Brown is the new black, and Ann is the new David Duke

Has Ann Coulter never left the United States? That’s sure what it seems like:

This is the only country on Earth that thinks it’s not sporting to consider our own interests in choosing immigrants. Try showing up in any other country on the planet, illiterate and penniless, and announcing: “I’ve seen pictures of your country and it looks great. I think I’d like to live here! Oh, and by the way, would you mind changing all your government and business phone messages, street signs and ballots into my native language? Thanks!” They would laugh you out of the country.


One of the first things I noticed as a traveler was how everything, almost everywhere in the world, caters to an English-speaking population. Signs in Spain, France, Mexico, Italy, Egypt, Greece, Germany — all in English. You can select to proceed in English when using ATMS or phone cards or computers at internet cafes. An astounding number of people around the world, even in developing nations, speak English.

So no, they wouldn’t laugh you out of the country. They’ve already made allowances for English speakers.

America has a seller’s market in immigration, but thanks to Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law, we no longer favor skilled workers from developed nations, but instead favor unskilled immigrants from the Third World. Kennedy’s bill promptly cut the number of European immigrants in half and increased Third World immigrants to 85 percent of the total.

See, this is a really cute misrepresentation. First, it wasn’t Kennedy’s bill, although he strongly supported it. Second, it was put in place largely to undue the Chinese Exclusion Act and other race-based immigration programs which gave heavy preference to Western European immigrants and actively barred Asian and other non-white immigrants from getting visas. So yes, it would follow that more immigrants from the so-called “Third World” would come, and that they would make up a greater percentage of immigrants than before — because previously, our immigration laws had purposely barred brown people from coming in. But that, apparently, is how Ann likes it.

Oh, and considering that about 80 percent of the world’s population is in the “third world,” it would probably make sense that our immigration statistics reflected that.

As hardworking as illegal immigrants are when they come here, they are immediately demagogued by liberals into adopting the victimhood pose so popular on college campuses. Everybody wants to act like his ancestors were brought here on slave ships.

In other words, brown people are perfectly fine when they first arrive, but then they start acting like the blacks.

And in case this point wasn’t clear enough, the title of her column is “Brown is the new black.”

Does Ann really think that immigrant workers have all that much contact with liberal college kids who seek to brainwash them into a victimization mentality? No, they’re generally a little busy doing physically difficult, exhausting work for very little pay while still trying to take care of their families and maintain ties with their communities. They don’t have the privilege to sit around and feel victimized — or write articles for Townhall about how the presence of some brown-skinned folks is a real downer for people like Ann who think America should be full only of rich white skinny people.

Consider this e-mail from Michele Waslin, La Raza’s director of Immigration Policy Research, to her members denouncing Sen. Lamar Alexander’s proposal to provide government grants to immigrants who want to learn English and American history and to organizations offering those courses. (I’d be happy with a law that simply trained new immigrants not to be “offended” all the time.)

Even though this potentially meant free money for La Raza, Waslin — of the Guadalajara Waslins — ominously warned that while the amendment “doesn’t overtly mention assimilation, it is very strong on the patriotism and traditional American values language in a way which is potentially dangerous to our communities.”

Meanwhile, Americans aren’t allowed to consider whether millions of immigrants refusing to learn English and American history is “potentially dangerous to our communities.”

It’s relatively clear that Waslin probably didn’t unequivocally oppose the amendment, or you can bet that Ann would have quoted that language. Instead she’s pointing out potential problems with it, based on a long history of forced assimilation, sterilization campaigns, and community-destroying efforts at the hands of the U.S. government. Immigrants and brown people in this country have a right to be wary about these things, considering that their families have historically been ripped apart, their children taken away, and their rights to reproduce stripped from them. Now I know Ann (“Of the Connecticut Coulters” — what a smarmy, bitchy comment) may not care too much for “history” (it’s a myth, just like global warming), but surely she sees that millions of immigrants are not refusing to learn English and American history. That’s the stupidest damn thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Side story: I was getting a pedicure a few weeks ago and listening to the women in the salon chat with each other. The owner of the salon was a Korean woman who spoke English as her second (or maybe third or forth, who knows) language, and one of her Latina employers was giving her lessons in Spanish. It was a real New York moment — a Korean woman learning Spanish in the United States (and now I sound like Thomas Freedman). Point is, immigrants — just like me and you — are going to want to be able to communicate with others. Immigrants don’t dig their heels into the ground and refuse to learn English. Might some have a bit of trouble paying for and fitting in English classes on less than minimum wage and a 10-hour-or-more workday? Yeah. But it’s not selfish refusal.

I wonder, when Ann travels out of the country (if she does, which I doubt), if she’s fluent in the spoken language of every place she visits. Somehow I doubt it.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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15 Responses to Brown is the new black, and Ann is the new David Duke

  1. zuzu says:

    I am so embarrassed that this woman went to my law school.

    And clearly, Ann has never taken a good look at immigration laws in the US or seen an application for permanent residence, or she could never maintain that the laws favor unskilled workers.

    They don’t. If they did, we wouldn’t have so many unskilled illegal aliens, now would we?

  2. puellasolis says:

    What bugs me about some of what Coulter says is that she makes it into an either-or issue: either you hole yourself up in your traditional language and culture and staunchly refuse to learn anything about American history, language, etc; or you forego your heritage entirely.

    Isn’t it possible to be conscious of (and active in) one’s ancestors’ culture and still learn English and American history?

  3. Molly says:

    Ann Coulter is an idiot. Please don’t waste any more valuable space on this great site talking about such a useless human being (term used VERY loosely). Thanks!

  4. Marksman2000 says:

    America’s immigration laws (and the department that enforces those laws) are pathetic. Wasn’t it six months after 9/11 that they renewed the visas of two of the hijackers? If that doesn’t indicate that there’s a problem…

    Yeah, I’ve given up. Idiots control our government and there is nothing I can do about it. Just open the floodgates and let anyone inside our borders who shows up on our doorstep. 40% of Mexicans said they would move to the U.S. if they could. Hell, send some buses down there to go get ’em! We can’t stop it, so why try? No sense in passing pointless laws that can’t be (and won’t be) enforced.

  5. Rex Little says:

    Immigrants and brown people in this country have a right to be wary about these things, considering that their families have historically been ripped apart, their children taken away, and their rights to reproduce stripped from them.

    Other than slaves, what immigrants have been subjected to these things? (I’m not asking this rhetorically; there may well be examples of which I’m ignorant.) Japanese during WW2? I’ve always been under the impression that families were interred intact, and I wasn’t aware of any interference with their right to reproduce.

  6. zuzu says:

    Uh, when your parents get deported, it kind of rips up the family.

  7. Gabriel Malor says:

    See, this is a really cute misrepresentation. First, it wasn’t Kennedy’s bill, although he strongly supported it…But that, apparently, is how Ann likes it.

    Jill that’s a little misleading, too. From Tuesday’s WSJ:

    I watched the Senate debate the immigration issue the last two weeks with a certain sense of déjà vu, for I can remember sitting in the Senate Gallery more than 40 years ago and watching Sen. Edward Kennedy floor manage what became the immigration act of 1965. It was the first major piece of legislation Sen. Kennedy managed, and he did a good job, though the debate was little noticed, coming after the rush of Great Society legislation enacted under the stern direction of President Lyndon Johnson.

    What’s interesting when I look back at the debate is that almost no one anticipated what would happen as a result of the act — the vast flow of immigrants, most of them legal but many illegal, from Latin America and Asia. “Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually,” Sen. Kennedy assured the Senate. “Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same.” His brother Robert, when attorney general, predicted in 1964 that abolishing the restrictions on Asian immigration would result in a net increase of “approximately 5,000″ and as a senator in 1965 said that “the net increase attributable to this bill would be at most 50,000 a year.”

  8. Gabriel Malor says:

    Oh, that’s Michael Barone, by the way, in his column.

  9. zuzu says:

    floor management =/= sponsorship.

  10. Gabriel Malor says:

    zuzu, Coulter (who I am not a fan of, BTW) did not say Kennedy sponsored the bill.

  11. zuzu says:

    I’m not sure how else you can interpret her statements that it was “Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law” or “Kennedy’s bill.”

    America has a seller’s market in immigration, but thanks to Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law, we no longer favor skilled workers from developed nations, but instead favor unskilled immigrants from the Third World. Kennedy’s bill promptly cut the number of European immigrants in half and increased Third World immigrants to 85 percent of the total.

  12. Jill says:

    Other than slaves, what immigrants have been subjected to these things? (I’m not asking this rhetorically; there may well be examples of which I’m ignorant.) Japanese during WW2? I’ve always been under the impression that families were interred intact, and I wasn’t aware of any interference with their right to reproduce.

    Rex-

    Puerto Ricans were routinely sterilized, both in their own country and after migrating to the U.S., by the U.S. government and U.S.-funded programs. Though obviously not immigrants, Native American families were routinely broken up as their children were sent away to boarding schools for assimilation purposes, and a substantial proportion of women were forcibly sterilized. Black women in the U.S. have also been routinely sterilized.

    So I probably should have been more clear that this wasn’t just an immigrant issue; forced sterilizations have affected nearly all groups of people of color in the United States.

  13. Erika says:

    Not that I’m trying to defend Ann “David Duke” Coulter, but there are some immigrants who don’t make much of an effort to learn English. They settle down in an insular community (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Korean, Chinese, whatever) where they wind up being able to live and work without having to speak English. My landlord back in Jersey City was Dominican and had lived in the U.S. for over 20 years. He spoke English fluently. His wife, on the other hand, spoke virtually no English.

    Even if new immigrants don’t learn to speak English, their children certainly will. Who cares if we have to “put up” with dual language signs or automated phone messages? The fact is that our country is filling with millions of brown people. This freaks the racist wingnuts out. What else can you expect of people who can’t even tolerate the minorities who are already here?

  14. Freeman says:

    Sure, Coulter may like to rant about the evil brown people taking white American jobs, but do we hear her complaining about resident aliens enlisting in the military?

    I’ve known quite a few, and many of them were the finest soldiers–of either gender–that I’ve ever met. The military’s respect for the American melting pot is one of the few reasons I can still call myself a serviceman with pride.

    Ann doesn’t really care about immigrants dying in spurious, illegal wars for the citizenship privileges she takes for granted. All she cares about is book sales. Someone should stage an immigration rally at the site of her next Barnes & Noble signing.

  15. Liz says:

    Great post!

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