Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coulter's Attack on Single Moms




I had to give the sisters a standing ovation. The women of “The View” put their foot so far up Ann Coulter’s behind she’s still screaming for someone to pull them out.

For those who missed it, Coulter appeared on “The View” to discuss her new book “Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America”. It didn’t take long for things to get out of control. “We’ve all been discussing your book on camera,” Barbara Walters said in her introduction of Coulter.

“Yes, I’ve heard,” Coulter said, interrupting Walters.

“Good, you should be pleased,” Walters snapped back, which silenced Coulter.

From there Whoopi Golberg pressed a discussion on Coulter’s view of single mothers. “What is your issue with single mothers?” Whoopi Goldberg inquired.

After a lengthy rant, Coulter then took issue with the manner in which Hollywood is portraying women having children out of marriage. “It’s the new thing, as opposed to the sex tape,” Coulter said of single moms. “Hollywood, mainstream media, the New York Times, women’s magazines, exalting single motherhood, movie after movie about single motherhood, book after book, sisters are doing it for themselves.”

Goldberg stopped Coulter in the middle of her assault against single moms,“ Are you married? Do you have kids?”

“No, but it wouldn’t change the difference of the facts I cite,” Coulter said, referring to the claims she makes in her book.

“Well, it would,” Goldberg countered. “If you had children, you would know more of what you’re talking about.”

Coulter then accused Walters of reading her book like it was something Adolf Hitler had written.
I’ve never heard my book read aloud, like you’re reading Mein Kampf, and I just did,” Coulter told Walters, referring to Hitler’s manifesto. “Read it like you’re reading Mein Kampf again!”

“I don’t think I did,” Walters said.

“I think you did,” Coulter snapped. “You spat out the words, like I wasn’t sitting here.”

“I don’t appreciate the way you’re talking to her,” Sherri Shepherd told Coulter defending Walters. “Nobody is attacking you. You don’t have to talk to her like that!”

“They are killing her...she just as well lay down in a grave somewhere and consider herself "DEAD"......Wow....her picture in the dictionary right beside the definition of 'JERK',” one of my friends responded in an email.

I enjoyed the way they poked holes in Coulter’s claim. I stood in pride as they put an old school whipping on Coulter and her conservative perspective. I made an assumption that only Rush Limbaugh and his locked in the past disciples would resent the women of “The View” and side with Coulter. Boy, was I wrong.

Something must have gone bad in the water. I turned on the radio this morning to listen to Russ Parr and his morning crew. The subject was Ann Coulter. I had to pull my car over as I listened to caller after caller agree with her views. I checked my radio. Did I have the wrong freaking station? Nope. Parr’s voice confirmed I was dialed in at 97.5 FM.

One caller chastised those single moms for sleeping with no count men, having their babies while assuming they could change the no good baby daddy. Another caller slammed the single mamas for raising sons to become thugs and crooks. His claim- a woman can’t raise a boy by herself. No one should be allowed to come into this world without a daddy, and it’s the fault of those women who had sex with the bums.

I expected my sisters to come to the rescue. They were just as bad. One caller attacked single moms for the misery they cause society. “They have babies then go to file for child support. They shouldn’t have babies if they’re not ready to have them…”

I was exhausted by it all. Instead of beating on women who do their best with what they have been given, we should be blasting all of the dead beat dads out there for refusing to be more than a child support payment-if that. I understand the argument coming from a white woman with no children, no husband, no life and no compassion. I get why Coulter feels the way she does, but someone help me, please help me, uncover how so many black folks got trapped into embracing that brand of thinking?

Have we forgotten how the entire village came together to raise June Bug and Juicy Fruit? What happened to the community that came together to add love when Baby Jane made a mistake and got pregnant. My problem with all of the black folks who threw the first stone is in how their claim negates the strength of black love. It places the life of each child back in the hands of the baby mama, and forgets how we, as a community, came to the rescue when Papa was a rolling stone.

I despise the way we attack the single mom because it leaves her alone to do what each of us should do. Single moms should never be single moms. Not when there is a church around the corner, and the next corner and the next. Not when you have a family of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. Not when you have a mother, father, grandparents and play mamas and papas to fill the voids. We should never throw those stones at a single mama when there is a village to step in to raise the children.

I can’t blame Coulter for being stuck in the insight of conservative America. I have no problem with a person who hasn’t experienced the love of a community when a baby is born without a mother and father in the home. I understand why she would think all of the woes of society can be attributed to the death of the traditional family structure. There are some statistics to validate her point. I won’t argue against that, but I will blast any black person who chimes the tune of conservative rhetoric.

There’s a phrase used to express feelings related to such folks. Negro Please.

21 comments:

  1. Ann Coulter is not one of my favorites. Even though most of her views are intelligent and backed up by facts, her incendiary style is more designed for publicity than winning converts. She does not play well with others.

    In her defense, however, the ladies of The View purposely stacked the deck against her.

    If you are the type that just wants to see those with opposing views humiliated or stomped rather than artfully debated, then the View ladies did what you wanted. There was no discussion, just four women shouting and not allowing Coulter time to reply.

    Coulter was on the show onstensibly to promote her book "Guilty" that makes a case for liberal media bias promoting victimology. Her points were previously made by ombudsmen for CBS, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, so she's not just a conservative shriek. She wants to know why Sarah Palin was treated differently by the press than Caroline Kennedy, since neither intially showed a full grasp of the issues.

    The View ladies started the discussion of Coulter's book without even bringing her on stage to enter the discussion. They pounced on several statements from the book as if they were red meat and proceeded to tear at them with no one to respond to their views. Easy to win arguments this way!

    After a commercial break, they brought Ann Coulter out on stage. Instead of discussing her book about the media and "victimology" in general, Whoopi Goldberg, a single mom, immediately confronted Coulter with her statements in one book chapter indicating that single motherhood was associated with many of society's ills. Coulter was allowed to mention some undisputed statistics (even by Carl) to back up her statement, but never again got in a word in the conversation because four hosts constantly bombarded her with differing hostile statements. Barbara Walters indeed read some excerpts from the book with obvious disdain, hence Coulter's disparaging remark about the tone of the reading. Coulter does not suffer fools gladly.

    Coulter, for all her faults, is an excellent, although savage, debater, but The View did not allow any debate or discussion to occur. As a result, no one learned anything. If Coulter's statements could not be supported, we'll never know because she wasn't allowed to discuss them.

    This seems to becoming a habit in our society. If you don't agree with someone, just shout them down or bar them from appearing. That way you don't expose your own weak arguments to ridicule and you can rest comfortably with others who share your views. It's intellectual cowardice, but the shouters think they "win" when opposing views are not heard. As if those views might infect someone by causing them to actually think rather than feel.

    Yes, Carl, Coulter's book has a chapter decrying those who are single moms BY CHOICE. She points out that their children really are disadvantaged in life. Although you brought up relatives and churches as part of the larger "village" community to raise the children, your work with gangs tells you that the village usually fails these kids. That was Coulter's main point.

    And why do you "blast" any black person who agrees with some of Coulter's points? Should there be no diversity of black opinion? Aren't the brothers and sisters you heard on the radio allowed to form their own opinions based on their own lives? Are all blacks to march lockstep in victimology? Hasn't Obama taught you anything?

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  2. I didn't listen to Coulter on the View. I have heard and read her views, which inspires me now to turn off the set when she's featured. It's not an aversion to honest debate that keeps me away. Coulter invites hostility with her sarcasm, thoughtlessness, and insulting remarks. For instance, what value is there in pointing out, as she has, that Jewish people need to be "perfected?" She made this remark on CNBC's "The Big Idea." The host happened to be Jewish. She may hold the view that Jews should all convert to Christianity, which in itself is a fairly stunning thing to say. But the way she words this is obviously meant to rile people and perhaps to specifically and gratuitously insult the show's host. She asks for the reaction she gets and I'm not surprised people are not fair with her.

    The problem with Ann Coulter, beyond her rudeness, is that she is not f a c t u a l. People who have fact-checked her speeches, interviews, articles and books, reveal plenty of falsehoods. She is a hack who enjoys publicity, even if it exposes her as a fraud. I think she is so contemptuous of her audience that she doesn't care if she's caught inventing her "facts." When she claimed that Canada sent troups to Vietnam (which was not true) and her interviewer informed her they had not (which was true), she insisted she was right. She doesn't check her facts or care if she's wrong. Her purpose is to shock people. She's more like Howard Stern than a public intellectual.

    I can't address her points about single moms, not having heard them, but there are a lot of children of single parents who do very well (like the president-elect) and many who fail, like the gangbangers. Not all single parents intend to have children on their own or take advantage of government subsidies (I didn't). Single parenthood is a lot of work whether you are a widow, divorced, or the father didn't participate past the conception, but, I would hardly suggest that women should remain celibate or have abortions, rather than take responsibility for their children.

    I would be surprised- and delighted- to hear that Ann Coulter has ever been kind or helpful to someone less fortunate than herself. I think Carl's concern about black people agreeing with Coulter may have its origins in his desire to see more compassion in general than in any worry about whether they are conservative or liberal. There are more thoughtful and compassionate ways than Coulter's to analyze social problems. If you want an intelligent discussion about childrearing, let's hear a discussion with Marion Wright Edelman, Dr. Wm C Holmes (U Penn) and Michael Lamb (U Cambridge).

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  3. I almost died when I saw a clip of that now-infamous episode of The View. I would have been upset no matter WHO had said what Coulter said, but the fact that she was White made me want to crawl under the table and hide. *embarrassed* I know that she doesn't represent my entire race, but goodness gracious...you're on television, lady! Can't you keep that misguided/hateful dialog INTERNAL??

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  4. [Patricia, ignore this post, since Coulter is wrong about some of her views, this one must be wrong as well. "B," this will prick your liberal guilt because it mentions some unpleasant facts that you'd rather ignore.]

    Here's what Coulter actually says about single mothers. Note that she quotes some liberal sources. Judge for yourself or find alternative facts:

    "As I describe in my new book, "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America," controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is that he was raised by a single parent.

    "By 1996, 70 percent of inmates in state juvenile detention centers serving long-term sentences were raised by single mothers. Seventy percent of teenage births, dropouts, suicides, runaways, juvenile delinquents and child murderers involve children raised by single mothers. Girls raised without fathers are more sexually promiscuous and more likely to end up divorced.

    "A 1990 study by the left-wing Progressive Policy Institute showed that, after controlling for single motherhood, the difference in black and white crime disappeared.

    "Various studies come up with slightly different numbers, but all the figures are grim. A study cited in the far left-wing Village Voice found that children brought up in single-mother homes "are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape (for the boys), 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home."

    "With new children being born, running away, dropping out of high school and committing murder every year, it's not a static problem to analyze. But however the numbers are run, single motherhood is a societal nuclear bomb.

    "Many of these studies, for example, are from the '90s, when the percentage of teenagers raised by single parents was lower than it is today. In 1990, 28 percent of children under 18 were being raised in one-parent homes -- mother or father, divorced or never-married. By 2005, more than one-third of all babies born in the U.S. were illegitimate.

    "That's a lot of social problems in the pipeline.

    "Think I'm being cruel? Imagine an America with 60 to 70 percent fewer juvenile delinquents, teenage births, teenage suicides and runaways, and you will appreciate what the sainted "single mothers" have accomplished.

    ReplyDelete
  5. When did this become a country of rights and compassion? Not that those are bad things. But shouldn't they be balanced by responsibilities and consequences? Just once I'd like to see a rally where I speaker says that people aren't doing enough for the country, instead of the other way around.

    How does this relate? If we keep apologizing for people's problems, there is no reason for anyone to avoid them. If single-motherhood was seen as a selfish choice, would it continue? And I don't mean to single out mothers. Shouldn't being a no-show Daddy be a social stigma? How about if being a high school drop out kept you from getting a drivers license?

    I'm not saying that we shouldn't feel compassion for people who make mistakes. I just want to keep calling them mistakes, and give people the opportunity to atone, to set things right. Help single-mothers get jobs, get drop-outs a GED. Its not rocket surgery, people. But if we keep saying "Did the best they could with what they had", well, aren't they going to just keep on doing what they were doing?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've neither seen the show nor read the book, but as a psychologist whose doctorate focused on juvenile delinquency, I take great issue with the following statement (quoted from Coulter's book by a previous poster):

    "As I describe in my new book, "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America," controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is that he was raised by a single parent."

    This is blatantly false, which anyone who's read the latest research literature would know. Once you control for factors such as SES and parenting practices, single parenthood has no statistical effect as a predictor of juvenile crime. The real predictors are factors such as monitoring, parent-child communication, family conflict, etc. In fact, evidence demonstrates that it is better for a child to live with a single parent than to live in a two-parent household with high marital conflict.

    Coulter clearly couldn't have made that statement if she'd read any of the reputable child development research published within the last 15-20 years (that is, objective, peer-reviewed scientific research not published by a politically motivated organization).

    Granted, some single parents have a tougher time being effective parents because of the stresses that they are under. And I'm also concerned about the decisions that many women are making to bear children without the benefit of a partner.

    But saying that single parenthood isn't optimal does not necessarily mean that it's a social evil. And as for the fact that most incarcerated people were raised by single parents...well, ever since the statistics have been kept, the single most powerful predictor of criminality is being male. Of course, I've heard at least one criminologist suggest that we could almost eliminate crime by shipping all males to a deserted island when they reach puberty. Maybe Coulter should write a book about that.

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  7. Carl's essay and the ensuing commentary has caused me to do something I thought I'd never do - actually buy and read Ann Coulter's "Guilty" book. And I'm going to punish him by giving him the book next time we have lunch.

    As noted by the intial "Anon" poster, only one chapter of the book is devoted to single motherhood. In that chapter, her clear target is not the widows and divorcees, but the women who become single mothers "by choice." Chanequa seems to agree when she states, "And I'm also concerned about the decisions that many women are making to bear children without the benefit of a partner." Single motherhood, indeed has its unique stresses, and to pick this role by choice seems intuitively to disadvantage the child. This is Coulter's main point.

    I don't know the facts of whether being the child of a single parent has a strong association with criminality. This may be a case of statistical correlation without causation. Coulter states her "facts" about correcting the statistics for race to show it has no effect. Chanequa states her "facts" about single parenthood having no predictive value for criminality once "Once you control for factors such as SES and parenting practices." But it is those very parenting practices that Coulter calls into question. Chanequa obviously is bettered prepared to factually respond to Coulter than I am. I just want to make sure they're not talking past each other.

    Coulter has a mixed view on divorced single mothers, both realizing that high conflict marriages can be bad for children while commenting on the poor marriage choices and comittments many women make (Coulter is unmarried). Her arguments get bogged down in this section by clearly overstating her case. Unfortunately, lumping divorcees with "by choice" single moms ultimately dilutes Coulter's arguments.

    The remainder of the book is devoted to media bias. She makes many factual points (I've looked up some of her annotations), but has a selection bias in her sourcess, similar to the many liberal writers she disparages.

    Coulter IS funny and witty, even when you disagree with her. When she makes a claim to have larger testicles than most males in the Republican Party, it's hard not to laugh. The book is filled with many examples of less scatological dry humor that makes good satire.

    Like all extreme (right and left)political writers, Coulter becomes too hyperbolic and thereby weakens her own arguments. But, of course, then no one would buy her books if they weren't sensationalistic. It's the same argument she uses against the "liberal" press - they try to sensationalize and demonize opposing views in order to make their writings stand out from all the other media, often ignoring, altering, or selecting facts in order to make their particualar argument. In other words, Coulter looks into the media mirror and sees ...... herself.

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  8. Ann Coulter is sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect. But she never fails to be unhelpful.

    But meanwhile, Dan Quayle Was Right

    The social-science evidence is in: though it may benefit the adults involved, the dissolution of intact two-parent families is harmful to large numbers of children. Moreover, the author argues, family diversity in the form of increasing numbers of single-parent and stepparent families does not strengthen the social fabric but, rather, dramatically weakens and undermines society

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  9. Carl,

    I'm trying contact info or service times for Compassion Ministries. Could you email me at billkcummings@gmail.com with the info?

    Thanks,

    Bill

    ReplyDelete
  10. I find the number of anonymous posts attacking other commenters almost as telling as it is sad...

    Commenting is one thing. But rushing to judgment, labeling, and name calling under a shield of anonymity?

    ReplyDelete
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