Posted by the prisoner's wife On 7:50 PM
Ann Coulter makes me itch. Which is exactly why I try to avoid her pasty, sardonic expressions and severely offensive tone whenever humanly possible. But lately, it’s been hard to ignore her media blitz to promote her new book, which attempts to demonize single motherhood and the children they raise.
Ann Coulter’s bombastic rants are nothing new. In her latest flurry of appearances, she seems to be taking her ire out on all of the single mothers. In her book, Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on
America, she argues that “[s]ingle motherhood is like a farm team for future criminals and social outcasts,” and claims that children of divorce are “future strippers.” She asserts the liberal media has championed single motherhood while actively working against the nuclear family.
Her assertion about single motherhood being the gateway to all social ills is extremely problematic. Although she sites some fuzzy statistics, she does not take into account the socio-economic conditions that ail a great deal of single parents. Raising a child is an expensive endeavor. And raising a child alone is
extremely arduous, requiring you to not only stand in the gaps, emotionally, for your child, but also provide financially. Becoming a single parent isn’t a
choice many take on purposefully, but according to Coulter’s logic, single mothers have become so by choice, aided by the “liberal media’s” attack on the nuclear family.
I’ve noticed something. Whenever white women begin to break away from social norms, somehow an assault on “the American family” has occurred. Black women have been raising children alone for years. Slavery (I know, we don’t like to talk about it) caused many of our foremothers to raise children in the absence of their father because he was sold away. The “nuclear” family was but a dream for enslaved African-Americans who struggled to piece together a family broken by systematic racism, and Black women were left to work and raise children solo, wishing it were possible to
have her partner’s assistance. But instead of dealing with the issue of single motherhood holistically, taking into account the historical plight of people of color, Coulter simplifies the issue to make her point.
In an attempt to further her thesis and to dig her right-wing heels into our President-Elect, Coulter argues that President Obama, as well as other prominent mixed-race African-Americans, have insulted their white single mothers by identifying with their African-American roots. She claims that by identifying with the ethnicity of their black fathers, they have “establish[ed] victimhood status in America,” which helped them become successful. Apparently Coulter needed to explain away the reasons that Obama, Halle Berry, and Alicia Keys, all raised by single mothers, did not fit into her assertion that children raised by single moms are ready for the state pen. She had to come up with something, seeing as the WASPy White House ceiling has been cracked and shattered for good. Once again Coulter doesn’t incorporate the historical significance of ethnic identity. She acts as if mixed raced African-Americans have never been identified as “black” (uh, one drop rule anyone?) and Obama et. al is doing so just to play up their disadvantaged plight.
It is easy to look at Ann Coulter and dismiss her as a self-obsessed, mad woman. I mean, that’s how I see her anyway. The problem with that, however, is that many
agree with her divisive views. Her books have climbed to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list, and she has found a home on a myriad of conservative
media outlets. The trouble with Ann Coulter, as with any outlandish talking head, is their ability to get people to think like them. It is people like Coulter that carved American into parts, both “real” and “fake,” and attempted to pit the two against each other in a commercialized culture war.
Luckily for us, America has, in spite of itself, elected a man, the son of a single mother, who vows to unite us. I am hopeful that President Obama is the antidote to the divisive discourse that has been permeating our airwaves as of late.