Ann Coulter needs a history lesson. She doesn’t think that civil rights should apply to anyone but black people. She doesn’t think “we” owe Latinos, women, or gays “anything.”
Read a summary of her contributions to the Roundtable discussion on the subject at ABC News
Ms. Coulter is, once again, shockingly misinformed. All Americans have “civil rights,” no matter the color of our skin, our gender, our age, or our sexual orientation. The U.S. government and citizens owe us all equal protection under the law, and equal respect of our rights as human beings: our right to control our bodies, our right to love and marry whom we choose, our right to not be discriminated against because we speak two or more languages. Latinos have just as much right to equal protection as descendents of former slaves do, or anyone else for that matter.
Ms. Coulter seems to forget that not all Latinos are recent immigrants. Some of their families may have been here before her lily-white ancestors marched onto North American soil. Afterall, New Spain was established in the early 1500s and, at the end of the American Revolutionary War, half of the current continental United States belonged to Spain. Latinos were the next dominant cultural group in North America after indigenous peoples. Families in places like California and Texas have been speaking Spanish ever since. Do these people not deserve the same civil rights as those who came after them?
Civil rights as a concept is not only about making up for the abuses of slavery and the forced immigration of Africans, although the term of Latin origin was co-opted in the 1960s to shed light on the inequities and institutionalized racism against African-Americans in our country. Not to diminish the continuing scourge of racism in the U.S., “civil rights” apply to all citizens, and I would hope to extend them to non-citizens alike. Ms. Coulter needs to get her terminology straight before she starts spouting off about who owes what to whom.
The Latinos and Latinas I know are smarter than that, and they know that they deserve equal rights and protection against discrimination, despite Ms. Coulter’s creative semantics. That obtuse blond needs to go back to high school and learn a thing or two.
P.S. I don’t really think that Ms. Coulter is dumb, or even a real blond, but my use of the term is a tongue-in-cheek tit for tat for all her name calling. Do an Internet search on “Coulter” and “retard” for a more recent example, as well as an excellent response from a talented Down’s Syndrome writer. (edited October 27, 2012)