia (instinctive attachment to family and tribe) are very important. Remember, both the Roman Republic and Greek democracy were predicated upon a tribal system, where ancestry ruled the day.

    A conservative notion of nation, as the Latin nascere suggests, implies link by blood.

  13. William d'Inger says:

    TRUE: a human being is a human being and all are equally capable of being fully American and adhering to the ideals of America.

    INCONCLUSIVE: America will be no less America if over time it were to become less “White.”

    The truth of the first statement does not logically imply the second statement. While an individual’s color means nothing, a group’s color does indicate a trend.

    White people tend to come from relatively advanced and wealthy places whereas darker people tend to come from backward, poor, corrupt places. That’s not a racist statement, it’s a fact. It’s a matter of group culture, history, etc., and cultural attitudes can persist over very long periods of time. For instance, after 3,000 some odd years, the Jews still haven’t forgiven Pharaoh.

    For America to be no less American were it to become less white, immigration has to be slow enough to allow immigrants to be thoroughly assimilated. That’s not a likely senario under the Democrat’s proposed policies.

    Make no mistake, the Democrats have one and only one reason for favoring a less white America — political power. They expect darker people to be fooled by the Democrat’s racist propaganda and to be unable to resist the narcotic of liberal socialist programs. If there were even a hint that immigrants would vote Republican, liberals would be rushing to the Rio Grande with barbed wire and maching guns to keep them out.

  14. Bithead says:

    My point is that a human being is a human being and all are equally capable of being fully American and adhering to the ideals of America.

    All very politically correct, and axiomatic… bumper- sticker- ish, in fact.
    But let’s dig deeper, shall we?

    Capable, perhaps. But do they have the desire? The number of groups that are saying very loudly that they intend to take over and dismantle our society, suggests not.

    Let’s get this straight; Race has nothing to do with this. Indeed; Personally, I wouldn’t mind opening up the border two people who want to become citizens. But that’s not the issue, here.

    The issue is the much larger number of people who want to come here grab the money take over what of our society they can whilst sending the money to Mexico. Such people have made themselves into the face of the immigration debate. But this is a false image.

    They have come here in large numbered and ending that we speak their language that we change our government schools to teach what they think is important they want access to all the laws that they like welfare programs housing subsidy scholar subsidy Social Security etc. etc. and then the laws that they don’t think should apply to them such as immigration tax laws car registrations insurance requirements and so on they flat out ignore. Somehow this doesn’t strike me as wanting to be a “citizen”. Are you really saying that this is something that we shouldn’t have a say in? All of this becomes a matter for the American taxpayer to fund, but apparently they are not allowed to object… if they do they’re tagged as ‘racist’.

    Such a charge misdirects the conversation, perhaps intentionally so on the part of some. For example, the aforementioned Hispanic groups.

    The sad part is, Steven, that you know better. Or you should. We’re not dealing with matters of race. We’re dealing with matters of culture, and the continuance of America as such. Quit leaning on the crutch of “you’re being a racist”. The false pretext, does your argument no good whatever.

    On the other hand, without that false pretext, what would your argument be, then?

    And Bill;

    If there were even a hint that immigrants would vote Republican, liberals would be rushing to the Rio Grande with barbed wire and maching guns to keep them out.

    Darned right they would. And, one wonders how they would respond to the charge of being racist?

  15. Tyrone says:

    As a black man, you should support keeping the current racial make-up of the U.S. Negroes are being hurt badly by illegal immigration. Jobs that were traditionally held by negroes are now being stolen by lower paid Mexicans, thus leaving the negroes unemployed. According to Roy Beck, wages for negroes have dropped since 1965, the year we started to flood our economy with cheap labor.

  16. PaleoConservative says:

    Steven L. Taylor:

    You need to take Logic 101. Your statements do not even follow each other. You sound like some left-wing MLK soundboard. Do you know anything that is not a left-wing cliche? Can you engage in basic reasoning?

    I would be shocked, but I can see that you were accepted both into UT and U of C – Irvine based on affirmative action, not academic merit. Big surprise. You are not very bright.

  17. Evrviglnt says:

    This post is well written and sadly predictable. Conservatives argue culture and liberals argue race – that’s why history shows liberals are America’s racialists, pushing group think as a political weapon. America is a diverse country because we are the most generous nation in the world, throwing our borders open to the poorest the world has to send us. This experiment is still ongoing, and we are enduring the predictable consequence of a ‘multicultural’ society that has rejected the melting pot and embraced the salad bowl theory.

    Ted Kennedy’s 1964 IRCA immigration act was a concerted effort by liberals to change America – not because they hated America but because they believed America deserved it for centuries of racism. The “browning of America” was meant to be a challenge to ‘Americaness’ because the left believes Americaness means racism, sexism, classism, etc.

    Ann Coulter represents the fear and anger of those who define America as more than an exploitative, colonialistic cabal of rapacious white people. Our political leaders have purposefully thrown open our doors without thought to the effect it will have on our culture. In fact, to suggest we ponder that is met by friends and foes alike as nationalistic and racist. This attempt to shame Americans into supporting a bill both so thoughtless is the real crime here.

    I wouldn’t choose her words to express that, but I support her point…

  18. steve.. you need to look up the word racist or racism again. it is not racist to think your race is better than others.. there is a factor that you must also think you have the right to rule the others or that you have a policy to discriminate against them.

  19. bains says:

    This site (not Joyner usually) seems to take great pleasure in blasting both Coulter and Malkin. I bring this up because were I to do with your post what you’ve done to Coulters’ column, I’d be calling you sexist.