Rabid far-right commentator Ann Coulter is known across America for sliming everyone and everything she disagrees with. Al Gore is a "total fag" and another one-time presidential candidate, John Edwards, is the same. Democrats are "gutless traitors" and their convention a "Spawn of Satan" gathering. Muslims are "ragheads" and America should "kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." Jews are people who need to be "perfected." The New York Times building and its editorial staff should be bombed. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens should have "rat poisoning" mixed into his food. Princess Diana "ostentatiously [had] sex in front of [her] children." The Rev. Al Sharpton is "a fat, race-baiting black man." President Bill Clinton was "a very good rapist," and North Korea should be "nuked."
But despite denouncing school desegregation as a "spectacular" failure, Coulter has generally avoided bolstering white supremacist hate groups. Until now, that is.
In her latest foaming-mouth tome -- Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America, released on Jan. 6 -- Coulter spends the better part of three pages defending a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which The New York Times had described as a "thinly veiled white supremacist organization." Coulter begs to differ. The CCC, Coulter opines, is "a conservative group" that has unfairly been branded as racist "because some of the directors of the CCC had, decades earlier, been leaders of a segregationist group." "There is no evidence on its Web page that the modern incarnation of the CCC supports segregation," she says. "Apart from some aggressive reporting on black-on-white crimes -- the very crimes that are aggressively hidden by the establishment media -- there is little on the CCC website suggesting" that the group is racist. Indeed, its main failing is "containing members who had belonged to a segregationist group thirty years earlier."
Coulter could hardly be more wrong. And even if she can't find time to read beyond a page of the CCC's website, she really ought to know -- after all, the organization where she frequently speaks, the Conservative Political Action Committee, has publicly banned the CCC from its annual gathering because it is racist. Also in the late 1990s, Jim Nicholson, then-chairman of the Republican National Committee, asked GOP members to stay away from the CCC because of its "racist and nationalist views."
How could conservative Republicans be inspired to say such ugly things? Let us count the ways.
The CCC's columnists have written that black people are "a retrograde species of humanity," and that non-white immigration is turning the U.S. population into a "slimy brown mass of glop." Its website has run photographic comparisons of pop singer Michael Jackson and a chimpanzee. It opposes "forced integration" and decries racial intermarriage. It has lambasted black people as "genetically inferior," complained about "Jewish power brokers," called gay people "perverted sodomites," and even named the late Lester Maddox, the baseball bat-wielding, arch-segregationist former governor of Georgia, "Patriot of the Century."
One day, the CCC ran photos on its home page of accused Beltway snipers John Muhammad and John Malvo, 9/11 conspirator Zacharias Moussaoui and accused shoe-bomber Richard Reed. "Notice a Pattern Here?" asked a caption underneath the four photos. "Is the face of death black after all?" On another occasion, its website featured a photo of Daniel Pearl, the "Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter" who had just been decapitated by Islamic terrorists. In the photo, Pearl was shown with his "mixed-race wife, Marianne." The headline above the couple's picture was stunning even for the CCC: "Death by Multiculturalism?" The CCC Arkansas chapter ran an essay waxing nostalgic for the days "when racial separation was the norm."
But to Ann Coulter, there is "no evidence" on its website that the CCC "supports segregation." Mostly, she says, the group -- which was formed from the debris of the White Citizens Councils that Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once called "the uptown Klan" -- is about "a strong national defense, the right to keep and bear arms, the traditional family, and an 'America First' trade policy." Indeed, she says, The New York Times and other critics of the CCC are simply liberals "who have no principles."
Follow Mark Potok on Twitter: www.twitter.com/hatewatch