Counter Coulter

Celebrities often make really off-color remarks. In the past few years we’ve dealt with rampant racism, sexism and ableism pouring from the media floodgates with little more than a hand-slap as a reprimand.

Photo Dominika Kristinikova.
Photo Dominika Kristinikova.

Celebrities often make really off-color remarks. In the past few years we’ve dealt with rampant racism, sexism and ableism pouring from the media floodgates with little more than a hand-slap as a reprimand.

We all know that the things political commentators say should be taken with a grain of salt, but that doesn’t excuse blatant idiocy.

Ann Coulter isn’t the crowning glory of political commentators. She’s made some extremely problematic and imprudent remarks about political happenings, media scandals and foreign policy. Even if she hadn’t previously said these awful things, nothing excuses her latest bout of ignorance.

The tragedy that struck Boston last month was a horrible event that will be on all our minds for years to come. Ever the politically correct gal, Coulter stated that bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsnaraev’s wife should “be imprisoned for wearing a hijab.”

Yeah, that’s right. Coulter went on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show (because who else would allow this to go unchecked?) and stated, “This immigration policy of us assimilating immigrants into our culture isn’t really working. No, they are assimilating us into their culture. Did she get a clitorectomy, too?”

A clitorectomy is the surgical removal of the clitoris, the practice of female genital mutilation prevalent in many African countries. Good job, Ann, good job! Let’s all give her a round of applause. Not only was her statement racist, unnecessary and pretty much as awful as you can get during a time of crisis, she later claimed it was a joke.

She said that onstage at Syracuse University to let adoring fans (apparently she has some) and haters alike know that when you’re Ann
Coulter it’s OK to make racist jokes and make light of a devastating tragedy.

All Coulter did was take a question on the bombing and turn it into a segue to a discussion on her flawed and ridiculous stance on immigration. Major side-eye going on here.

What’s really cute is how quick fellow Republicans were to defend her. Nicholas Staiano, a member and chairman of the New York Federation of College Republicans, said that while he didn’t agree with what Coulter said verbatim, he believes there will always be a place for humor in politics. He told Syracuse’s The Post-Standard that “We have serious issues, but we’re allowed to laugh about them.”

Yeah, we’re free to make light of tragedies by marginalizing minorities and singling out individuals based on their beliefs and their relation to a bombing suspect. Bravo.

And that’s the danger in shows like Hannity’s. While, yes, we should be able to make fun of politics and international and national events, there are some things we just shouldn’t say. Some will jump to say that I’m just another left-wing-washed college student, and maybe they’re right, but I would never say something like what Coulter said.

Hannity and Coulter’s conversation is available online, along with the televised broadcast. The entire thing comprises racial profiling, conservative and reactionary jargon and continuous marginalizing speech designed to rally radical conservatives and piss off liberals who masochistically watch the program.

At one point in the broadcast Coulter stated, “We’ll take Russia’s radicals, we’ll take the illiterate, low-skilled workers from all these other countries. We’ll take their old people and put them on our supplemental security and Medicare.”

Yeah, that’s mostly true, but then she said: “Immigration policy is supposed to be to make your country better, not to make it worse and to create all those problems.”

Hannity even said that he’d be willing to waterboard the bombing suspect’s younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Back in 2009, Hannity offered to be waterboarded himself to prove that it’s not a form of torture. He never went through with it.

Regardless of whether you identify with the Democratic Party and left-leaning individuals, there’s a reason Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher and other liberal folks aren’t under fire as often. The things they say are satirical. We’ve known this for years.

The sad thing is, Coulter said she was “joking”—but given her follow-up commentary and past statements, I just don’t believe her.

Fox News and other right-leaning news channels put these commentators on pedestals for a reason: They bring in high ratings because viewers either cheer them on or watch in disgust.

I suggest you think twice before laughing off this racist humor. This isn’t OK in any way. Ever.