Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has sparked outrage after publishing a column in which she describe Latinos as a lazy underclass.
In a piece titled ‘America reaches el tipping pointo,’ Coulter goes on an extended tirade, blaming Latinos for the nation’s plight and placing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s recent loss largely on their backs.
Specifically, Coulter writes that the influx of ‘Mexico’s underclass’ and the ‘poorest of the world’s poor’ has so thoroughly changed the country’s political landscape that no amount of Republican outreach will turn the tides in their favor.
‘Perhaps the reason elections maven Michael Barone was so shockingly off in his election prediction this year was that… Barone has been assuring us for years that most of these Third World immigrants pouring into the country would go the way of Italian immigrants and become Republicans. They’re hardworking, they have family values,’ she wrote. ‘Maybe at first, but not after coming here, having illegitimate children and going on welfare.’
But already, her words have drawn ire from many pro-immigration activists, not only based on the rhetoric, but on many of the facts she used in making her argument.
Roque Planas, of the Huffington Post’s Latino Voice section, wrote a detailed response to Coulter’s column, citing a number of sources that call into question the veracity of Coulter claims.
First, Planas argues that Latinos do not disproportionately claim welfare, as Coulter claims, but in fact use less than the government benefits allotted to them.
According to a study released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-partisan group that works on fiscal policies to help low-income Americans, Hispanics made up 16 per cent of the population in 2010 but received just 12 per cent of benefits. In contrast, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 64 per cent of the population and received 69 per cent of entitlement benefits.
In another passage, Coulter attributed poverty in the Latino community to an excessively high birth rate, citing that more than half of all babies born to Hispanic women are illegitimate.
Again, Planas argues that these facts are misleading. Citing a 2010 Pew Hispanic Study, Planas writes that 45 per cent of undocumented-immigrant households consisted of a spouse or cohabiting couple with one or more children. He then compared that the 34 per cent rate for legal immigrants and 21 per cent of the U.S. born.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Lincoln Republicans, a pro-immigration group in Arizona, has also come down hard on Coulter, issuing a scathing rebuke of her essay.
‘If Abe Lincoln or Ronald Reagan could read your latest column, they would turn over in their graves,’ it read. ‘You obviously know nothing about the Latino vote, and your repeated and shrill rhetoric against Latinos are a major reason that so many conservative Latinos hold their nose and vote Democrat.’
‘You conveniently never mention in your columns that the GOP was competitive in California until the harsh rhetoric surrounding proposition 187 caused Latinos to leave the GOP in droves. Since proposition 187, the GOP has not been competitive in statewide races. This phenomenon has followed the rhetoric and spread from California to the rest of the nation. The GOP is now often perceived by many Latinos as hostile to Latinos.’
Coulter is no stranger to making such claims or the reception that it often brings with it.
Earlier in the year, Coulter characterized Obama’s base of voters as ‘stupid, single woman,’ shortly following the debate over contraception led by law student Sandra Fluke.
‘And I would just say to stupid single women voters, your husband will not be able to pay you child support if Obamacare goes through and Obama is re-elected,’ she said. ‘You are talking about the total destruction of wealth. It is the end of America as we know it.’
Coulter was also the subject of much criticism after she referred to Obama as a ‘retard’ in a tweet. Despite receiving considerable backlash, including a open letter written by Special Olympics athlete John Franklin Stephenrs, Coulter defended her statement.
‘These were all technical terms at one time. “Retard” had been used colloquially to just mean “loser” for 30 years. But no, no — these aggressive victims have to come out and tell you what words to use,’ Coulter said.
Source: The Daily Mail