More on Ann Coulter

I really dislike Ann Coulter, as I have stated on this blog before.

Like others among the right wing, she insists on referring to Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, which is just petty and stupid.

And she attributes the media hype and public attention about Obama to white liberal guilt. WTF is that supposed to mean.

Obama’s identity is in a double bind. He’s not black enough for many black folks. He’s too black for many white folks. White liberals love him because he’s “articulate” (there’s that old stereotype), which means he’s not really very black afterall. As Debra J. Dickerson writes in Salon:

Also, and more subtly, when the handsome Obama doesn’t look eastern (versus western) African, he looks like his white mother; not so subliminally, that’s partially why whites can embrace him but blacks fear that one day he’ll go Tiger Woods on us and get all race transcendent (he might well have never been in the running without a traditionally black spouse and kids). Notwithstanding their silence on the subject, blacks at the top are aware (and possibly troubled?) by Obama’s lottery winnings: “black” but not black. Not descended from West African slaves brought to America, he steps into the benefits of black progress (like Harvard Law School) without having borne any of the burden, and he gives the white folks plausible deniability of their unwillingness to embrace blacks in public life. None of Obama’s doing, of course, but nonetheless a niggling sort of freebie for which he’ll have to do some groveling.

…Swooning over nice, safe Obama means you aren’t a racist. I honestly can’t look without feeling pity, and indeed mercy, at whites’ need for absolution. For all our sakes, it seemed (again) best not to point out the obvious: You’re not embracing a black man, a descendant of slaves. You’re replacing the black man with an immigrant of recent African descent of whom you can approve without feeling either guilty or frightened. If he were Ronald Washington from Detroit, even with the same résumé, he wouldn’t be getting this kind of love. Washington would have to earn it, not just show promise of it, and even then whites would remain wary.

Of course Ann Coulter doesn’t say this. Instead she waxes on about Obama’s insipid platitudes. I can’t help but think that this is the undercurrent to her article – except from a right-wing perspective, of course. It’s ironic when the left and the right sound so much alike.

3 Comments

  1. Regarding that shrill harpie Ann Coulter, I’ve actually had hardcore conservatives dismiss her as a closet liberal pulling a Stephen Colbert on the Right Wing… and seeing O’Reilly on the Colbert report, I gotta admit there seems to be a disquietingly thin line today between the “real” conservatives and those who satire them.

    The Obama analysis is pretty spot on, methinks, and the blurred boundaries between the ideological undercurrents of left and right is indeed disturbing.

  2. I think this post explains, better than I ever could, why Obama is “not black enough for anyone,” a phrase I’ve used often.

    Ugh.

  3. Yeah, I think Ann Coulter makes a legitimate point about white liberal guilt, though as you also point out, you have to wade through a lot of other crap to extract that point.

    Patricia Williams’s analysis is similar to Debra Dickerson’s,I think–http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070305/williams

    But I think Williams and Dickerson’s analysis is quite different, because instead of asking us once again to “hate liberals,” Dickerson and Williams invite us to think about the politics of race.

    btw, as much as I loathe Ann Coulter, I’ve noticed that a lot of commentary on her, especially in comments sections on blogs, is really disturbing. Really ugly, misogynist kinds of stuff. It’s not right.

    About Obama: liberal guilt aside, what about his politics? From what I’ve read, he’s pretty much in the center, which has shifted right. Same with Hillary. I wouldn’t condone sexist comments about Hillary or racist comments about Obama, but that aside, I’m not impressed with either of them. It pains me that we can’t seem to get “electable” candidates who are truly progressive as opposed to those who only pay lip service to the interests of African-Americans and women and working class and middle class people.

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