On February 28th, the New York City Council approved a “symbolic resolution” to ban the use of the N-Word. According to Sara Kugler of New Jersey’s Newark Star-Ledger, “The resolution, approved unanimously, asks New Yorkers to stop using the word, which has long been a racial epithet.” New York’s resolution, which is not a law and carries no penalties for those who do not follow it, follows similar resolutions passed throughout New Jersey after Michael Richards (Kramer on Seinfeld) verbally attacked a pair of hecklers by using the N-Word. Supporters of the resolution “are considering a letter-writing and e-mail campaign to persuade entertainment leaders and companies to join the cause.”
Apparently, Ann Coulter didn’t get the email. If she did, she must not have understood it. Or she just didn’t care.
Last Friday, speaking to an overflow crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Coulter, the author of the political books Treason, Slander, and Godless, said, “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘fa****’.” The crowd responded by laughing and applauding. The other speakers at the conference included many of the Republican contenders for the Presidential nomination, including Mitt Romney who introduced Coulter.
Everyone should know the definition of the F-Word. But so there is no doubt for those who don’t, The Oxford English Dictionary, defines it as, “A bundle of sticks, twigs, or small branches of trees bound together for use as fuel. With special reference to the practice of burning heretics alive. A (male) homosexual.”
The following day, the three leading Republican candidates, Rudy Guiliani, Mitt Romney and John McCain, denounced Coulter’s comment. Coulter responded by saying, “Apparently [Guiliani, Romney and McCain] aren’t that smart.” She also sent an email, apparently to Edwards’ campaign manager, that said, “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.”
Coulter continues to assert that she was just making a joke and, as such, has refused to apologize. She feels she has done nothing wrong and that she was attacking John Edwards and not the gay community. But is that possible? Maybe Coulter doesn’t understand the history of that word. Maybe she is unaware of the violent acts against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people throughout history. Quite frankly, I don’t care. She should know.
She needs to know that when she says that word, she brings up the history of associating homosexuals with “the practice of burning heretics alive.”
She needs to know that by using that word as a joke, she is calling the reactions of Nazi Germany toward homosexuals a joke. The Nazis arrested 100,000 homosexuals and convincted 50,000 of them as criminals. Hundreds were castrated and between 10,000 and 15,000 were sent to concentration camps. And, according to Echo Magazine, “estimates of the number of gay men killed in the camps range from about 15,000 to as many as 600,000.”
She needs to ask herself if Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson used that word as they drove Matthew Shepard to the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. Did they yell it as they pistol whipped his head eighteen times and then bound him to a fence “so tightly that police had difficulty cutting him free”? Did they spit it from their mouths as they left him, bleeding and begging for his life, his face a mash of blood and sweat? Did they joke to themselves about the “fa****” they left in Wyoming flatlands, hung to a fence like a scarecrow and offered to the crows, rats and other vermin to chew on his flesh as he died?
Does she want to be a part of that joke? From what we know of her, if she knew, she probably wouldn’t care. Don’t believe me? Here is a link to an article by the Washington Monthly, ironically titled “The Wisdom of Ann Coulter.”
It doesn’t irritate me so much that Coulter would do something like this. She’s, put simply, a nut. She always has been and always will be. She has proven this time and again. I know it, liberals know it and even conservatives know it. What irritates me is that there wasn’t a sudden rush of people, gasping and filing out of the conference after Coulter said that word. By sitting in the crowd, applauding and laughing, or even by just sitting and doing nothing, everyone at the conference showed that they condoned the use of the word. They showed that they approve of the tactic of attacking people through hate speech. They showed that they accept the history of that word and the way it has been used to kill people. Let me repeat that: the way it has been used to kill people.
As far as I am concerned, the blood of the victims of hate crimes falls firmly at Ann Coulter’s feet. But it also falls at the feet of all of us who do nothing to stop the casual use of hate speech. This includes the media. This includes the organizers of CPAC. This includes the people who laughed and applauded her. And this includes everyone who didn’t immediately stand up and leave.
Mitt Romney, Rudy Guiliani and others waited until a day after the conference to chastise Coulter, their invited guest. One day was too long to wait. One hour would have been too long of a wait.
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