Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
Ann Coulter takes on the Ward Churchill controversy:
The little Injun that could
February 11, 2005
If he's not an Indian, it's not clear what Churchill does have to offer a university. In his book, "A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present," Churchill denounces Jews for presuming to imagine the Holocaust was unique. In the chapter titled "Lie for Lie: Linkages between Holocaust Deniers and Proponents of the Uniqueness of the Jewish Experience in World War II," Churchill calls the Third Reich merely "a crystallization" of Christopher Columbus' ravages of his people (if he were an Indian).
His research apparently consisted of watching the Disney movie "Pocahontas," which showed that the Indians meant the European settlers no harm. (That's if you don't count the frequent scalpings.)
Even the credulous Nation magazine – always on red alert for tales of government oppression – dismissed Churchill's 1988 book "Agents of Repression" about Cointelpro-type operations against the American Indian Movement, saying the book "does not give much new information" and "even a reader who is inclined to believe their allegations will want more evidence than they provide." If The Nation won't buy your anti-U.S. government conspiracy theories, Kemosabe, it's probably time to pack up the old teepee and hit the trail of tears.
In response to the repeated complaints from Indians that a phony Indian was running CU's Indian Studies program, Churchill imperiously responded: "Guess what that means, guys? I'm not taking anyone's job, there wouldn't be an Indian Studies program if I wasn't coordinating it ... They won't give you a job just because you have the paper." This white man of English and Swiss-German descent apparently believes there are no actual Indians deserving of his position at CU. (No wonder the Indians aren't crazy about him.)
As long as we're all agreed that there are some people who don't deserve jobs at universities, why isn't Churchill one of them?
Ann Coulter is host of AnnCoulter.org, a Townhall.com member group.
©2005 Universal Press Syndicate
A response to Coulter
February 10, 2005
Where is Geronimo, When You Really Need Him?
The Racism of Ann Coulter
By KURT NIMMO
Certainly, most of us are tired of the Ward Churchill fiasco. It is mostly a whole lot twaddle perpetrated by the corporate media, hungry for sensational headlines, a tawdry attempt to further cash in on September 11, 2001. It is, as well, a blessing for far right field and swamp gas radio talk show hosts and columnists who never rest in their search to scrounge up dirt, no matter how infinitesimal or insignificant, on their ideological enemies.
For instance, Ann Coulter.
Coulter is a bit late cashing in on the much to do about Churchill. In an article posted February 9, with a predictably loutish title, "The little Injun that could," Coulter rehashes the charges, most quite absurd, against Churchill. One has to wonder where Coulter has been for the last week or so. Maybe she was too busy making appearances on ABC, NBC, CNBC, CNN, and, of course, Fox News, as she is wont to do, and was unable to write. Or maybe she suffered from writer's block (we can only hope).
Regardless of her dawdling on this topic — an issue custom-tailored for the Queen of Hate, and thus you'd think she would have been all over it like white on rice days ago — the problem here is not her chiming in far too late, probably to the disappointment of her insatiable readers, but rather her obvious racism.
It is the word she decided, obviously with premeditated viciousness, to include in the title of her op/ed piece: Injun.
At first, since I found Coulter's piece on David Horowitz's site, I figured this was the work of some reprehensible headline slinger. So I did a Google News Search and discovered the title appears on all instances of Coulter's article. She used the offensive word deliberately and — since overt racism and intolerance are right up her alley — why not?
For some reason Yahoo News, the Jewish World Review, WorldNetDaily, and, as previously noted, FrontPageMag had no problem running the offensive title. Is it possible, if Coulter wrote an article with the "N" word in the tile, these same publications would post it?
Front Page may, since Horowitz — editor, publisher, and chief neocon ideologue — seems to have a problem with African Americans, especially African Americans who have the nerve to say the government owes them money due to the slave labor and bondage endured by their ancestors. On second thought, since David Horowitz, above all else, wants to rake in the money like Scrooge McDuck, he probably wouldn't post it with the offending word. If he did, there is a good chance he would be hounded and sued and portrayed as a detestable racist. It wouldn't be a good business decision, regardless of what Horowitz really thinks of African-Americans, especially African-Americans who, in a distant past David cannot seem to forget, were Black Panthers.
As for the Jewish Review, is it possible they'd run a headline with the phrase, made infamous by Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, that Palestinians are "beasts walking on two legs"? Or would they use the word "crocodiles," as evoked by another Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, when talking about Palestinians? Certainly the Jewish Review wouldn't use the word "cockroaches," as did Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, as quoted in the New York Times. No, they probably wouldn't because the use of such words would reveal at least two prime ministers of the "only democracy in the Middle East" for what they obviously are: Arab-hating racists.
On the other hand, the word "Injun" is apparently considered useable because .. well, because the American Natives — who once numbered in the millions inside the borders of what eventually became known as the United States and were methodically decimated and reduced to less than 250,000 by the end of the 19th century, thanks to white people with about as much sensitivity and compassion as Ann Coulter — are essentially invisible. The likelihood an "injun" will sue Coulter for racist defamation is probably fairly low.
Native Americans are fair game, indicated by the fact there are about 2,000 schools using Indian names for sports teams, to say nothing of more than a few professional teams, such as the Washington Red Skins. It wasn't so long ago Red Skins fans chanted, "Scalp 'em!" (Incidentally, scalping was introduced to the "New World" by the Dutch, who learned the grisly practice from the Earl of Wessex.)
Coulter picks her targets carefully. For instance, since September 11 is still relatively fresh in the minds of many Americans, especially the sort who read Ann, she can say whatever she likes about Arabs and Muslims. In fact, she can call for their mass murder and forced conversion to Christianity and hardly anybody gives a hoot. She can also get away with saying Asians, North Koreans in particular, should be "nuked for fun."
And yet Ward Churchill is roasted alive in the media for something he wrote three years ago — an essay almost completely lost to obscurity until some right-wing zealot dredged it up from the murky depths of the internet and fed it to Bill "phone sex" O'Reilly — an essay taken out of context and wielded like a club studded with nails to attack a nearly irrelevant academe, accused routinely of espousing Marxism and "anti-Americanism," or at least not demonstrating the requisite degree of enthusiasm for invasion, mass murder, and occupation of foreign lands.
In a perfect word, not Bushzarro world, Ann Coulter would be transported to New Mexico, where I live, and forced to read her little essay to the Navajo and Apaches tribes. I can only imagine the reaction.
Instead of scorn, Ann Coulter receives royalties. Instead of being written off and ignored as racist, essentially no different than a Knight of the Ku Klux Klan, she appears on the idiot tube, making repulsive comments about Muslims, Arabs, Asians, liberals, and now Native Americans.
Coulter, of course, thinks she is funny, since the title is a sarcastic take-off on Watty Piper's classic "The Little Engine That Could," a popular children's book. Instead, this is a double-whammy, since not only is Coulter expressing racism, something that apparently comes easy to her, but is also engaging in a condescending attitude toward American Indians, a habit with a long and injurious history. For Ann Coulter, racism and hatred are simply the best way to make a buck.
A few months ago I received an email claiming Ann Coulter is in fact a man, a former drag queen from Key West named Jeremy Levinsohn, aka Pudenda Shenanigans. Interesting, I wrote back, but I don't care if Coulter-Levinsohn is a man, woman, or a Martian — I am far more concerned about what she/he writes, and the damage it inflicts, the hatred it spreads. Gender is irrelevant, I replied. But then I guess such a response is to be expected from a "bleeding heart" liberal, although I do not consider myself a liberal. John Kerry and Al Franken are liberals. I wouldn't be caught in the same room with them.
Finally, it is not surprising WorldNetDaily and Horowitz's FrontPageMag would allow Coulter's racism to pass unchallenged, since they more or less agree with her, at least in regard to Muslims, but it really says something when Yahoo News lets it slide. But then maybe it shouldn't be surprising considering Yahoo rubs elbows with big telecommunications corporations, is traded on the stock market, and "acquires" other companies, such as Inktomi and Overture Services, and spends its time gobbling up the competition, for instance AltaVista and AlltheWeb. In other words, it is simply another faceless corporation interested in the bottom line and will do whatever it takes to get there.
In such an environment, racism is not an issue, especially if it racks up page hits and thus levitates stock prices.
Kurt Nimmo is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair's, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books.
Another example of Coulter's bigotry
REGARDING MEDIA / TIM RUTTEN
Coulter's anti-Semitic comment too dangerous to ignore
October 13, 2007
Ann Coulter is buzzing from one talk show to another these days, peddling her new book. Our era values mindless contention as a kind of entertainment, and we don't just reward relentless self-promotion — we admire it. Thus, Coulter's phenomenal success at marketing distasteful, mean-spirited books — poorly written and spottily researched — that otherwise would go all but unremarked upon by everyone except the rhetorical ghouls who haunt the political fringes.
Now, no Coulter promotional campaign would be complete without a calculated outrage — a call for the forcible conversion of all Muslims, for example, or a demand for revocation of women's suffrage, an insult hurled at gays or the grieving widows of Sept. 11 victims. As more than one political consultant has remarked, the American far right is a carnivorous constituency, and it needs to be regularly thrown red meat. Coulter's singular genius has been to ignite tightly focused and timely controversies, thereby getting her ideological opponents to toss the scraps to her fans.
So if you know what's coming, why play ball and deliver the denunciation that validates the Coulter strategy?
In part, it's because this time Coulter didn't intend to ignite the firestorm that's currently raging around her; in part, it's because the implications of these latest remarks simply are too threatening to be allowed to stand.
Earlier this week, Coulter went on "The Big Idea," a talk show aired on CNBC, the cable channel devoted to business news. Its host, Donny Deutsch, is a preternaturally affable businessman who invites successful people on to talk about how they turn their ideas into money. Coulter was there to describe how she had — in our vulgar commercial argot —"branded" herself. At one point, Deutsch asked her what an ideal country would be like, and she replied that it would be one in which everyone was "a Christian." Deutsch, who happens to be Jewish, protested that Coulter was advocating his people's elimination. She responded that she simply hoped to see Jews "perfected" through conversion to Christianity.
Deutsch, to his everlasting credit, wasn't having any of it, and the full transcript of their extended and — on Coulter's side — vilely offensive exchange on the matter is widely available online. Reaction over the last couple of days has been swift.
The National Jewish Democratic Council weighed in with a petition asking other broadcast news organizations not to give Coulter a forum. "While Ann Coulter has freedom of speech, news outlets should exercise their freedom to use better judgment," said council Executive Director Ira N. Forman. "Just as media outlets don't invite those who believe that Martians walk the Earth to frequently comment on science stories, it's time they stop inviting Ann Coulter to comment on politics." (Sadly, too many Americans now believe the only way to confront offensive or dangerous speech is to silence it.)
Rabbi Marvin Heir, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that Coulter's "remarks that Jews needed to be perfected and America would be better off if everyone was Christian are deeply offensive and have been the classic language of anti-Semites throughout the millennia. She may have been a guest on CNBC's 'Big Idea,' but what she invoked is the oldest 'Bigoted Idea,' and she should apologize." (Good luck on that one, rabbi.)
Perhaps the best response came from the Anti-Defamation League, which called Coulter's comments "outrageous, offensive and a throwback to the centuries-old teaching of contempt for Jews and Judaism. The notion that Jews are religiously inferior or imperfect because they do not accept Christian beliefs was the basis for 2,000 years of church-based anti-Semitism. While she is entitled to her beliefs, using mainstream media to espouse the idea that Judaism needs to be replaced with Christianity and that each individual Jew is somehow deficient and needs to be "perfected" is rank Christian supersessionism and has been rejected by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of mainstream Christian denominations. Clearly, Ann Coulter needs a wake-up call about the power of words to injure others and fuel hatred. She needs an education, too, about the roots of anti-Semitism."
That she does. As the league points out, "supersessionism," the theological notion that Christianity "completes" or "perfects" Judaism is, along with the deicide libel, anti-Semitism's major theological underpinning. Indeed, in Central and Western Europe between the world wars, there was a substantial body of purportedly "respectable" intellectual opinion that held "supersessionism" made possible a "reasonable" theological anti-Semitism that was entirely licit, as opposed to the Nazis' and fascists' illicit, "racially based" anti-Semitism. It is fair to say that the rails leading to Auschwitz were greased by precisely the opinion Coulter expressed on American television this week.
It's a scandal that in this pluralist nation it falls to the voices of organized Jewry to make this case, because it is a case whose outcome is of the greatest consequence to us all. For too long we've pretended that the brutal political rhetoric that now characterizes our partisan politics can be quarantined, that it won't inevitably leach over into every other aspect of our lives. In fact, it's doing just that, and soon the coarse and vituperative language of the war between red and blue — with it's instantaneous imputations of bad-faith and utter disrespect for minimal civility — will begin to color aspects of our civil society where mutual respect is too crucial and hard won to tolerate this sort of risk.
Here, for example, is what transpired on the airwaves Friday. Deutsch went onto NBC's "Today" show and called it "scary" that, in this instance, Coulter was not being deliberately provocative. "We're playing with dangerous words in our society — there's no accountability, there's a glibness that we in the media kind of elevate."
Meanwhile, Coulter was on the Kevin McCullough radio talk show, making the utterly absurd case that Deutsch somehow had ambushed her. On his blog later in the day, McCullough agreed. Deutsch, he said, "is an angry anti-Christian bigot, looking to make a name for himself by biting into Christian icons."
How many Americans really want to follow Ann Coulter into this sort of confrontation? Not many, one suspects. But are enough of them willing to give up, once and for all, the sort of dangerous fun she and her rhetorical fellow travelers provide?
Coulter's column is ironic coming from a woman who allegedly has lied about her age and other matters.
Coulter attacks Churchill harshly, but he brought some of that on himself. At least she provides evidence for most of her charges. But the column also indulges in a little Indian-bashing along the way.
The offenses begin with the headline, "The little Injun that could." The stereotypical comments include:
His research apparently consisted of watching the Disney movie "Pocahontas," which showed that the Indians meant the European settlers no harm. (That's if you don't count the frequent scalpings.)
One, scalpings weren't frequent. Where did Coulter got her information from...old John Wayne movies?
Two, I don't believe the Powhatan Indians, Pocahontas's tribe, practiced scalping. Many tribes in the Northeast, South, and West didn't go to war against Euro-Americans; they sued for peace instead. In fact, the Indian Wars took place primarily on the Great Plains; they weren't nationwide.
Three, it's well-known that the Indians on the Eastern seaboard (indeed, most Indians) welcomed strangers with open arms. They retaliated against the European colonizers only after the Europeans encroached on their land and abused their hospitality. This is the historical reality, so any movie would be justified in showing it.
The Indians couldn't have meant the Europeans "harm" since they didn't initiate the invasion. They didn't even know the Europeans existed until the Europeans invited themselves to stay. The Europeans were the only ones with an intent to harm, so they're the only ones who committed a (cultural) crime.
In short, reacting to harm isn't the same as causing harm, unless you torture the dictionary definition of "harm." Yes, if someone is hitting you and you knock his hand away, you may bruise his pinkies. That isn't harm under any moral code except Coulter's.
Four, the Disney movie showed the Indians' retaliation, at least metaphorically, with both sides calling the other "savages" and preparing for war. If Churchill watched Pocahontas, he apparently did more research than Coulter did. She probably thinks Disney couldn't possibly have presented something negative about a minority. Wrong.
Her belief that the movie somehow whitewashed the Indians' role is as fictional as she thinks the movie is. Not that she's willing to address the real injustices against Indians, of course. That would take more courage than any right-wing commentator has shown in recent history.
If The Nation won't buy your anti-U.S. government conspiracy theories, Kemosabe, it's probably time to pack up the old teepee and hit the trail of tears.
This paragraph is a mishmash of images and stereotypes. Suggesting that Churchill or anyone should "hit the trail of tears" is roughly equivalent to telling a Christian to nail himself to a cross or a Jew to climb into an oven. As for her "kemosabe" crack, see Court Upholds Store Owner Calling Aboriginals "Kemosabe" for the problems with that.
Tipis, feather bonnets, and other Native American stereotypes
Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens
. . .
All material © copyright its original owners, except where noted.
Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.
Copyrighted material is posted under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act,
which allows copying for nonprofit educational uses including criticism and commentary.
Comments sent to the publisher become the property of Blue Corn Comics
and may be used in other postings without permission.