Lefty word-watchdogs and their allies in the mainstream media have hurt feelings … again. As per usual, liberals are frothing at the mouth in a fit of very selective, self-righteous indignation over provocative comments made by Ann Coulter and are hunting the conservative firebrand with pitchforks, torches and rope in hand.
While addressing an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last Friday, Coulter joked in her trademark fashion that, “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I – so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”
And the proverbial fan was thusly and most directly hit.
Admittedly, Coulter employed unusually abrasive and bombastic language – even for her – to make a point; but ironically, the reaction she’s getting from the left (and from some on the right) would seem to quite precisely demonstrate the apparent thrust of her prickly comments. Perhaps that was part of her intention.
Never mind that those in the “gay community” throw the word “faggot” around as a term of endearment for one another as frequently as Hillary Clinton changes her accent and in much the same manner as black “gangsta-rappers” break out the “N-word.” And never mind that the left constantly redefines that which is or is not a “permissible” moniker for those engaged in the homosexual lifestyle (one day “queer” is bad, and the next day “queer” is good. In fact, the latest from the PC police is that it’s now “hateful” to call a homosexual a “homosexual” – go-figure. They prefer that innocuous, cutsie and happy-go-fluffy little term “gay” if you please.)
It’s the left defining the terms, mind you. And it’s the left that further identifies who has permission to use those terms. Therefore, it’s only reasonable for them to apply that famous “progressive” double standard to Coulter. After all, she is a “hateful” conservative.
Now, don’t misunderstand; Coulter’s comments lacked civility to be sure and were entirely inappropriate. Some compare her use of the word “faggot” to use of the “N-word.”
However, it would seem that African-Americans, who have truly experienced grave and systematic injustice over the years while struggling to obtain certain civil rights to which they were denied, might rightfully be offended by such a spurious comparison.
Most African-Americans are a little more than annoyed by the fact that the militant homosexual lobby has so artfully hijacked the rhetoric of genuine civil rights. That rhetoric has been cynically misapplied to the homosexual agenda, which includes mandated moral relativism, social androgyny and not just full acceptance, but celebration of a pleasure-based, sexually deviant lifestyle.
Equating the black community’s struggle for civil rights to homosexual activists’ struggle for special rights is a disingenuous parallel. By comparison, homosexuality is rooted in disordered, unhealthy and changeable behaviors that have – prior to the onset of social post-modernism – been considered both immoral and repulsive. Being black is rooted in, well, being black.
Rather than equating the word “faggot” to the “N-word,” perhaps a more accurate correlation lies between the word “faggot” and other behaviorally derived derogatory terms such as “slut” or “whore.” In referencing an adulterer as a “slut” or a “whore” for that person’s lifestyle choices, one voices disagreement with certain behaviors (infidelity or promiscuity) historically frowned upon by society.
But in either case, use of such disparaging words is coarse, unnecessary and counterproductive. One can express legitimate disagreement with lifestyle choices, which run counter to traditional norms and mores of society, without reverting to the use of such nasty language.
As for Coulter’s specific comments, she apparently intended a dual connotation. She seemed to either suggest that Edwards is in fact a homosexual (not likely) or that he is somewhat effeminate and/or “wimpy” in terms of his positions on public policy issues – that he politically embodies certain stereotypes associated with homosexuality (probably more likely).
Additionally, Coulter was making a clear reference to the recent uproar which ultimately resulted in Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington giving into PC pressure to check into “homophobia rehab” after calling his homosexual co-star T.R. Knight a “faggot.”
But to hear the left talk about it, you’d think Coulter had gone so far as to pine for the assassination of the Vice President of United States or something (and, of course, that’s exactly what liberal activist Bill Maher actually did on the same day Coulter made her unfortunate comments. And it should come as little surprise that we’ve heard only the deafening and ever-so-telling clamor of silence from the left on that one. Gotta love that double standard!)
So, while making her inflammatory comments, perhaps Coulter – in her own less than glorious way – intended not only to question John Edwards’ political machismo but to suggest that America’s self-appointed thought police stop trying to force those who dare to violate their politically correct word-code into Orwellian, re-education “rehab” camps. When Coulter spoke last Friday, everyone heard the word “faggot.” But if you take her words – abrasive as they were – in their full context, she was apparently just telling the left to back off and “bag it.”
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).