Friday October 09, 2015
The House She Lives In
From William Finnegan's excellent profile of Univision's Jorge Ramos, “The Man Who Wouldn't Sit Down”:
In May, Ann Coulter appeared on Ramos's Fusion show. They taped the interview in front of a live audience, and Coulter's eagerness to give offense was breathtaking. At one point, she said, “I have a little tip. 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.” Ramos likes to say that silence is death on TV, but at that moment he said nothing. The audience, too, seemed shocked into silence. After a long, awkward pause, Coulter went on, “Very easy to avoid being killed by ISIS. Don't fly to Syria.” Ramos finally asked, “Are you really saying . . . ? We're talking about forty million immigrants in this country.” Coulter, arguing for an end to immigration, talked about how certain “cultures” from which large numbers of people immigrate to the U.S. “are obviously deficient,” making cryptic reference to “uncles raping their nieces.” It was, in its way, good TV.
Do people still debate Coulter? Why? The only honest reaction is to shrug and say that there have always been people like her: Americans warning Americans about the latest group of people wanting to be Americans, who are “obviously deficient”: Irish, Italian, Jews. Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese. Muslims. Yet in many ways, there's no one more American, more positively American, than the immigrant, who knows what it's like where they're from, and who risked everything to get here.