Many on the left believe Ann Coulter has become irrelevant, but she still holds sway on the right. The 57-year old may have morphed from conservative pundit to far right wing extremist, but she still has the ability to draw crowds. Coulter has 2.1 million followers on Twitter, over 675,000 followers on Facebook, and is a New York Times bestselling author. And she still influences voters, especially when she goes on Fox News.
Some on the left would like that to stop, given her latest racist diatribe, which is drawing outrage.
Tuesday night on Fox News’ “Ingraham Angle,” hosted by another extremist, Laura Ingraham, Coulter unleashed what some see as racism and bigotry so extreme it must be countered.
And they’re calling for a boycott of Fox News’ advertisers to get her off the air.
What exactly ignited this outrage?
Speaking about Democratic voters Tuesday night, Coulter insisted they all hate each other.
She says the Democratic Party is comprised of various groups and factions (something Democrats call diversity that looks like America.) But Coulter thinks each group is separate unto itself, and they are united only by one thing: hatred of white men.
(There actually are white men in the Democratic Party, so her theory can’t even stand on its own legs.)
Here’s how Coulter explained how she sees the Democratic Party.
“I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of these disputes in the Democratic Party base, because they all hate one another,” she said on Fox News.
On Ingraham’s Fox News show, Ann Coulter describes her version of the Dem party
“I mean you have the Muslims and the Jews and the various exotic sexual groups and the black church ladies with the college queers … you must hate white men. It’s the one thing they have in common” pic.twitter.com/xGWe0wH2uP
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) December 12, 2018
“I mean you have the Muslims and the Jews and the various exotic sexual groups and the black church ladies with the college queers. The only thing that keeps this, the Democratic base together is for them to keep focusing on, you know, ‘White men are the ones keeping you down. You must hate white men.’ It’s the one thing they have in common,” she claimed.
Her premise is wholly false – not to mention dripping with racism, hate, and bigotry.
Here’s how some are responding:
Sponsors of Fox are supporting racism. There’s no denying it. It happens all the time. Boycott Fox advertisers. https://t.co/QWsg7hMSYa
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) December 12, 2018
The racism runs deep. But I am curious how all the corporations who advertise on @foxnews can tout their diversity and inclusion strategies—and support this overt racist and bigoted content. https://t.co/NuhkOADukO
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) December 12, 2018
I am actually begging can we please stop this
This has NOTHING to do with politics or policy
This is pure hatred
Freedom of free speech is what makes out country great
Giving these words a platform any larger than a sewer is truly awful
Please stop https://t.co/3kkg6e84e0
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) December 12, 2018
#FoxNews the media of lies! Ann Coulter is saying lies! Democrats are an inclusive party BECAUSE it’s represents our USA in 2018. Citizens DESERVE to be represented. Corporations, companies, any sponsor–why do you support #FoxNews? https://t.co/IPAvZWKt3I
— V. Hare (@hareme2) December 12, 2018
Fox News is a white supremacist propaganda network. https://t.co/DoFyxM4JXA
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) December 12, 2018
This has to be one of the most racist things ever said on television.
Advertisers, are you really going to continue to support this??? https://t.co/jjM9kYYQMF
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) December 12, 2018
Ann Coulter displays her extreme ignorance in all it’s glory here!! How do @FoxNews sponsors continue to support such a thing! Time to boycott all of these sponsors!
— Joe Holohan (@IrishHoolie) December 12, 2018
Actually, @AnnCoulter, I’m a gun-owning white man who was born and raised in the rural south before spending 25 years serving in the military and I’d rather stand with Muslims, Jews and African-American church ladies than with you and your Russian, rubes and racist comrades. https://t.co/d8pGRFTnVu
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) December 12, 2018
Being a Dem sounds pretty fucking cool! https://t.co/uinOmDXORc
— (((k r a m p u s))) (@davitydave) December 12, 2018
Not even pretending… https://t.co/YRS34RZHr9
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) December 12, 2018
@FoxNews Boycott your advertisers that accept racism from contributor Ann Coulter – unacceptable, hate-filled rhetoric to incite violence: Wayfair, Trip Advisor, Nestle, Hulu, Nutrish, Liberty Mutual, Johnson & Johnson, Expedia, Honda, Office Depot, Atlantis Resorts, Ruby Tuesday
— Joanna (@JoannaCocoGrove) December 12, 2018
Could @FoxNews and @IngrahamAngle promote racism and such disgusting lies, any more?! Giving Coulter the platform to spew such hate, is why foxnews and Ingraham have long since lost any integrity while promoting such hate https://t.co/mhb2zWRCUF
— Southern Yankee (@jbm85363) December 12, 2018
i think the one thing they have in common @AnnCoulter is that they don’t like bigots — like you. bringing muslims & jews together against a party that doesn’t want them? republicans are going to truly make america great! https://t.co/P5d85vBr6O
— Reggie Newton (@reggienewton22) December 12, 2018
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) December 12, 2018
— QuoddyView (@CHn94578872) December 12, 2018
Thanks to Media Matters’ Andrew Lawrence for posting the video clip.
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Keir Starmer Spox Repeats Debunked Claim That Kids Are Identifying as Cats
A spokesperson for Keir Starmer, the leader of the United Kingdom’s center-left Labour party, has repeated a debunked claim that students are identifying as cats.
A video posted to social media showed a teacher arguing with a student about gender identity. In the clip, a student at Rye College in East Sussex says “If you have a vagina you’re a girl and if you have penis you’re a boy. That’s it,” but the teacher countered, saying “Cisgender is not necessarily the way to be. You are talking about the fact that cisgender is the norm, that you identify with the sexual organ you were born with, that’s basically what you’re saying, which is really despicable,” according to The Argus, a Brighton-based news outlet.
The video went viral, with the framing that the student had objected to another student identifying as a cat, based on a comment one of the students made in the clip: “How can you identify as a cat when you’re a girl?”
With this framing, it was reported on by right-leaning UK newspapers including the Daily Mail and The Telegraph, but without any investigation into the claims, taking the cat comment at face value. The outlet Schools Week, however, reached out to Rye College, which confirmed that “no children at Rye College identifies as a cat or any other animal.”
When asked about this incident by The Telegraph, a spokesperson for Starmer accepted the story as true.
“It’s clearly ridiculous if you’re in a situation where children are not being recognised as children. I think it’s fairly obvious what the right approach should be in this case,” the unnamed spokesman said. “I think children should be told to identify as children.”
The idea of children identifying as cats was common in the United States last year, with the urban legend being cited by at least 20 Republicans, according to NBC News. The urban legend usually involves schools being forced to provide kitty litter for these students. The claim, ridiculous on its face, was credulously accepted and repeated by politicians, despite no evidence. It was amplified by Joe Rogan in an interview with former Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and, again, taken as truth despite Rogan not providing any verifiable details. The claim has been widely debunked by outlets including—but not limited to—the Associated Press, Reuters, and Education Week.
It appears that the claim has now jumped the pond as the United Kingdom faces its own transphobia problem. This January, Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced his government would block a Scottish law that would make it easier for transgender citizens to change their legal gender marker. This week, a leaked video showed Sunak making a transphobic joke, and in April, he wrote an op-ed for the Daily Express supporting a ban of transgender people from single-sex spaces.
“When it comes to women’s spaces, women’s prisons, changing rooms, sports, health, I believe that biological sex really matters,” Sunak wrote. “I know what a woman is – and I’ll protect women’s rights and women’s spaces.”
Sunak and Starmer’s spokesman’s comments follow years of transphobic coverage in the UK media, even from normally left-leaning outlets like The Guardian. Even the country’s state broadcaster was not immune. The BBC published a story originally headlined “We’re being pressured into sex by some trans women.” The piece quoted former porn actress Lily Cade. Cade had a history transphobic remarks, including calling for trans women to be lynched. The same article also used a survey from an anti-trans activist group to bolster its claims, even though the survey was not just self-selecting, but had a laughably small sample size of 80 people.
Featured image by Chris McAndrew, used under the Creative Commons license.
‘And Tango Makes Three’ Authors Sue Florida, Say Law Suggests Book ‘Deserved To Be Banned’
The authors of a beloved children’s book about gay penguin parents, And Tango Makes Three, are suing a Florida school board as well as members of the Florida Board of Education. One of the arguments is that the book, based on a true story, is implied to be obscene by the fact that it’s banned.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, the two authors of And Tango Makes Three, along with six children who wish to read the book and their parents. It challenges Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. The law bans education on sexual orientation and gender identity through the third grade. Many Florida school districts ban students up to that grade from checking out books with LGBTQ themes from school libraries.
The suit alleges is that the law in question is “vague and overbroad,” thus running afoul of the First Amendment. Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that removing And Tango Makes Three from public school libraries was illegitimate because the libraries do not follow a specific curriculum.
“Books in school libraries are, by nature, optional reading. Even if library shelves constituted curriculum, Lake County had no legitimate pedagogical purpose for barring students’ access to Tango,” the lawsuit reads.
And Tango Makes Three tells the true story of Roy and Silo, male penguins at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. The penguins were seen performing mating rituals, and had even attempted to hatch a rock. Zookeepers gave the penguins an egg from a different pair of penguins who were unable to hatch it. With Roy and Silo’s help, the egg hatched into a female penguin chick, Tango.
The suit says that the book “contains no obscenity or vulgarity; and it is factually accurate,” and thus it’s appropriate for schoolchildren in the 4- to 8-year-old age range suggested by the publisher. By keeping it out of the hands of children, the school district is violating the First Amendment rights of the authors based on their viewpoint, the suit says.
“By censoring Tango and barring students below the fourth grade from accessing the book in Lake County public school libraries, Defendants have stripped the Authors’ book of an essential aspect of its communicative value. They have also injured the reputation of the Authors and Tango by implicitly and falsely suggesting that the book contains obscene, vulgar, sexual, or age-inappropriate material that deserved to be banned—contrary to the wholesome, positive and family-friendly content of the book—and have thereby deprived the Authors of more of their target audience and speech rights,” the suit continues.
The students are part of the suit because their “right to receive information” has also been infringed, lawyers argue. The six children, identified only by their initials, all wanted to check out the book from their library at the beginning of the school year, but are prohibited by the law. They would check it out, the suit says, if it were available.
Ironically, this is not the only penguin-related lawsuit over the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. In May, the publisher Penguin Random House—no relation to And Tango Makes Three—sued Florida’s Escambia County School District in Pensacola for removing books “based on ideological objections to their contents or disagreement with their messages or themes.”
GOP Lawmaker Wants to Fine Transgender People in North Dakota $1500 if They Use ‘Wrong’ Pronouns
The North Dakota House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would strictly prohibit expanded use of pronouns outside of the gender that the person was assigned at birth.
House Bill 2199 restricts the definition of gender to the “individual’s determined sex at birth” and then requires that all pronoun use be reflective of that same gender. Any violation by anyone who works at an institution that receives state funding, including public schools would be subject to a $1,500 fine.
If gender is challenged, the bill puts the responsibility on the individual to prove their gender.
“Say, they’re a boy, but they come to school and say they’re a girl. As far as that school is concerned in this bill, that person is still a boy. If it becomes contested, the burden will be on the girl, the so-called girl, or the boy, to prove that he is a girl,” said North Dakota State Senator David Clemens while speaking in favor of the bill.
The bill’s sponsor was the only testimony given in support of the bill, as nearly 100 separate forms of testimony was provided against the bill. Even the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted to not pass the proposed bill.
“I see no way this law would pass any sort of legal challenge based on basic legal construction principles,” North Dakota Human Rights’ Christina Sambor said in an interview with KFYR-TV of Bismarck. “It is vague, fails to advance any legitimate state interests, and not only would cause impermissible, gender-based discrimination, its very purpose is gender-based discrimination.”
The bill now moves to the Senate floor.
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