Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama, by Ann Coulter


Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama
by Ann Coulter
336 pages, Sentinel, $16

For many years, the subject of race has been so carefully tinged with the trauma of the past that we did not even pretend we could discuss it. Most generation X+ citizens grew up under a regimen of teachers, politicians, media and entertainers telling us the one right way to think on this issue.

Recently this taboo has fragmented in light of the shocking polarization of American voters. 60% of white people vote Republican; everyone else votes Democratic. The white people who vote Democratic tend to be the lost: single mothers, scared post-collegiate children, the neurotic and the miserable. This tells us that among the healthy, representation is exclusively a racial question. Whites vote Republican, and everyone else votes against them.

Ann Coulter takes on this challenging topic in her latest book, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama. As a writer and a product, Coulter has a foot in both worlds, embracing a witty mainstream conservatism but also exhibiting a challenging realism that might even be called Nietzschean, or Machiavellian. Coulter may write for the mainstream middle class audience, but she is aware of the dark underworld of realpolitik that manifests itself in all that we do. For most of her career, this duality has created ambiguity about what she actually believes. Her books often come on strong, make some really good points, and then spent the next 200 pages creating a fog of non-disclosure so she doesn’t get too close to the really dangerous parts of reality and politics.

With this current book, Coulter resolves the duality by keeping her points clinical. She doesn’t read into her own thesis beyond the provable and documented, but she lets us draw our own conclusions with ample amounts of accurate but hyperbolic liberal-bashing. In this book, her goal is to explore the use of race by liberal parties as a kind of “get out of jail free card” and a limitless credit card on which to charge their own wealth redistribution agenda. On top of that, she explores the history of racial denial in the American media and then seeks to prove how no one, black or white, is benefiting from this situation. As Coulter might say, the only people profiteering from this situation are liberals and their media lapdogs:

It produced a destructive welfare state that was untouchable for decades. It got us anxiety, anger, fear and a major political party incapable of making an argument more sophisticated than: “You racist!”

And then it got us the most left-wing president America has ever seen.

When there were so few cases of white-on-black hate crimes that liberals had to start making them up, wasn’t that a clue that the Klan wasn’t preventing black progress anymore? If white people could be shorn of all racism overnight, it’s not clear how that would improve the black condition. (261)

The way this book approaches race is reminiscent of Colin Flaherty’s White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Race Riots to America, a book which similar takes a non-judgmental view of the failure of American racial policy as a policy and not as an indictment of any ethnic group. Coulter goes out of her way, as Flaherty did before her, to make it clear that her book is not about black people. It’s about white liberals and the racial policies they advocate and the consequent failure of those. Much of this book, like Flaherty’s, involves research into historical events and current news items in which there is a disconnect between reality and the way the liberal media and liberal politicians have chosen to explain the situation. Coulter’s greatest vitriol seems to be reserved for WASPy journalists, politicos and public figures who keep beating the tin drum of “racism” while ignoring the fact that liberal racial policies do not work for anyone, black, white or other.

The thrust of the book is on white-black relations, not the broader question of race as a whole and the Democratic intent to replace the white majority with a third-world majority and thus secure a permanent demographic majority for Democrats. As said above, Coulter stays within the immediate and clearly linked because this book is like all of her books an introduction both to a mainstream conservative position, and the underlying reason behind it which may be more complex than most people are willing to undertake.

Among the first hundred pages, Coulter repeats a disingenuous argument about how Republicans fostered racial equality through rule of law, while Democrats opposed it. This is a complex area involving the flip-flop of both parties from previous positions, moving Republicans from the left-ward position toward a right-wing one. She does better when she focuses on the difference between liberal views and rational views of the situation, instead of trying to rally the troops toward loyalty to a party name. It is this type of mainstream argument that loses Coulter readers among the quiet educated and thoughtful types who would like solid logical reasoning behind their positions. They are a minority with a huge trickle-down effect on those who recognize their wisdom, so they are important in the long-term but less important to product success.

Like Flaherty, Coulter approaches the African-American crime statistics with fairness. She points out numerous times that most victims of black crime are black, and that the permissive “rehabilitation” policies of liberals are to blame, in that they not only fail to discourage crime but effectively incentivize it.

Based on their having no understanding of human nature, the smart set turned American cities into petri dishes for crime and degenerate behavior without punishment. Thousands of Americans died, were raped and disfigured in criminal acts made possible by the Warren court, the ACLU, liberal professors and activists, whose single-minded policy objective was to return criminals to the street. (94)

For any faults she has, including the aforementioned prole drift of one of her arguments in the first part of this book, Coulter breaks new ground by opening up the issue that we’re afraid to look at here in the West. Both the USA and Europe are awash in internal division, complexity and cost from their policies of diversity. While Coulter does not argue against diversity itself, she shifts the argument away from racism toward criticism of liberal pluralism and its effects in the context of diversity. This is a huge first step toward having an issue we can discuss sensibly again, and leaving behind the Soviet lock-step with liberal ideas that has prevented that discussion until now.

12 Comments

  1. lisacolorado says:

    Would we even know how to go through a day without our programming anymore? The kind of racial programming we’ve got is just one example. What would it look like if the racism story didn’t exist? Would we all merge into one cafe-au-lait race, or would it be more like, “hey there, black fellow!” “Hey there, white fellow!” and then we’d get on to more relevant things to talk about.

    Just musing.

    1. Would we all merge into one cafe-au-lait race, or would it be more like, “hey there, black fellow!” “Hey there, white fellow!” and then we’d get on to more relevant things to talk about.

      These are some of the really interesting questions.

      An informal survey of mixed-racial nations that have been that way for some time suggests that new divisions occur within the group, based on traits like lightness of skin and height or perhaps earning abilities.

      This is another liberal self-fulfilling prophecy: they insist race is a “class struggle,” but through uniform mixing, would achieve an even greater class struggle.

      One thing that almost never gets mentioned is the positive benefits people derive from having a racial, ethnic, and cultural identity. It’s firm ground on which to build values, which are not universal. Few people don’t realize that there is a great value to non-universal values, which is actual diversity of approach.

      The kind of racial programming we’ve got is just one example.

      This is also a good observation. Ever since society decided government was a force for “positive change,” we’ve been inundated in all sorts of messages, many of them wrong. The scientific community and media seem complicit in this regard. The most visible indicator of this is that every five years, science flip-flops in regard to eggs. Either they’re the devil, or they’re OK and carbohydrates are the problem. It goes back and forth like a boat zig-zagging through a deep canal.

      1. lisacolorado says:

        Remember the Obamaphone woman who was shouting out, “Keep Obama in president, he gave me this phone?”

        I was frustrated. The least informed, least thoughtful people were being brought out to vote in droves. When I saw her, old racist thoughts came up through me. I do not apologize for them, even if they were a meme or something in my heritage that should not be acted upon. I didn’t hurt anyone, and after I thought them I took a moment to use my higher mind to realize that the woman never had that much and a phone meant a lot to her. I had a mean, nasty thought and then a better one.

        I felt a deep connection with part of my heritage and a realization of my humanity. I consider rage to be a higher function than hopelessness. Pride is a higher function than anger. Neutrality is higher still, by a great magnitude. (My David R. Hawkins stuff.)

        I want to quit being angry but I feel something has been taken away from me with great glee by people who think of me as their enemy because of the color of my skin and the fact that I can get any phone I want, and they don’t care. Well, the answer to that is to let them be that way and for me to search for some finer way to live, and a better message.

        1. I want to quit being angry but I feel something has been taken away from me with great glee by people who think of me as their enemy because of the color of my skin and the fact that I can get any phone I want, and they don’t care.

          There’s a lot of truth to this. My instinct is to separate the problem from the rage. A huge horde of poor people who want what others have but are incapable of providing it for themselves are a problem. It’s a type of overpopulation that brings down empires.

          The rage resulting from it is another issue. To my mind, there’s a lot of hurt involved, because people who are instinctually inclined toward conservatism make a big assumption: if I make society fair, so that those who are more capable rise above, then I have done right.

          The horde doesn’t see it that way. They are incapable, and so see capability as a kind of gift from the gods to others, and they want government to compensate. This makes them dangerously deluded, since the answer is always to improve one’s own abilities instead of forming a lynch mob to tear down those with higher ability. (A type of devolution results from this, as we saw in ancient Rome, Greece, etc.)

          I consider rage to be a higher function than hopelessness. Pride is a higher function than anger. Neutrality is higher still, by a great magnitude.

          This also seems accurate, if by “neutrality” it is meant emotional neutrality. I remember this article:

          http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-11/humans-cant-be-empathetic-and-logical-same-time

          In general, emotion is a beautiful thing to inform our aesthetics, and thus our final choices of what we want, but is probably a poor idea as a reaction. What makes more sense in reaction is cold hard logic, like a mathematician, surgeon or trained assassin.

          In this way, we can separate what we need to do in order to have a functional society from our immediate reaction to those who are dysfunctional. We can’t expect them to be any different; what we can do is design a society that encourages them to improve or move along. As part of that, they need to be under the control of wiser and better people.

          That’s heresy in this time, but the time has come to speak heresy loudly. We shouldn’t deny that we want our leadership to go to people who’ve gotten farther in life than the stage in which an Obamaphone is an important big deal. Reward competence with new challenges; be neutral to that which is neither good nor bad, or is “average”; punish and dis-incentivize that which is bad, incompetent, dishonest, hateful, perverse, criminal, etc.

          This is basically the lesson of natural selection, which is that improvement comes through successive stages, if and only if you can figure out which of the options at each stage is the best adaptation. That alone comprises most of our earthly task.

    2. 1349 says:

      Maybe we must first understand how races appeared. Was it just biological divergence?

      1. Maybe we must first understand how races appeared. Was it just biological divergence?

        Even if it’s not biological divergence, it could be divergence for specialization. It seems to me that break-away groups leave societies to form societies of a higher level, and only later do “those left behind” come knocking at their doors looking for a handout. You can see this pattern in all racial groups.

        1. 1349 says:

          I’m tempted to think races emerged on the basis of goals and ideas, which is close to what you’ve said. Maybe in some combination with divergence; but this would still mean races are inevitable, even after a hypothetical blending.
          But i’m afraid it was just divergence… Anyway, long-term research is needed to answer.

  2. NotTheDude says:

    One of first thing that got me onto a conservative way of thinking was that I could see that Homo Sapiens came in many hues and cultures. I have never ever felt that there was anything wrong and much less unfair that Humans are born into and live by different cultures. Happily, there are almost no cultures that I dislike overall. The argument that ‘We’ll all be mixed in the future anyway, its science/nature’ is one of the most absurd and disgustingly flippant viewpoints of modern times. Do these folk have no self control and care about the very beauty and self worth of the human species that they would throw it all away to supposedly bring peace and love?

    1. I have never ever felt that there was anything wrong and much less unfair that Humans are born into and live by different cultures.

      Me either. It’s not much different than the effect of being born different sizes and shapes within an ethnic group. We each have a role to play, and there is no optimum role. However, because of the differences, it doesn’t make sense to mush them all together into a uniform human paste.

  3. Meow Mix says:

    What I think is important about books like this is that it would have been impossible for Coulter to sell something like this twenty years ago. Like you said, back in the day it was impolite and incorrect to touch on the ‘sensitive’ issues of race relations or for the mainstream right to acknowledge any dogma but color blindness. Nowadays, racial discussion is more common thanks to efforts on both the left and right. What I mean is, the left has been ranting on and on about racism and the lack of ‘a national conversation on race’ and threw all this blame on the right, and then when Obama won again they came out in full force to call the Republicans the white people’s party (think of Tim Wise’s recent genocidal rant), and so now the mainstream rightwing is shrugging their shoulders and basically replying: “Okay, you’re right, we are the white people who are looking out for our interests, thanks for noticing.” In other words, the leftwing’s biggest boogeyman is perhaps becoming their own fantasy fullfilled.

    1. “Okay, you’re right, we are the white people who are looking out for our interests, thanks for noticing.”

      Exactly. This is a healthy message. If we’re all going to be different groups looking out for our interests, it’s provident that white people do the same. We are no longer the tree of giving; we are the competition.

    2. Anon says:

      The only negative I see in this is that it is another example of the Right waiting for others to lead the dialogue, and then responding, often only when it’s no longer a taboo. I’m not American (or white, for that matter), so I don’t really identify with the American Right or Republicans – I do however see them as better leaders than the Left – but what I can say is that the Right needs to start leading the dialogue on important issues, instead of waiting for the Left to say “now it’s okay to talk about this”, and then be cornered into a certain position, having to work its way out of it.

      Like Brett mentioned, Coulter sits on the line between what’s socially acceptable to say, and what’s not, mostly because societal taboos dictate this, and they are set by the Left because the Right is too scared to offend. Of course, there are other reasons – like having your voice drowned out altogether should you violate the sacred cows of equality etc.

      But, it could be that the tides are shifting, and that the Right is making a return; a resurgence where they can again lead on issues, and leave the Left wondering how to respond – then, being clueless as to the real issues, they can be shown for the diseased sectarian cult that they are. Perhaps it’s not that important how this comes about, but rather that the Right grabs the opportunity and does not let go.

Leave a Reply

37 queries. 1.015 seconds