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February 12, 2006
How To Marginalize Yourself (In One Foolish Step)

In an appearance during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the always-provocative Ann Coulter did what she does best: infuriate, provoke, and amuse. In doing so this time, however, she crossed a line that reflects poorly on conservatives in general, and she deserves the criticism she's received.

When we oppose a group of people, there is a temptation to give them a demeaning nickname or slur to make them a little less human. That's unfortunate, and in this case -- as it often is -- it's inaccurate. "Ragheads" is a slur that could refer to a number of Arabic and non-Arabic people; Sikhs, for instance, wear turbans and are not Arabic or Muslim. Not all Arabs are Islamofascists, nor are all Islamofascists Arabic. Using that term is not only rude and childish, it's entirely off the mark. And attempting to bury the humanity of Islamofascists in terms like "ragheads" is to assign them a status that strips them of the responsibility of their actions.

I don't think that Coulter should get tarred and feathered for this bad choice of rhetoric, but it does serve as a reminder that the slack can only get cut to a point, even with our favorite provocateurs. When the line gets crossed by one of our own, it becomes our responsibility to point it out and insist that it doesn't happen again.

UPDATE: I should have noted that I picked this up from Michelle Malkin's outstanding post. Be sure to read it all.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 12, 2006 5:10 PM

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