on May 23, 2015
As usual, Coulter defends the Republican Party in an informative and challenging read that counters the pro-Democratic bias of academia. However, Coulter also distorts history, squeezing it into a Republican Hosanna. For example, Coulter asserts there has never been a Right-wing assassin of American Presidents.(p. 108) She places John Wilkes Booth on the Left. This is absurd; Booth was pro-Confederate. When he heard Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural address, and a speech shortly thereafter, in which the newly re-elected President spoke of permitting some Negroes to vote, Booth was incensed. For over 4 years Democrats had portrayed Lincoln as a “Black Republican,” and now his words fueled the fears of the white supremacists. Booth and his fellow conspirators were people of the Right, not the Left. Coulter also follows the conclusion of the Warren Commission in identifying Lee Oswald as a lone gunman and Communist – a man of the Left. But for decades, the Warren Report has been challenged, including Oswald’s political affiliations and even if he was really an assassin. I do concede, however, that most of the assassins and attempted assassins of American Presidents have come from the Left of the political spectrum.
Coulter rightly notes that Republicans, not Democrats, often led the political struggle for Black civil rights from the Abolitionist movement before the Civil War to demands for civil rights laws during Reconstruction up to the 20th century until 1964. There were apparent exceptions. Thus, Democratic President Harry Truman in 1948 issued an Executive Order to integrate the armed services, but this was little more than a campaign expedient – and once issued, Truman did little to enforce it. Not until Republican Eisenhower became President was the American military really integrated.(178) She notes that it was Ike who sent troops to Little Rock in 1957 to remove the obstacles to integration created by liberal Democratic Arkansas Gov. Orville Faubus, who had deployed his state’s National Guard to prevent Black students from entering Central High. Eisenhower then nationalized the Ark. National Guard, thus removing it from Faubus’ command; Ike also sent federal troops to Little Rock to assist and protect the admission of the Black students to the high school. This was the first time American troops had been sent South to aid Black civil rights since Reconstruction. No Democratic President would have dared to do that. Coulter adds that in the late 1950s Eisenhower sought a strong civil rights bill, but Democrats controlled the Senate. Dem. Sens. Lyndon Johnson and Sam Ervin knew they had to “give something to the n____s,” but removed the teeth from the civil rights proposals. Coulter does present a neglected, glowing account of GOP efforts for Black civil rights.(177-79) But there are omissions. When Eisenhower first ran for President in 1952, the Republicans sponsored a half hour major television ad. This ad is now neglected, overshadowed by the half-hour VP Candidate Richard Nixon gave to save his place on the ticket, his famous Checkers speech. But the other ad was also quite important. Actually, there e were 2 separate, different GOP ads running at the same time. The one in the South featured Democratic officials who had endorsed Ike: Gov. Shivers of Texas, Gov. Kennon of Louisiana, and Sen. Thurmond of South Carolina (though my memory of the 3rd official may be inaccurate.) Unlike the Northern ad, the one shown in the South avoided the issue of civil rights.
Coulter rightly attributes affirmative action (AA) to Nixon. Indeed, the Nixon Administration had to lobby the NAACP to win support for the Philadelphia Plan – the precursor to national AA. Yet, some academic like Hugh Davis Graham interpreted things differently. Aware that when Nixon’s Labor Secretary, George Shultz, pushed the Phila. Plan, which would require racial quotas in the building trade unions, Graham also viewed it as a cynical attempt to drive a wedge between two major constituents of the Democratic Party – Blacks and the trade unions, composed largely of white ethnics. Ironically, Nixon and the Republicans pushed AA and quotas for Blacks (later extended to Hispanics, women, etc.) but failed to win the Black vote. Meanwhile, many white ethnics would abandon the Democrats to vote for Nixon in 1972, and become Reagan Democrats in the 1980s. While Democrats have embraced AA quotas in ever-expanding ripples throughout society, few Republicans have challenged AA on the national level. Reagan gave speeches criticizing the concept, but did nothing to end the practice or revoke the Executive Orders that provided some justification for such discriminatory practices. Worse, under Reagan “race norming” was implemented so that scores on employment examinations were graded by race, and only the percentile by that individual’s race was shown. The effect was to give the employer the false impression that many Blacks and Hispanics had scored higher than whites, which was untrue. It was cheating. Eventually the government was supposed to end such anti-white practices, but the bureaucracy that cheated remained in place.
When California Gov. Pete Wilson ran for the Republican nomination, he attacked AA; but failed to win the nomination. Pres. George Herbert Walker Bush was presented a pro-AA “civil rights” bill, but refused to sign it in 1990. Like his pledge of no new taxes, however, Bush reversed himself and signed the 1991 “civil rights” quota bill. In 1994 when Newt Gingrich enunciated a “Contract with America,” he too attacked AA, and the GOP won the House of Representatives for the first time in ages. But then Gingrich dropped the subject. Late in his run for Pres. in 1996, Sen. Bob Dole finally declared his opposition to AA and quotas, but Dem. Bill Clinton was re-elected. Liberal Republican Pres. George W. Bush did not end AA quotas, and Democratic Pres. Obama expanded them.
The main reason the GOP began national Affirmative Action and avoids challenging the practice (along with supporting illegal immigration, amnesty, and trade policies that decimate parts of the American economy) is that global corporations generally support these policies. Immigration supplies cheap labor, some trade agreements may help the global corp. while it hurts the smaller, national firms; and larger corporations can more easily hire some unqualified AA workers than can smaller ones. So a significant sector of the GOP, especially when it comes to raising funds, often supports policies deemed “liberal,” which in the public mind are more associated with the Democratic Party.
But Big Business does not support The Mob. Coulter is right to link the Left, the Democratic Party, and “the mob.” She describes the mob as “irrational, childlike, often violent…Intoxicated by messianic goals, and the promise of instant gratification…mobs create mayhem, chaos, and destruction…leaving a smoldering heap of wreckage for their leaders to climb to power.”(4)
Coulter maintains that American hostility toward mobs changed with the Civil Rights Movement. (CRM)(150) Yes, and no. The early days of what we call the CRM – like the sit-ins at lunch counters in the Deep South – actually reinforced America’s antipathy toward mobs. In the early 60s, civil rights demonstrators were urged to dress well, remain polite, non-violent even in the face of threats, spits, and beatings. The Black and white participants were shown on TV as non-violent supplicants asking for simple reforms like the right to have a coffee while seated at a counter. The mobs were white, angry, shouting insults, sometimes spitting, even punching. Even earlier, in 1957 Little Rock, the Black students seeking to enter Central High were quiet, polite, respectful – facing a large, hateful mob of whites. In some CR campaigns of the early 60s, the Blacks remained generally polite, but in some areas the “mob” was actually led by white police and sheriffs and police dogs. IT WAS BECAUSE MOST AMERICANS still remained antagonistic to mobs that the CRM gained support. So I disagree with Coulter’s assessment that Americans altered their view of mobs during the civil rights struggle. That struggle reinforced their fear and hatred of mobs. The angry white mobs were shown on TV, and the segregationists consequently lost national support. Coulter condemns Martin Luther King for using tactics to rouse the white mob, but he was also raising national opposition to these white mobs and winning support for civil rights. Instead of King, Coulter praises long-time NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall because he eschewed mass demonstrations and relied on the law for reform and change. (150) Coulter ignores Marshall’s comment that summarized his philosophy once he was ensconced as a Justice of the US Supreme Court. Marshall asserted, “It’s our turn now.” Marshall was not interested in justice; he wanted revenge.
Coulter fails to recognize the great contrast between the CRM of the early 1960s: non-violent, often integrated, first attempting to negotiate change, giving the appearance of middle-class values – and the total rejection of these means and ends with Black Power, Black Nationalism, and Black racism. These latter efforts inspired the justified the riots that ravaged ever more cities beginning in 1965. These are often mislabeled as civil rights activities, but they were mobs, Black mobs, that openly rejected the ideals of the CRM. Add to this the mainly white anti-Vietnam war protests, which also began as a bourgeois, non-violent protest in the mid-1960s, but later in the decade developed into angrier mob confrontations with police. Though not as violent as the ghetto riots, these could be violent, and can be illustrated by the transformation of SDS from early 1960s forums for ideas into a very radical group. Eventually the organization imploded in the late 60s, to re-emerge as the terrorist Weather Underground. Had most Americans really become sympathetic to the mobs of the late 60s, the Black rioters and the Weathermen, Hippie, whatever confrontationists? Clearly not. In 1972 Nixon, praising law and order, scorning and unyielding to the mobs, carried 49 of 50 states. The Democratic Party, badly defeated, did however, become ever more sympathetic to and aligned with the rioting protestors. In that sense, Coulter is correct. But the Democrats then were a minority.
An important segment of Demonic is devoted to the French Revolution. I am no authority, but her portrayal is frightening – the cruelty, the bloodiness, yes the terror which Jacobin leader Robespierre proclaimed necessary for the success of the revolutionary venture of virtue. Coulter discerns that this as the pattern for future attempts to remake societies: Lenin and Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, et al. One incident that she includes may provide a lesson in dealing with the many mobs massing in Obama’s America. In August 1792 a mob chased the French Royals from a palace to the National Assembly. King Louis XVI, apprehensive about military confrontation with gun and cannon fire, then ordered his Swiss Guards, who were protecting him, to surrender. The Guard’s commander thinking the order a mistake, went to the king in person. The commander assured the monarch that the order was senseless for “The rabble are on the run! We must aggressively pursue them!” Louis vacillated, and hoping to appease the “people,” finally repeated his order to surrender. The king’s order was obeyed, and consequently, “more than 600 Swiss guards were savagely murdered. The mobs ripped them to shreds and mutilated their corpses…Children played kickball with the guards’ heads.”(107)
Coulter states that mobs are conservative concerning science. Yes and no. One recent invention became an icon of the Revolution. Dr. Guillotine proposed a more humane method of execution, and the National Assembly adopted his proposal. The contraption soon was named after the doctor. And it was used to decapitate the father of modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier and several other scientists among the thousands of victims. (Of course, about the same time, the British chemist, Joseph Priestly had his home and laboratory wrecked by a God and country mob, and he had to flee to the new United States for safety.) In 1793 the French Revolutionary government abolished the Royal Academy of Sciences. Yet the French attempt to rationalize weights and measures by creating the metric system has spread to most of the globe because it is easier than older measuring systems and is used by the scientific community even in the United States. Coulter mocks the one major failure of the metric innovation. The French abolished the Christian calendar with a 7-day week and replaced it with a 10-day week. This reform was not too popular, for workers would have only one day off in ten, rather than every 7th. Unlike most metric reforms, the new calendar was short-lived. Coulter notes that during the French Revolution and its assault on Christianity, the cathedral of Notre Dame was converted into the Temple of the Goddess of Reason. Robespierre was active in promoting the new religion. Strangely, the Englishman who did so much to inspire the American Revolution, Thomas Paine, was in France in this period, but even he fell out of favor. Though not executed, he was imprisoned during the French Terror, and wrote his famous attack on the Bible, The Age of Reason, while incarcerated. But Coulter’s point is taken – the American Revolution was far more religious, far less grisly, far less a mob induced resurrection. To Coulter, the French Revolution is driven by the mob, murderous, terroristic, “demonic.”
But is Coulter fair? In his The End of Racism, Dinesh D’Souza attributes the abolition of slavery to Christianity. Wilberforce in Britain, Quakers, Unitarians, and eventually most mainstream Protestants came to condemn slavery. In America they formed and organized the Republican Party in the 1850s to fight against “the peculiar institution.” But in the 1790s, long before Lincoln, Robespierre and the Jacobins of the French Revolution were composing the motto, “liberty, equality, fraternity.” Questions rose in the Assembly about how this would affect slavery in a major French colony. Haiti was then a rich colony and the sugar and coffee crops depended on Black slave labor. When the radical Jacobins in Paris spoke against slavery, their words reached Haiti. The Declaration of the Rights of Man, stating that all men were assured certain rights stirred Haitians, and by 1791 a rebellion had begun there. The Paris Convention under Robespierre’s leadership, voted to abolish slavery on 4 February 1794, and gave Black men the same rights as whites. It also granted citizenship to Jews and Protestants, while it was simultaneously conducting domestic wars against many French Catholics. Perhaps 50,000 were executed for various reasons during the Terror. When Robespierre himself was beheaded, the Terror subsided. But in Haiti, Black Jacobins would become a new mob in an anti-slavery revolution. It was “a mob,” but was it “demonic”?
With the fall of Robespierre’s head into the basket beside the blade, the dictatorship of virtue relaxed, and people began to go back to their old ways. Napoleon, a military genius who began to defeat many of the enemies of France, swiftly rose in popularity and became Emperor of France. In addition to conquering much of Europe, he began to dream of a French Empire in the New World. He pressured his brother, whom he had made king of Spain into returning Louisiana to France. But before he would occupy the Mississippi River basin of North America, he would retake Haiti from the rebellious slaves. In 1801 Napoleon sent a large, well-seasoned army of 40,000 to recapture the island, an army that had experience fighting in the many wars in Europe. Within two years, Napoleon had to withdraw what was left of his forces. Disease and the Blacks under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture had defeated the French troops and shattered Napoleon’s dream of empire. He now viewed Louisiana as vulnerable to naval attack from Britain, and decided to sell it to the new United States. The Americans were already negotiating to purchase the city of New Orleans, but suddenly were offered the massive Louisiana Territory. America bought it, and doubled its size.
Napoleon’s government sought to institutionalize some of the changes brought by the French Revolution. Law was rationalized so that there would be one law in France, not changing from one department and town to another. This rationalization, the Napoleonic Code would influence many lands beyond France. For example, where Napoleon’s armies conquered, Jews could now leave the ghettos. In the Nap. Code, Jews could be equal citizens. Homosexuality was decriminalized. Divorce was permitted (girls going with the mother, boys with the father), etc. Many of these reforms spread, even to Louisiana. But not all approved of these changes and in 1940 some hoped to overturn the legacy of 1789. When Marshall Petain gave himself to lead France after its humiliating defeat by Nazi Germany, the elderly hero of WWI enunciated the new ideals. No more liberty, equality and fraternity. The motto of France of the National Revolution (Vichy France) would be “Work, Family, Homeland.” Liberty would exist, but only in an ordered social structure. Not all people are equal, as there is a natural hierarchy, and human fraternity can occur only within the confines of family and homeland. The Roman Catholic Church was restored to its favored place, and traditions were respected. With the defeat of the Axis powers, however, Petain was tried as a traitor and executed. His attempt to overthrow the heritage of the French Revolution failed. Bottom line – the French Revolution is a most complex subject. Meanwhile, today there are two nations that have as their motto, “liberty, equality, and fraternity” – France and Haiti.
Without Robespierre and the radical Jacobins in Paris, would there have been a Toussaint and the Black Jacobins in Haiti? Without Toussaint, would there have been a Wilberforce in Britain or a Lincoln in the United States to abolish slavery? Are all mobs demonic? Are the consequences of all mobs demonic?
The most depressing, yet essential, parts of Demonic are where Coulter recounts for readers the horrors of Black racism and liberal appeasement. In 1991 Rodney King was arrested in Los Angeles following a high-speed chase. A video showed police attempting to subdue King, a large Black man on drugs and out on parole, beating him with batons until he obeyed their orders. The other Blacks in his car who did obey, were unharmed. In 1992 when a jury acquitted the police of brutality, the rioting began. Another video was horrifying. When the riots began, a white trucker was driving his rig through a Black neighborhood, perhaps unaware of local events. Reginald Denny was dragged from the driver’s seat, beaten, and lay in the middle of the street. Then Damian Williams took a heavy brick and smashed on the head of the motionless Denny. The video then shows Williams performing a victory dance over his white victim. “The attack on Denny broke facial bones in 91 places and resulted in brain damage. A jury acquitted Williams of all charges except simple mayhem…”(43)(When it comes to Black racism in the courts, the OJ jury was clearly not unique). Left-wing Democrat Representative Maxine Waters visited Williams’ house shortly after the attack to offer help to rioter Williams, adding there was “righteous anger” in her district, and she was just as angry as they were. One hopes Mrs. Waters never carries a brick into Congress! (After his attack on white Denny, Damian Williams brutally attacked an Hispanic driving through the same intersection, but I’ve not seen the video where Williams painted that man’s genitals black. Perhaps, Representative Waters thought of Williams as an artist.) Meanwhile, “Reginald Denny will never again be able to drive a truck or operate heavy machinery.”(45)
A more grievous example of our legal system falling apart, failing to defend the rights of whites in the liberals’ attempt to placate violent Black racists occurred on the East coast. A major culprit was Al Sharpton, the Black racist who frequents Obama’s White House. Sharpton first rose to national prominence in promoting the Tawana Brawley hoax that she had been raped by a white official and placed in a garbage bag. In New York City this was page-1 story for about a year, and it was also big news nationally, until the story collapsed, Ms. Brawley changed her name and left for college. Sharpton later roused anti-Jewish mobs in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, which culminated with the stabbing of Yankel Rosenbaum. Before he died, he identified his assailant, Lemrick Nelson, and a bloody knife was found in Nelson’s pocket. Was Nelson convicted of murder for killing a white? Again, think OJ.(47)
While the media spotlights cases of white on Black crime, Coulter seeks to put the media distortions in perspective: “According to FBI statistics – since the 1970s, approximately 15.000 to 36,000 white women have been raped by Black men every year, while, on average, 0 black women are raped by white men.” In Department of Justice language, 0 translates as fewer than ten.(72-73)
Yet, one of the worst cases of injustice began with a simple “wilding” incident in New York’s Central Park, 19 April 1989. Wilding is that euphemism for the robbing and beating of whites and Asians by “youths” (i.e., young Blacks and Hispanics) who roam in informal gangs in search for easy marks. The term wilding may change over time and place, but this is a common way for minority young people to have fun, express themselves, and gain valuables. Until 1989, the most famous example of this had been the July 1983 free concert of Diana Ross in Central Park’s Grand Lawn, which attracted 450,000 fans. The 95 degree day was only slightly cooler at 6pm when the music began. A sudden thunderstorm and downpour caused a quick conclusion to the show. Many whites were drenched, and then as the exited the park vicinity, were robbed by “youths.”
In April 1989 wilders robbed and beat people on their jaunt through the park, culminating near its northern edge with the rape and near murder of a 28-year-old investment banker who had been jogging. They did not use a cinder block on her head, but she was left for dead after multiple rapes and slugs. When the police found her, around 1:30 am, she had lost 3/4s of her blood, and few expected her to survive.(226) About a year later, 5 minority teens were convicted of the crime “based almost entirely on the defendants’ detailed, videotaped confessions.”(227) Multi-ethnic juries convicted them! Convicted and jailed.
Then, some years later, a jail-house confession by someone who would not incur more punishment for his perjury, claimed that he alone had committed the crime. The liberal Democratic Dist. Atty, Morgenthau, and the liberal media, began a campaign to free the “boys.” Coulter writes: The DA’s report exonerating the five defendants was a conclusion in search of evidence.”(240) The convictions were in due course vacated. The young men who had years before confessed to the crimes, now sued New York City for $250 million! The monsters who had confessed to horrible crimes, not only walked, but might walk out with huge sums. To liberals, this is “justice.” To most Americans, this is an outrage.
Coulter provides a service in her book by including some of the transcripts of the taped confessions of the Wilders. It is sickening to read this and then learn that the criminals walked out free. Even more sickening, that they may be rewarded with a jackpot of money. Worse, one must recognize that this rewarding criminality is the end result of the liberal Democrats long-term policy of appeasing the mobs.
Coulter concludes by marking the trend that even Republicans are caving to the mob, even allowing a Code Pink professional agitator to enter the GOP National Convention and disrupt the televised speech by Sarah Palin. Are we coming to the point of Weimar Germany where political parties must have their own police, their own troops, their own militias to fend off the mob? But then, the Democrats may already have their troops - it is “the mob.”