Ann Coulter had a tremendously contentious encounter with civil rights activist and author Kevin Powell on Current TV’s Say Anything Tuesday.
Things got so heated that by the end of their discussion, he called her “homophobic, anti-Semite, and a racist," and she called him “a moron” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Toward the end of their segment with host Joy Behar, Powell said, “I think that Miss Coulter to my left plays the race card for every book. It helps to sell books, puts her on the New York Times bestseller list. But my thing is as someone who works in this country, has traveled to almost all 50 states, and is about bringing people together no matter what their race or culture.”
At that point, Coulter interrupted saying, “Yes, by calling me a liar without naming what the alleged lie is.”
“What you don’t want to deal with is that you are one of the people who helps to divide people in this country,” responded Powell. “Do you want to bring people together or do you want to sell books?”
“You know what I want to do more than anything?” asked Coulter. “I want to keep trying to talk and being talked through. So I have just achieved my goal. I would like to be talked over for an entire segment.”
Behar then tried to settle things down by quoting from George Will who wrote recently, “Obama would be losing if he weren’t black.”
“It speaks to the racial problems in this country, the racism in this country which is not dealt with accurately in [Coulter’s new] book because she’s making stuff up,” replied Powell.
“From a child pornographer,” jokingly countered Coulter.
“Stop that,” scolded Behar.
“No, not if he's going to keep calling me a liar without naming a lie,” objected Coulter.
“To say that racism doesn’t exist in this country is an outright lie,” Powell said.
“I didn't say that,” replied Coulter. “I was very clear about that. That was the whole child molester thing. Let’s roll it back.”
For the record, earlier in the segment Behar said, “According to Ann in her book, she says racism doesn’t exist anymore.”
Coulter replied, “I would say that we have a bigger problem with child molesters. If you look at the Quantcast numbers or Alexa.”
As such, she didn't say racism doesn't exist nor was that the point of Mugged: Racial Demagoguery From the Seventies to Obama. Instead, as she told NewsBusters last Sunday, it was that racism would be dead if not for the media.
Moving back to where we left the discussion earlier, Behar pushed the point saying, "You did say that it’s less, a lot less.”
“Okay, I did say it’s less,” clarified Coulter. “Then when you say it's a lie, say, ‘When you say there is less racism in this country, that's an outright lie.’ And tell me it’s the same as back in Selma. Tell me that.”
“Actually, for the New York City black-Latino males it's the same as Selma. Absolutely,” astonishingly replied Powell.
Realizing the utter stupidity in that remark – or have you heard about black-Latino males in New York City being lynched and having fire hoses turned on them?!? – Coulter simply responded, “Okay, there we go. If that’s the lie, I’ll take that.”
From there, Coulter tried to bring the discussion back to some sanity by answering Behar’s question concerning Will’s comments on Obama.
“It's this idea to say because Barack Obama is black, he's doing better than he would be if he were white. Geraldine Ferraro said that, the Obama campaign came down on her, and at the exact same time, you had Andrew Sullivan writing in the Atlantic magazine saying the reason Obama, you have to vote for Obama isn’t his policies, isn’t his rhetoric. It’s because of his face, because he’s black, and how it will influence the rest of the world.”
“How do you explain the fact that, you know, that 99.9 percent of the African-American community is voting for Obama?” asked Behar.
“How do you explain that 90 percent of the Jewish community is voting for Barack Obama? They’re Democrats.” Coulter responded.
After saying, “That's not true,” Behar drew the segment to a close with, “I have to go, as much fun as this has been.”
“Yes, it’s been fantastic,” replied Coulter. “I’ve never been on with a child pornographer.”
“I’ve never been on with a homophobic, anti-Semite, and a racist,” Powell countered. “Clearly you’re a racist.”
Coulter shot back, “You’re clearly a moron. But thanks, this was great.”
For those unfamiliar with Powell, Wikipedia describes him thusly:
Powell is also a nationally recognized activist who speaks against violence against girls and women, appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show in March 2009. He made three unsuccessful runs for the United States Congress in New York's 10th congressional district.
Powell appeared in the first season of MTV's reality television series, The Real World: New York in 1992. He was the oldest member of The Real World cast.
Someone pass the beer nuts.
Post facto opinion:
As readers know, I've read Coulter's new book and spent 90 minutes last Sunday discussing it with her in great detail. I believe it to be the most important statement about racism written in many years, and highly recommend it.
The reality is Americans should be ashamed that we are almost 50 years after the 1960s civil rights acts, as well as the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and we have yet to conquer racism.
Frankly, I'm appalled by it.
As I read Coulter's book, I felt it was one of the most honest examinations of the problem I've ever seen, and was hopeful it could create the kind of discussion and self-analysis this country needs on this controversial subject.
Eric Holder said shortly after being named Attorney General that Americans are cowards when it comes to race. I agree with him, for we really don't want to ask the tough questions because we fear the inconvenient answers.
That's what we saw in this segment ironically on a program called "Say Anything," for when it comes to race and racism, there's too much people are afraid to say.
Only when we divorce ourselves of the fear of the truth concerning this societal ill will we cure it.