Ann Coulter, looking for more books to sell, reemerged on our minds earlier this week over FOX News’ Sean Hannity Show remarks in which she praised conservative Black Republicans much the same way an owner praises her pet. “Our blacks are so much better than their blacks,” said Coulter, not flinching, noting that “we” [conservatives … or White people … I don’t know – you decide] ” … have very impressive blacks.”
Coulter is no stranger to controversy, frequently making mockery of political correctness and putting on a show for the camera. In her quest for “seeing what sticks” she’s known for type-setting, planning and executing sensationalistic and inflammatory statements, but this didn’t seem as if it was staged. This time, it rattled off her tongue like a matter-of-fact, without forethought of its impact. At no point in the conversation did Coulter reveal any cognizant awareness of her usage of the term – or that it’s just not kosher to apply the possessive to a group of people once enslaved within the last 150 years of this country’s history (add perpetual poverty, recession, urban blight and the economic prison of bad credit and predatory lending, and you can make the argument that it didn’t go anywhere).
Certainly, Coulter is smart enough to know that not all whites think the same and that not all White conservatives, Republicans and Tea Party members share the same views. I doubt she’d go to Europe and attempt to categorize all American Whites the same way – so why do the same to Black conservatives?
Arrogance? Flippant disregard? Aloofness?
Maybe all of the above.
Coulter’s defenders took to the Twitterverse and Blogosphere, with startling revelations that mentioning a race of people in the possessive form is no different than referring to the city they live in or the car they drive. Oh … so, now we’re objects? Scary that there were enough people online to actually make this into a conversation; scarier to discover so many more who see nothing wrong with the objectification of certain groups of people, lumping them into categories of other inanimate objects.
It’s the strong, unpleasant odor of tokenism or the thinking that Black conservatives willing to express their conservative views are doing so merely to run back to White masters for a pat on the head. Coulter’s statement suggests conversations taking place where African American Republicans are considered pawns in an ongoing political war for power and influence.
But, categorizing and divvying-up conservative and liberal Blacks according to their respective corner of the political spectrum should not necessarily mean they are considered chattel … in the literal sense.
Still – it’s forever an exercise in futility to explain what’s wrong with an Ann Coulter statement. And you can’t change narrow-minded professional pundits who have a limited and deliberately comfortable unawareness of the error in their thinking. But, it’s mind blowing to know that it still exists: that line of thinking and imposed superiority in which blocks of individual, autonomous people are seen only as sidekicks you can tuck away safely in a cage and use at your disposal.
If it hasn’t already kicked in, it may soon – fear that we are not evolving in our treatment and thinking of race but, instead, retreating into a collective lapse. Guess it just stinks that we’re not as post-racial as we thought we could be.