CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
The mainstream US Right long ago crossed the point from right-wing to extreme far-right. Mainstream conservatives now oppose not just undocumented immigration, but immigration overall.
Popular right-wing US pundits like Ann Coulter are now saying all immigrants are bad. This is a fundamental tenet of fascist ideology. The US Right is moving toward fascism. Not just “fascism” as in the derogatory term some leftists are wont to sling at reactionaries—literal fascism.
Point 8 of the Nazi party’s program was
Any further immigration of non-Germans must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who have entered Germany since August 2, 1914, shall be compelled to leave the Reich immediately.
Italy’s neo-facist CasaPound party, which openly admires Mussolini and the Italian fascists, insists “We want to stop it [immigration].”
CasaPound is joined by a wave of neo-fascist parties in Europe that, like Coulter, openly oppose immigration of Muslims and people of color, regardless of legal status.
Exposing her true colors (ahem, racism), Coulter claims there is a left-wing conspiracy to use immigration to make the US “a third world hellhole.”
In fact, she emblazoned this conspiracy on the cover of her new book, Adios, America. The flippant racist title exactly conveys what it is about: the supposed “destruction” of the US by scary brown immigrants. The all-white cover of the book, accompanied by her “Aryan” visage, punctuated by a nails-on-the-chalkboard terrifying upside-down exclamation point (stop being so “backward”!), is the visual semiotic equivalent of her message.
It is a case study in white supremacist nativism: Coulter of course uses the phrase “third world hellhole” to mean “a diverse country full of people of color”—refugees who are seeking asylum from violence and poverty that are often the direct results of US imperial military and economic policies in the so-called Third World.
Salon summarizes her appearance on Fox’s The Sean Hannity Show, writing
Coulter said that “never in world history has a country been transformed like this,” seemingly forgetting that the uniqueness of the American experiment has been an ongoing concern for nearly 250 years, and is not simply “a plan by those on the left to have more voters favorable to liberal policies.”
“There are hundreds, probably thousands, of activist groups working overtime to bring the poorest of the poor into America,” she continued, “and they’re always the people who don’t particularly like America, who call us ‘racist,’ ‘sexist,’ ‘homophobic.’ Why are they bringing these poor Third Worlders here?”
“It’s because,” Coulter said, answering her own question, “they hate America, and the Republicans won’t stop them because the big [corporate] donors want the cheap labor.” She claimed that immigrants from First World countries — who, she said, “won’t ever go on welfare” — are “being discriminated against so we can drag in the poorest of the poor to instantly go welfare.”
Even Sean Hannity found this line of reasoning a little conspiratorial. “Do you really believe,” he asked, “that this is a thought-out plan where America as we know it will be forever altered and never be the same?”
“Absolutely,” she replied. “I just hope we’re not already past the tipping point.”
Just days before making these noxious remarks, Coulter spewed even more intense racism on Fusion’s America with Jorge Ramos. Like a true fascist, who believes in the superiority of the white “race,” she bluntly claimed that “there are cultures that are obviously deficient, and if they weren’t deficient, you wouldn’t be sitting in America interviewing me, I’d be in Mexico. You fled that culture!”
On the program, Coulter was asked about her comment “Americans should fear immigrants more than ISIS.” She replied “I have a little tip for you — if you don’t want to be killed by ISIS, don’t go to Syria. If you don’t want to be killed by a Mexican, there’s nothing I can tell you.” The host, in utter disbelief, subsequently stared at her in silence in a palpable pregnant pause.
When a Honduran-American man in the audience proceeded to ask Coulter about racism, she interrupted with the classic white supremacist adage “It’s not about race; it’s about culture.” When he continued speaking about the racism he has experienced in the US, she made grossly disrespectful gaging noises and dropped her head back like she was choking.
After the man—who remained polite in spite on Coulter’s puerile antics—finished his question, she completely wrote off everything he said without a modicum of concern, once again claiming “It’s not about race; it’s about culture.” Coulter then, in a moment of jaw-dropping disrespect, ordered the speaker “you’re not black, so drop the racism crap.” In her view, racism only exists against black people, not against Latinos or any other groups (and the extent to which it actually exists she doubtless questions).
When Coulter tweeted her now infamous “bring back our country” frowning selfie, what she clearly meant is “bring back our white supremacist country.”
It must be remembered that Coulter is not an extremist outlier; she is not a pariah; she is by no means a right-wing fringe figure. Coulter is a popular pundit who—as she never fails to make known—has published 10 New York Times bestselling books, whose columns are syndicated in a variety of publications, and who regularly (and religiously) appears as a guest on Fox News.
Ann Coulter is the US equivalent of France’s Marine Le Pen, the leader of a growing neo-fascist movement (founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, a Holocaust denier) that got a shocking 25% of the vote in France’s March 2015 elections.
Coulter’s white supremacist, anti-immigrant views are no longer considered controversial in the US. They are in fact becoming increasingly prominent and resonating more and more with white Americans who know nothing about the world around them save for what they see on their television set.
The irony in all of this, of course, is that the very people espousing these racist views and claiming all immigrants are bad are themselves white immigrants—descendants of settler colonialists who massacred and ethnically cleansed the indigenous population in what we today call the Americas.
Ben Norton is a freelance writer and journalist. His website can be found at http://BenNorton.com/.