September 27, 2010

Was it "racially insensitive" to say to gay people — as Ann Coulter did — "Marriage is not a civil right. You're not black"?

That's what Talking Points Memo says. I'm trying to understand the theory by which it's racially insensitive. The only thing close, in my view, and I know it's not TPM's, is that the remark contains the unwitting assumption that gay people are white. TMP notes Coulter's explanation:
It was part of a larger argument on which she later elaborated, telling the crowd that the 14th Amendment only applies to African-Americans and that it does not, in fact, apply to women, LGBT people or other minorities.
Can I get a quote? I don't trust this paraphrasing. She said the 14th Amendment only applies to black people? Or did she say that the 14th Amendment should be understood with some reference to its historical context of insuring rights for the freed slaves? It's not the same thing, TPM.

64 comments:

former law student said...

A lot of black people fail to understand how gay marriage is a civil rights issue. One guy I heard on the news asked, "Did white gays have to ride in the back of the bus?" Analogies between interracial marriage and intragender marriage are lost on such people.

TRO said...

"Analogies between interracial marriage and intragender marriage are lost on such people."

On a majority of people I believe. And definitely a majority of black people.

jr565 said...

Former law student wrote:
Analogies between interracial marriage and intragender marriage are lost on such people.

Or maybe it's not lost on them, they just think the analogy is wrong.

Scott M said...

Borrowing a partial quote from FLS on a different thread, homophobia in the black community "is both wide and deep".

TRO said...

" . . . homophobia in the black community "is both wide and deep"."

That's what she said . . .

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Analogies between interracial marriage and intragender marriage are lost on such people.


Maybe because they're not analogous?

MadisonMan said...

This strikes me as a good example of quote-plucking to make a political opponent look bad.

Still, I don't see any mention of race in the 14th Amendment, so either Coulter doesn't understand the wording of the Amendment, or her speech writers don't.

jr565 said...

From the equal protection clause:
"no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"


Gays right now have the same rights as straights. They can marry members of the opposite gender, and straights can't marry people of the same gender.

chr1 said...

Well as long as we don't ignore the religious roots of many of our freedoms that undergird our institutional structures, and focus on the next group of people to who we will include in those structures, even if many people have deep disagreements, we'll be fine. Let's predominantly make the change from the top down too...

We'll worry about the rest later...or we'll let our politics sort it out.

That sounds like a good plan.

And I'm no defender of Coulter either.

tim maguire said...

IMO, black practitioners of identity politics are very protective of their history, they don't want liberal white guilt to get diluted through efforts to spend their "favor bank" on other groups.

As for Coulter, TPM probably took liberties with some of her statements (it's perfectly acceptable to play fast and loose with the facts when it works to the disadvantage of a conservative), but overall it sounds like she was doing her thing--making outrageous statements to be provocative--rather than trying to give these people what they came to get. Which was rude and in some ways a missed opportunity (at least from the perspective of someone who thinks the surprisingly large number of gay conservatives deserve more respect from other conservatives).

bagoh20 said...

Are there any famous black lesbians?

Scott M said...

chr1 said...

Well as long as we don't ignore the religious roots of many of our freedoms that undergird our institutional structures

I am desperately in need of a good undergirding.

Scott M said...

famous black lesbians

Prince?

E Buzz said...

Such earnest hand wrining over nothing at all.

Seems that Jonah Paisely Michael Micha Mica Marshall revels in it.

Lincolntf said...

"Homophobia" is one of the dumbest non-words to ever permeate the language.

LoafingOaf said...

Althouse was trying to make Paglia out as a has-been the other day (even though it's obvious Althouse wishes she were Paglia). I'll tell you who is a bas-been, it's this disgusting bigot, Ann Coulter. But Althouse doesn't wanna call her out on her bigotry, because Althouse is now so in the tank of the right-wing it's sick. Anything to please her Cheney-loving husband, I guess.

madawaskan said...

You know Conservatives fall for this all the time.

Trying to defend the rabble rouser.

Or, writing gobs of stuff about a politician that is indefensible and doesn't have much of a chance-while losing someone with more than half a chance like-

Fiorina.

They fall for it all the time.

They let the Liberal media set the agenda.

peter hoh said...

Hasn't the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right?

Now, if you want to argue that same-sex marriage is not a civil right, fine, but that's different than insisting that marriage isn't a civil right.

I agree that same-sex marriage and interracial marriage are not analogous.

However, anyone who wants to argue that judges should never override the majority opinion (as is done by many opponents of SSM with regard to Judge Walker's decision) ought to explain how they would apply this principle to the Loving decision.

ndspinelli said...

I surmise Coulter is saying in her uniquely sardonic way that black folk believe the 14th amendment is theirs, and theirs alone.

There was resentment from some black leaders that equal rights were extended to women, and now homosexuals, using legislation originally passed to provide equal rights to black people.

marklewin said...

I'm trying to understand the theory by which it's racially insensitive.

Could it also be interpreted as Coulter asserting that the 14th Amendment should only be applied to blacks and did not protect other potentially opressed racial groups? Consequently, while the fourteenth amendment might not be racially insensitive to black people, she exludes, say Native Americans or Asians, from it protections.

madawaskan said...

Conservative blogs do this also.

Where is the vacuum-it's on the right side.

Instead though Conservative blogs fall for arguing about what the Liberal media wants to discuss, with the Liberal media deciding the environment essentially getting the home field advantage and the refs-

every. time.

How much energy went into defending *********, and by proxy-two female candidates are now-not only getting the energy of support sapped, less funding and less coverage but they are getting the "by proxy" association.

If Republicans can't win California when it is suffering from ~14.4 % when are they going to win it?

The Crack Emcee said...

Was it "racially insensitive" to say to gay people — as Ann Coulter did — "Marriage is not a civil right. You're not black"?

No, that's stupid.

That's what Talking Points Memo says.

Well then, Talking Points Memo is being stupid.

I'm trying to understand the theory by which it's racially insensitive. The only thing close, in my view, and I know it's not TPM's, is that the remark contains the unwitting assumption that gay people are white.

Gay people are white. You ever been to The Castro? If there are black gays they don't want 'em around. Ask some black gays and they'll tell you.

She said the 14th Amendment only applies to black people? Or did she say that the 14th Amendment should be understood with some reference to its historical context of insuring rights for the freed slaves? It's not the same thing, TPM.

Lawyerly parsing of Ann Coulter's "laugh lines". Silly. Here, why don't you chew on the question and answer session's "conservative opposition to same sex marriage from politicians who benefited from no-fault divorce was hypocritical and suggested that marriage-minded politicians ought to back a wholesale effort to repeal no-fault divorce laws in the states."

Try parsing that, Lawyer Lady

Salamandyr said...

I would imagine it's because the 14th Amendment doesn't ban sex-based discrimination.

Moose said...

She's spot on here. As much as I don't care for her over the top confrontational style, this is something I've been saying for some time. LBGT people are not slaves or ex slaves or condemned to ghettos. If you look at the general statistics for gays, they tend to be middle class or upper middle class. This is not question of the lack of access based on race, its lack of access based around a lifestyle choice.

E Buzz said...

Being gay is now a race?

I do know that the professional left wants to have this distinction happen, because it fits in with all the work they've done in the Universities.

Can't let that go to waste!

peter hoh said...

bagoh20: Are there any famous black lesbians?

Barbara Jordan, Sheryl Swoopes, Ma Rainey, Wanda Sykes.

Most prominent black lesbian blogger is probably Pam Spaulding.

madawaskan said...

Speaking of which there were all kinds of other "hidden" costs.

Lots of Conservatives forget already the lesson of the 2000 election.

Particularly in California-what happens to voter turn out-when the media sells a win for Democrats?

Now conversely if the media has to report *shocking* turn abouts of election fortunes for Republicans in the East Coast time zone-what do you think happens to Republican turn out?

So say-I don't know you have a couple of very close elections in the West or later time zones-which are precipitously close to the margin of fraud- the loss of momentum gets amplified and has an even greater cost.

Scott M said...

Barbara Jordan, Sheryl Swoopes, Ma Rainey

Granted.

Wanda Sykes

Please provide proof that this person is famous.

AJ Lynch said...

I have issue fatigue.

So I say screw gay marriage and these race/ gender hustlers.

Screw the schools because many kids don't want to be educated so they can't be saved.

Screw the two long wars - kick some ass now and get out.

Screw big govt- the govt screws up almost everything it touches.

peter hoh said...

Fine, Scott, if youy want to draw a distinction between fame and celebrity, replace Sykes with Josephine Baker, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Alice Walker.

And put Angela Davis on the list of infamous black lesbians.

Scott M said...

@peter hoh

I forget which award show it was, but someone made the very bad decision to let Wanda Sykes wander up and down the isles going into or out of commercial breaks and just "work the crowd". I distinctly remember Bill Cosby, from a comfortable seated position, giving her the verbal smack down.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

bagoh20: Are there any famous black lesbians?

I believe Oprah added her name to the list just recently.

peter hoh said...

Oprah came out?

jamboree said...

If it can be applied to corporations, it can be applies to a herd of tree stumps and sandwich meat. I'd be perfectly happy to trade - take away its protections from corporations, refute corporate personhood, let the chips fall where they may, and then we can redefine it narrowly as relevant only to black people.

TRO said...

"Are there any famous black lesbians?"

Queen Latifah . . .

damikesc said...

I suspect the quote is accurate and in context. She's argued this for years. And I agree that marriage isn't a civil right. A civil right cannot rely on another party to be exercised. Its the same reason health care isn't a right.

edutcher said...

Exactly where in the Constitution of the United States and its Amendments can one find a right to marriage without cherry-picking clauses and phrases and then twisting them all out of shape to do so as the advocates of Judicial Review love to do?

As usual, Ms Coulter's legal opinion is on firm ground. Love her or hate her, she was highly regarded as editor of the Cornell Law Review and, unlike The Zero, actually earned her position.

ndspinelli said...

I surmise Coulter is saying in her uniquely sardonic way that black folk believe the 14th amendment is theirs, and theirs alone.

Then they're right. The 14th has been used by the Left since the 20s to fashion "rights" out of whole cloth and thin air by stretching the "equal protection" clause out of all reasonable shape and the intent of the roiginal writers of it.

Those Amendments aren't called the Civil War Amendments for nothing.

jr565 said...

NotYourTypical New Yorker wrote:

bagoh20: Are there any famous black lesbians?

I believe Oprah added her name to the list just recently.

Seriously? What about Steadman? He's going to be devastated.

jerryofva said...

former law student:

Let me pose the following to you:

I think we would both agree that it would be fair to call someone who would not date (in the full modern sense of the word) a person solely because of race even though they shared common interests and liked each other a bigot.

Now suppose there was a sense sex individual that (a) we like personally and (b) shared many common interests. Would this person refusal to date (in the same sense as noted above) this same sex person also be bigoted?

If your answer is not the same for both then you fail to understand the difference.

Bruce Hayden said...

This is what Coulter does best. She makes here money from being controversial, and this is a fire bomb thrown between two of the bigger Democratic constituencies. Now, if she were able to get government unions in there somehow, she would win the trifecta.

This sort of thing does give conservatives a bad name, but...

I can see where I think that she was going there. The 14th Amdt. was a reconstruction amendment aimed at protecting Blacks. Looking back though, I don't think that very many here begrudge its expansion to other races, ethnic minorities, and to some extent, religion. Sex got a bit iffier, which is why it got intermediate scrutiny. But sexual orientation? I think that the vast majority of those passing the amendment into law are likely rolling over in their graves thinking that this Amendment could be extended to be used for such a purpose.

This, BTW, is also a subtle suggestion to the Blacks that they remember where they got the 14th Amdt. It wasn't from the Democrats who seem to be embracing extending it to Gays, but from Republicans, who were attempting to protect them from Democrats.

Will it work? Of course not. At least not in the short run. And one reason is that a majority of Blacks still seem to be listening to the race hustlers who do sit at the big table with the Democratic leadership. And, yes, there are enough social conservatives on the right to make most gays leery of the Republican party.

wv: squad - maybe having to do with all these interest groups.

peter hoh said...

Jerry, you've proposed a clever test, but I don't believe that it's a definitive test.

Clyde said...

Aw, jeez, leave it up to Talking Points Memo to get their non-gender-specific panties in a wad.

NTTAWWT.

Bruce Hayden said...

Now suppose there was a sense sex individual that (a) we like personally and (b) shared many common interests. Would this person refusal to date (in the same sense as noted above) this same sex person also be bigoted?

Not sure if I agree with your hypothetical here. The argument in favor of gay rights is essentially that sexual orientation is for the most part innate. And, yes, for most gay guys, and many gay gals, I personally think that true.

But race, to some extent, is a social construct. There is nothing innate about Blacks and Whites not intermarrying. In different societies than this, it has been done on a regular basis.

So, maybe the counter argument might be if you put a white man and a black woman (or reverse that) on a desert island, what would happen? Contrast this with two average guys or gals of the same race. My prediction is that ultimately the mixed race couple would get together, whereas the same gender couple would not. I know what I would do.

jerryofva said...

Peter:

What test would you call definitive? I am open to suggestions. I have been using this for quite a while to great effect.

jerryofva said...

Bruce:

You say you don't agree with my hypothetical yet you go ahead a make the very point I was making. Sexual identity and racial identity are vastly different.

Being gay is a behavior trait, whether inate or not, not an indelible (in the sense of clearly marked) characteristic. I do not believe that the 14th Amendment covers behavior. It may be covered by the 1st Amendment,at least by modern interpretation, but that's about "speech" and not the right to marry

peter hoh said...

Jerry, I'm open to the idea that race and gender are not parallel with regard to civil rights.

I'm not sure why I have a problem with your thought experiment. Perhaps because it blurs the line between public and private spheres. We allow for a great deal of discrimination in our personal lives that would be unacceptable in the public sphere.

I'll ponder it a while and see if I come up with something else.

Dead Julius said...

I have to say that because of Ann Coulter, I'm reconsidering my new resolution to vote for Republicans this November.

Sure, she is just a insulting provocateur, the Rightist equivalent of Michael Moore... or worse.

Except that she's not just that. 'Cuz here her comments are, being defended by a conservative blogger who I respect very much.

Is she just a show-woman or is she an agenda-driver of the Republican party? I don't think conservatives have decided yet. Too bad for them.

Charlie Martin said...

I'm trying to understand the theory by which it's racially insensitive.

That's easy. It contained a reference to race, and Ann Coulter said it.

hombre said...

Sure, she is just a insulting provocateur, the Rightist equivalent of Michael Moore... or worse.

She's a satirist. Michael Moore presents his drivel as "the truth." This is a difficult distinction for lefties who seem to have no sense of humor about their ideological dogma.

The Obama Justice Department appears to have decided that the Voting Rights Act does not protect white voters. The logical next step would be for them to determine that the Fourteenth only applies to black people. That should shore up Coulter's credibility with lefties on the issue (in the unlikely event that TPM has paraphrased her accurately). LOL

Bruce Hayden said...

Being gay is a behavior trait, whether inate or not, not an indelible (in the sense of clearly marked) characteristic. I do not believe that the 14th Amendment covers behavior. It may be covered by the 1st Amendment,at least by modern interpretation, but that's about "speech" and not the right to marry.

Yet, I would suggest that even if sexual orientation is merely a behavioral trait, it is, for most of us, it is less open to change on a personal basis than is acceptance of race.

I am suggesting that, more and more, there is no rational basis for discrimination based on race (and, no, I am not suggesting the lower legal standard for such discrimination). King said it well in his Dream Speech.

On the other hand, I see a rational basis for distinctions based on sexual orientation. It isn't that it is behavioral, in my mind, but rather, that it is much more fundamental than race.

So, my position is that discrimination is unjustified (and thus the 14th Amdt. Equal Protection guarantees are justified) in the case of race, but discrimination, or at least separate treatment, is justified in terms of sexual orientation.

And, yes, I think that most sexual orientation is innate, and that is what I am basing my argument on, and not on the morality or immorality of the behavior - I don't think that it is my place to judge anyone else's morality.

We may be agreeing as to results, but I am not sure if we agree as to the way we got there.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Obama Justice Department appears to have decided that the Voting Rights Act does not protect white voters. The logical next step would be for them to determine that the Fourteenth only applies to black people. That should shore up Coulter's credibility with lefties on the issue (in the unlikely event that TPM has paraphrased her accurately). LOL

Careful here - Ann seems to be avoiding this issue.

But, no, I don't expect that the DoJ will take this position. Keep in mind that the Democratic Party is a coalition party, and one of the major players at the table are the Gays. This is even more important now, since I suspect that a lot of Gays are a bit disillusioned with this Administration and Congress through their apparent lack of interest in Don't Ask/Don't Tell, only bringing it up in Congress at the last minute, and the Administration doing little so far for their cause.

Synova said...

Or she could have been being sarcastic when she said the amendment did not apply to any other minorities.

Nah, Ann Coulter is never sarcastic.

Bruce Majors said...

There are lots of black lesbians. My favorite is Donna Brazille, who is in attendance sometimes at mainly lesbian parties I have attended. This summer Ms. Brazille went on and on on "This Week" about how Gov. Rick Perry got her moist, until the other female chattering head on the show had to tell her to shut up, as we would not want male commentators assessing female candidates solely on their pulchritude.

What's funny is that almost none of the gays (Hillary Rosen, Brazille etc) who appear on MSNBC, ABC etc as Democratic strategists ever mention the great shame of their sexuality.

It's almost as funny as the fact that MSNBC has NO black hosts, and tonight adds to its all white lineup with the albino Lawrence O'Donnell.

None of these people live in black or mixed neighborhoods either, even though they all live in majority black DC or its suburbs. Even the black people they have on, like Eugene Robinson, to validate their charges of racism against their opponents, live in lily white zip codes. See my listings of their neighborhoods at: http://teapartiers.blogspot.com/2010/09/they-dont-like-black-people.html

More than likely whatever Coulter said was meant to be a joke and ironical. She's not Plato but she's way more complicated than the college nerds who write for TPM.

Joe said...

Does anyone understand sarcasm? Coulter's remarks were dripping with it.

Methadras said...

I've said this before and I'll say it again. Homosexuality does not equate to color. The two are not synonymous and they will never be. The quote, if said by Ann is actually quite brilliant because she stabs at both issues at the same time and there is no parry/repost for it either.

Methadras said...

Lincolntf said...

"Homophobia" is one of the dumbest non-words to ever permeate the language.


THANK YOU!!! FUCKIN' A RITE!!!

Methadras said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Gay people are white. You ever been to The Castro? If there are black gays they don't want 'em around. Ask some black gays and they'll tell you.


So the black homosexuals don't apply. I was in Castro a few weeks back and saw black homosexuals there too. Didn't see any discrimination, if that's even the right word to use in Castro since no one there is that discriminating to begin with. Well, then I suppose that Al Sharpton may have a new territory to exploit. I wonder what his new chant would be like, hmmm?

Al Sharpton w/bullhorn in Castro: Da white debil, homo-seschual cracka iz repressin' da black gay man in a place dat touts itz tol-er-ance.

Black Homosexuals in Castro: Shut up, Al. We love being repressed, go white boy, GO!!!

Methadras said...

Bruce Hayden said...

So, my position is that discrimination is unjustified (and thus the 14th Amdt. Equal Protection guarantees are justified) in the case of race, but discrimination, or at least separate treatment, is justified in terms of sexual orientation.


Separate, but equal? That isn't codified anywhere is it?

Bruce Majors said...

Speaking of Al Sharpton, can you connect him with a any females?

Even one who perms his lovely conched locks?

Maguro said...

Speaking of Al Sharpton, can you connect him with a any females?

Well, there was Tawana Brawley....

Bruce Majors said...

Yes I was using connect as a euphemism

knox said...

Anything to please her Cheney-loving husband, I guess.

Jesus. I always thought you had a Palin problem. You've got a woman problem.

former law student said...

I always thought you had a Palin problem. You've got a woman problem.

A bit hyperbolically expressed, but touches on something I've wondered about: Friends and long-time readers would know -- has Althouse become more conservative since she married one?

Freder Frederson said...

Gay people are white. You ever been to The Castro? If there are black gays they don't want 'em around. Ask some black gays and they'll tell you.

I believe Crack is our new Simon. At least Simon would generally would not contradict himself in the same post, although often in the same thread. Here, Crack manages to do it in the space of three sentences.

First he claims there are no black gays (I guess black folks are just too macho to be gay). Then he claims that white gays just don't like black gay guys.

I guess black gays are just the ultimate oppressed minority. Just ask them.

Conclusion. Crack is just a spiteful, hateful, idiot who doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.