I have expressed my skepticism as to whether removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina will do any good. After all, there are plenty of accusations of racism flying around in parts of the country where no Confederate flag is found.
But if one must criticize South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s intent to have the flag removed then one ought to have the courtesy to a) criticize the merits of the decision, b) get the facts straight and c) otherwise refrain from slurring those with whom you disagree.
Enter Ann Coulter.
During an appearance on Tuesday night on the Fox Business Channel program Kennedy, Coulter claimed the following about Governor Haley:
Well, I am a student of American history, so I am appalled by — though I’d really like to like Nikki Haley since she is a Republican. On the other hand, she is an immigrant that does not understand America’s history.
While Haley’s parents are immigrants from India, Haley herself was born and raised in South Carolina.
But what if Haley had been born in India instead? Coulter made a point of saying she “really like to like Nikki Haley because she is a Republican” but then added “she is an immigrant who does not understand American history.” Why does this matter to Coulter? Did she really think less of Haley because she thought she was born outside this country? The idea that someone can’t be knowledgable about American history because they were born outside our borders is ridiculous. Has she not read de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America? Is Coulter going to claim that Henry Kissinger knows less about the history of American foreign policy because he was born in Germany? Being from Connecticut sure didn’t help Coulter’s knowledge of Nikki Haley’s biography. And if Coulter got that wrong then who knows what else she got wrong.
Ann Coulter should own up to her mistake and apologize to Haley. This isn’t a matter of being politically correct. It would just be the decent thing to do under the circumstances. But if she doesn’t then it will say a great deal more about Ann Coulter than it does about Nikki Haley.