Ann Coulter is fearless.
In writing her newest book, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery From the Seventies to Obama Ms. Coulter takes the time to carefully and in detail explode the self-made liberal myth of liberals and liberalism as heroes in the American civil rights movement.
As it happens, we have written on this subject several times in this space, (here, here, here and most recently here) fully aware that the idea of liberals as civil rights heroes is not only a tragedy and a myth but a seriously bad joke. As we often note, any group on record with enthusiastic support for slavery, segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan and, in today's world, everything from racial quotas to illegal immigration is decidedly no kind of American hero. As we have also frequently noted, racism and the Left go together like ham and eggs or peanut butter and jelly. Without playing the race card the Left would die of political oxygen deprivation.
Ann Coulter gets it. Mugged is not just a book -- it's a public service.
In chapter and verse, Coulter takes the time to detail the Left's wretched racial history, saying:
Contrary to the to the myth Democrats told about themselves -- that they were hairy-chested warriors for equal rights -- the entire history of civil rights consists of Republicans battling Democrats to guarantee the constitutional rights of black people.
Not all Democrats were segregationists, but all segregationists were Democrats and there were enough of them to demand compliance from the rest of the party….
All true. And Coulter, a lawyer, prosecutes her case with detailed enthusiasm.
There is the basic grounding in the argument that liberals love to ignore.
- It was Republicans who passed the Thirteenth Amendment ending slavery (as Coulter correctly notes "with 80 percent of Democrats voting against it.")
- It was Republicans who unanimously "enacted the Fourteenth Amendment, granting freed slaves the rights of citizenship" -- with unanimous opposition from Democrats.
- It was Republicans who passed the Fifteenth Amendment, giving blacks the right to vote.
All of these a precursor to passing the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (providing citizenship and "full and equal benefit of all laws"), the Reconstruction Act of 1867, and … yes… an entire list of civil rights measures in 1875, 1890, 1922, 1935, 1938 (the latter three anti-lynching laws staunchly opposed by Democrats) and anti-poll tax bills in 1942, 1944, and 1946.
Nor does Coulter forget the basic fact that the Civil Rights laws of 1957, 1964 and 1965 were passed because of staunch Republican support -- and were essentially do-overs of laws passed a century earlier but essentially stymied by the Democrats' support for segregation and the use of what historian Columbia University historian Eric Foner has noted as the military arm of the Democrats -- the Ku Klux Klan.
But these, as mentioned, are the basics.
What Coulter does that breaks new ground and doubtless more than a few political eggs is tackle headlong the racial controversies of the last several decades -- and link them to the atrocious (make that horrifying) on-the-record dependence of Democrats and what is politely called "the race card."
Noting acerbically and again correctly that "liberals have never been able to get the hang of a color-blind justice system," she provides one example after another of how liberals went from treating blacks as below the law -- to above it.
Take the sad yet terrifying case of Eleanor Bumpurs -- a 300-pound "mentally disturbed black woman" given to keeping buckets of feces in her Bronx apartment bathtub and diagnosed by a city psychiatrist as "psychotic, emotionally disturbed and possibly dangerous." When the New York City housing authority tried fruitlessly to get in touch with Bumpurs' children, they asked the police to put her in a mental institution. When the police showed up, all hell broke loose. After being forced to break down the door, the six cops found themselves confronted with a naked Bumpurs waving a ten-inch carving knife. When she lunged at a cop, another, Officer Stephen Sullivan, shot and killed her, as police officers are trained to do.
What happened? Because the cops were white and Bumpurs black -- why in a blink Bumpurs killing was shamelessly transformed into a racist attack. The police were made the bad guys, with Officer Stephen Sullivan indicted. A bomb ripped through the police union headquarters. A lynch mob-style mob swarmed the courthouse, assailing Officer Sullivan as a racist killer. As if, Coulter notes in Coulteresque style, when "police officers encounter three-hundred-pound naked white women trying to carve them up with ten-inch carving knives, they sit and have tea."
Coulters goes through the liberal racial closet (and it's a big closet) finding one example after another after another where, in the manner typical of the heirs of slavery, segregation, and the Klan -- all is racialized.
Perhaps her most interesting point is that these kind of incidents reached a peak with the furor over O.J. Simpson. Simpson, recall (and with the passage of time there are those for whom this dramatic saga is a newsflash), was the famous NFL star turned beloved actor and TV commercial pitchman who was suddenly accused of having slit his wife's throat and that of Ron Goldman, a friend of his wife's. Did I mention that both wife Nicole and Goldman were white? Famously, as the cops closed in, O.J. made a wild and much televised attempt to escape in a white Bronco -- cruising around the freeways of Los Angeles with a helicopter and cameras hovering overhead and a posse of police cars giving chase.
It was the sensational trial of the decade (and more), with Simpson being acquitted by a mostly black jury. The verdict caused wild celebration in the nation's black precincts. Simpson was widely seen to have been let off the hook for racial reasons. But the revelation (there were audio tapes of a terrified Nicole calling police) that O.J. was what was called in the day an "angry black man" soured even many liberal whites about any romance or glamour attached to the "angry black man."
Posits Coulter: "After the O.J. trial, 'angry black men' were a lot less attractive. Talented black people were in." The fact that so many blacks openly cheered O.J. for literally getting away with murder weakened the "ferocious" concept of black group identity. Hispanics, after all, didn't cheer on Richard Ramirez (aka "the Night Stalker"), whites didn't root for Charles Manson, and gays didn't rally around the gay cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer.
Coulter notes that while the Internet and cable news helped, post-O.J. there was a "renaissance of black people with different opinions different from Jesse Jackson's" --[ and she names some of them: Deneen Borelli, Ron Christie, Ken Blackwell, Niger Innis, Star Parker, Jesse Lee Peterson, Angela McGowan, Michael Meyers, David Webb,(Congressman) Allen West -- all of whom became known to Americans thanks to Fox News. Not to mention Juan Williams, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Sherrod Small. (A nod here to Fox for doing what liberals refuse to do -- introducing black Americans who -- shocker! -- have opinions of their own not cut from the liberal cookie cutter.) Doubtless this book was already at the printer when Americans learned last month of Utah's Mia Love, who if elected would be the first Republican black woman to serve as a member of the House.
By 2007, Coulter reports, NPR/Pew had a poll out showing "that 53 percent of blacks said that those who couldn't get ahead were mostly responsible for their own condition, compared to 30 percent who said it was because of discrimination -- a reversal of percentages from just a decade earlier."
What brought back the long national nightmare of accusing everybody and everything of racism?
You guessed it. The political rise of the man Coulter calls "the half-white, half-Kenyan" -- Barack Obama.
By the political luck of the draw for the Left, the first black president turned out not to be a conservative in the mold of Clarence Thomas or Herman Cain. No, it was Obama -- a certifiable leftist replete with a Chicago tie to such leftist radicals as the white Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers and the black liberation theologian the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Did this finally drive the last stake into the heart of a two-centuries plus liberal-orchestrated racism? From which, in Coulter's view, there had been a post-O.J. reprieve? Was this really post-racial America at hand? Of course not.
How could that possibly happen? As noted at the beginning, race and leftism go together like ham and eggs.
Coulter shines the light on the media descendants of that old radio broadcaster/turned Birmingham, Alabama public safety commissioner Bull Connor -- infamously a member of the Democratic National Committee when he lets loose the police dogs on civil rights protesters -- and shows them up to their usual race games.
There is the racially-obsessed Chris Matthews ("an aggressive bean counter") from the equally racially-obsessed NBC, with Coulter cleverly making her point at exactly what Matthews' racial thinking is off-television camera by including this link to the photograph of the wedding of Matthews' son that appeared in the New York Times. The color photo, a long shot of the bride and groom and wedding attendees, shows -- gasp! -- is that a single black face in the group? Or two? With all that infamous Matthews racial beancounting, he has a black friend problem? No way!
This kind of thing is typical of liberals when it comes to race, calling to mind a version of the late Jack Kemp's crack that this or that liberal knows a lot about black people because they met one once. And that one black friend -- or is it two? -- was at the Matthews wedding! Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty! A black person at a liberal wedding!
Ms. Coulter has missed one small thing about the Matthews wedding. Where was that wedding, according to the New York Times? That's right: Charleston, South Carolina. Was that dark female face in the Times wedding photo by any chance the woman of color who is the Governor of South Carolina? Naahhh. Are you kidding? Nikki Haley is a conservative Republican. Off the liberal plantation and all of that.
Particularly illuminating is the drippingly patronizing treatment of liberal black woman Melissa Harris-Perry, whose seeming every appearance with NBC's Rachel Maddow or Matthews is greeted with superlatives that Harris-Perry is "amazing" or " wicked smart" or some such. Coulter runs a page worth of Maddow's offensively patronizing greetings to Harris-Perry, and compares them to Maddow's plain greeting of a white man -- Chris Hayes of the Nation. To Hayes Maddow says not a string of gushing effusives but simply: "Chris Hayes, Washington editor of The Nation, it's always good to see you."
The contrast between Maddow's treatment of a white man -- clearly seen as an equal -- and Harris-Perry, whom she treats like a gifted special needs child, is as insulting as it is patronizing. Says Coulter of the obvious with Maddow: "Those are not the words of someone who is comfortable around black people." I'll say.
Then again, liberals have been uncomfortable around black people for over two centuries, the chains being the first clue.
Coulter makes another important contribution in this book -- disemboweling the liberal "folklore" of a GOP "Southern Strategy."
This chestnut has been around since Richard Nixon's law-and-order campaign in 1968, if not Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign. Or, as Coulter aptly phrases it, "[T]he premise of liberals' southern strategy folklore is the sophisticated belief that anyone who votes Republican is a racist." Not to mention, she also writes: "Liberals' neurotic obsession with this apocryphal 'southern strategy' -- it's been cited hundreds of times in the New York Times -- is supposed to explain why Democrats can't get nice churchgoing, patriotic southerners to vote for the party of antiwar protestors, abortion, the ACLU and gay marriage."
What Coulter does with considerable effectiveness is detail just how phony this business is. Mugged is filled with the nitty-gritty of election maps and a recitation of just which Republicans won southern states long before either Nixon or Goldwater were household names.
As far back as 1920 and 1928 Republicans Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover were winning states like Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas. By 1952, with Eisenhower running against a ticket of Adlai Stevenson and his segregationist running mate, Alabama's Senator John Sparkman, the GOP won these same states minus North Carolina, but by 1956 had added Kentucky and Louisiana. In 1968 Nixon, supposedly "Mr. Southern Strategy," lost Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi -- either to Democrats Hubert Humphrey or George Wallace.
One could go on and on here with what Coulter has accomplished with this book. You will find discussions of everything from the Duke rape case to the mayoralty of New York's Rudy Giuliani. To read Coulter it is impossible not to understand that racial division has been the political backbone of Democrats' strategy from the beginning -- and is exactly what the party elites view as the key to their future success.
But perhaps it's best to end with Coulter's last paragraph:
The national obsession with racism is a self-inflicted punishment that has resulted in disaster, for everyone, but most of all for black people. The initial lie from which all other lies flow is the idea that black people's condition in America depends on white people's beneficence. It's Bull Connor's last revenge.
Bull Connor's revenge.
The revenge of a member of the Democratic National Committee.
Mugged isn't a book.
It's a public service advertisement for a colorblind society.
Martin Luther King would have loved Ann Coulter.