“The dark side of social media is that, within seconds, anything can be blown out of proportion and taken out of context. And it’s very difficult not to get swept up in it all.” – Nicola Formichetti
People have been denouncing Ann Coulter for years, calling her everything under the sun: racist, bigot, Islamophobe, xenophobe, hateful, b**ch—you name it, and she’s been called it. She’s a woman who speaks truth by tossing rhetorical firebombs into crowded areas of ignorance. That gets under peoples’ skin. However, there’s always a contextual means through which to understand her intent.
I never thought I’d see the day when a conservative writer misunderstood what Ann Coulter said to the extent it would be deemed racist.
At a recent book signing for her new work Audios, America, a large gathering of presumably illegal immigrants (though some others could have been there in support) stormed into Barnes and Nobel, and started literally screaming and chanting. One guy even yelled “Go back to Europe, Ann Coulter!” They were protesting her book, which deals with the immigration crisis, both legal and illegal.
Coulter remained completely composed (she’s used to it) and continued to sign books and shake hands. Afterward, Coulter said the following to Breitbart:
“You have to understand, screaming and defacing things is how Latin Americans express disagreement. At least as long as they were destroying books and screaming in a book store, they weren’t molesting any 4-year-olds.”
A conservative author who will go unnamed because I generally respect their work, called this racist. Now, on its face, one might consider this racist indeed. But what’s not being considered is context.
“This is just plain racism…In this case, [our opponents are] just right. Ann Coulter is being a stupid racist.”
Though he says he agrees with much of her immigration stances, he concludes:
“It’s time we realize that she’s crossed a line and the more attention we give her without denouncing her stupidity just hurts us all.”
Back up. Let’s put everything in its place. First, let’s all realize that Ann Coulter is prone to making jokes and using hyperbole alongside her more important content. This is her way of making a point. Hyperbole and cutting remarks followed by her actual intended argument is one of her signatures. Yes, she’s a bomb-thrower. Like it or don’t like it, but understand it.
The joke is first based on the stereotype that Latinos have fiery tempers, and secondly, that those who are strong proponents of illegal immigration and forced amnesty (the type who would loudly and obnoxiously protest Coulter’s book signing) are often boorish and destructive. The second part is a direct reference to what she writes about in her book.
In Audios, America, Coulter writes about the fact that we continue to allow horrible criminals into our country because we refuse to secure the borders. It’s never spoken about because it might “tarnish all the good people that have come across for a better life for their families” (who still broke the law). However, we allow drug lords, murderers, child molesters, and rapists into our country because we don’t have any real border security.
Just yesterday, I read a news piece about a suspect in a murder who had been previously deported five times. That murder could have been prevented, had we not welcomed this vile scum into our country with open arms. But the Democrats and Republicans want an open border—each for their own reasons—and so it is.
Given that, what Ann Coulter said was simply another rhetorical bomb, designed to get attention, and subsequently focus that attention on her main argument—which she conveniently makes in her new book. Again, understanding of hyperbole is king in this equation.
To call her a racist, or to call what she said “racist,” tells me that you’re not seeing the larger picture. You’re eschewing the context surrounding what she said, and examining it alone in a stark room.
To say she “crossed a line” is about ten years too late. It’s what she does. I don’t always agree with Ann Coulter, but to cry racism in this instance is, to quote someone familiar, just stupid.