Leave it to Ann Coulter and the like to conquer the ever-vexing issue of race relations, unequivocally internalize the volcanic plight of blacks and other minorities everywhere, rather than simplistically merge theories relative to both to the point of irrefutable resolution— all in a matter of a less than a minute TV sound bite.
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting tragedy, the incorrigibly bombastic, right-wing activist took to the Fox News airwaves and the “Bill O’Reilly Show” recently to expound upon and defiantly reaffirm her dangerously hot-headed and shortsighted views regarding the one singular instrument that has truly proven to be a weapon of mass destruction in minority communities everywhere.
“We don’t know all the facts yet,” Coulter later wrote in a blog post chronicling the deadly encounter that left the 17-year-old Martin mortally wounded at the hands of volunteer neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman. “But let’s assume the conclusion MNSBC is leaping to is accurate: George Zimmerman stalked a small, black child and murdered him in cold blood, just because he was black.
“If that we’re true,” she continued, “every black person in America should get a gun and join the National Rifle Association, America’s oldest and most august civil rights organization.”
Alas, with allies like Ann Coulter and her Republican counterparts, who can afford to have enemies? Indeed, it’s funny how those who know the least sometimes reveal the most. Coulter’s words are a clear illustration to one and all of an approach and road best less traveled. They harken to a society and atmosphere that only further propagates a war among races in which no group can truly win.
What Coulter seems to remain blind about and oblivious to— conveniently so I might add— is the fact that an eye-for-eye way of being ultimately only comes to leave us all blind. And statistics speak to that darkness, with the free-flow of more handguns almost automatically leading to more deaths and shootings in each and every instance.
Beyond the mere numbers, one need look no further than my childhood hometown of Chicago— the South Side’s Englewood neighborhood for an even more exact locale— to painfully bring those words to heart.
During the St. Patrick’s Day weekend preceding the Martin shooting and only days before Coulter was making her rather reckless proclamation, 49 people were shot, at least 11 of them fatally, across the city. Overall, murders were up by more than 60 percent over the first three months of 2012 compared to the year before, with Englewood’s 15 homicides nearly doubling those committed in any of the city’s other enclaves.
In Englewood, since 1960 the community population has dipped from a high of 100,000 to just 30,000 and falling, with more and more families still desperately seeking to get out. More than 4,100 abandoned buildings now riddle the neighborhood, as the gang-laden, arms-packing residents grow more brazen and deadly in their dealings.
Harsh realities such as those are why Coulter’s words aren’t so easily dismissive. When has violence, or setting the course for it, ever led to anything other than more violence? Given all that, is there anyone among us, Ann Coulter included, that can truly advocate for such a society and rest in good conscious?
Count the Rev. Al Sharpton, the NAACP and the parents of Trayvon Martin among those who have come to an equally raised level of understanding. On the 20th anniversary of the deadly race riots that saw much of Los Angeles go up in flames following the Rodney King acquittal, it’s why they all convened in the city Thursday night to plead for greater tolerance and an end to all the violence.
“There are Trayvons all over the country,” boomed Sharpton. “What kind of world are we living in that we can put a black man in the White House, but a black can’t walk through a gated community?”
Thing is, in the kind of world Ann Coulter is calling for, neither may truly have the chance to reach their destination.