The event is being organized, hosted and funded by Xavier's College Republicans in conjunction with the Young America’s Foundation. Organizers cheer her appearance as a chance to present strong conservative views in contrast to past liberal speakers such as film-maker Michael Moore in 2003.
“It’s really exciting to have someone of the caliber of Ann Coulter coming to campus,” said Chris Wimsatt, chairman of the Xavier College Republicans. “Our club decided to bring Ms. Coulter in response to leftist speakers such as Michael Moore, Joe Wilson and former President Bill Clinton.”
Her fee includes money raised by the College Republicans through donations plus contributions from the Young America’s Foundation.
Her appearance, however, is drawing a substantial response by a group that has raised nearly $30,000 to demonstrate opposition to her socially divisive views.
Coulter is scheduled to speak at 7:00 p.m. At the same time, a “Thank You Ann” rally organized by Equality Ohio and other progressive organizations, such as the National Organization for Women, is taking place on the campus green space outside the Cintas Center. The rally is being billed not as a protest but as a celebration of other viewpoints, and the money raised, which now exceeds Coulter’s $20,000 speaker’s fee, will be given to humanitarian-focused student groups.
An Ivy League-educated lawyer, Coulter is known for her satirical and abrasive sense of humor that has drawn criticism even from more moderate conservatives. She is generally hated by the liberal left and revered by right-wing conservatives—polarized reactions she generates with off-the-cuff remarks that often malign and stereotype entire groups.
She is unabashedly in support of the war in Iraq—“The invasion of Iraq has gone fabulously well” she is quoted in a Time magazine article this summer. She drew howls when she wrote after the Sept. 11 attacks, “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”
She’s advocated a return of McCarthysim against liberals on college campuses, discrimination in security checkpoints at airports (put all men and boys with Middle Eastern complexions in separate lines for more thorough screenings) and suggests America might be better off if women lost the right to vote.
Coulter writes on legal and political issues for Human Events and Universal Press Syndicate. She is a frequent guest on many TV shows, including "Politically Incorrect," Rivera Live," "Crossfire," "Larry King Live," and ABC's "This Week" and "Good Morning America," and has been profiled in TV Guide, National Journal, Harper's Bazaar and George magazine.
She’s been described as a “spindle-shanked blond,” “the bogeyman of politics,” the “Paris Hilton of postmodern politics” and a “huckster of ideological hate.” She calls herself “the gold standard for liberal bile.”
Coulter has been hired and fired twice by MSNBC, in both cases for her on-air political jabs. The second time was when she said to a disabled Vietnam veteran, who claimed a majority of U.S. soldiers were injured by our own land mines, “No wonder you guys lost.” Recently she was criticized for her comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in March when she referred to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a “faggot.”
But some see her commentary as humorous—shock humor at that—and say her critics take her too literally. She told the Time reporter she gets angry when people “don’t get the punch line.”
At Xavier, those organizing the opposition rally are taking advantage of the controversy she spawns by using her appearance to benefit the kinds of groups that are offended by her speech.
“She has every right to speak her mind, even if it is divisive and hurtful rhetoric,” said Bo Shuff, director of education and public policy for Equality Ohio. “This campaign was designed to give Xavier’s students who promote diversity, inclusion and tolerance the resources they need for dynamic programming over the upcoming year.”
Tickets to hear Coulter are free for students with a valid student ID. Tickets for non-students and the general public are $5. Tickets will not be pre-sold. They may be picked up or purchased at the door. Ticket and other information can be found at www.XUCR.org. For more information please contact Chris Wimsatt at 812 344-4654.