Yesterday evening, the popular neoconservative commentator and author Ann Coulter felt impulsive enough to call Barack Obama a “monkey” who is apparently being danced around by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
To put it mildly, Coulter is not new to controversy. Like a precision clock, she has the remarkable penchant for saying something so outrageous every month that you can almost bet your mortgage on it.
If it weren’t for Coulter’s academic accomplishments – she is an alumnus of Cornell University and Michigan Law School – her wildly successful writing career, and vast knowledge base, one could almost write her off as a crackpot venting her spleen on live TV.
But given the huge audience she commands through her columns, books and TV appearances, the shock value her comments represent cannot be taken lightly.
Most of us who are aware of the dark history of slavery across the world, know that certain words and phrases carry an extraordinary degree of offensiveness to certain races or ethnic groups. The word “monkey” when used to describe a Black person, carries a special connotation which is deeply revolting to say the least.
Outrageous as it may be, do such remarks serve Coulter’s political cause well? Her earlier twitter comment on Syria sounded vastly more normal compared to her TV shock-jock theatrics, where she made a valid point about American diplomacy and military involvement in Syria:
Interesting. Did Vladimir Putin Bait a Trap for the United States in Damascus? http://t.co/95nVKkbtro
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 9, 2013
Perhaps a more poignant assertion can be made here that the level of discourse across the political spectrum, from far right to far left, has taken the form of verbal twerking, where political points, viewership volume, and TV ratings are scored based on how much outrage, titillation and drool it can create.
While the casualties in Syria are mounting to a level not seen since Iraq war, the Dollar is on life support thanks to endless wars, “free” trade, and inflationary printing, national debt is spiraling out of control, Medicaid is delivering half of all babies in America, the last thing we need is to distract America with yet another verbal “twerk” that causes gnashing of teeth, raised eyebrows, flurry of condemnations throughout social media, but little thoughtful debate, introspection and decision making.[image via wikipedia]