Heavily footnoted and soundly sourced, Mugged is far more candid about race than 99% of the books, articles, and televised blather we’re normally subjected to.

That’s what makes her rare lapses all the more infuriating.

Take Coulter’s look back at the 1989 murder of Yusef Hawkins in Bensonhurst, NY.

Hawkins was a sixteen-year-old African-American, and his killers were white. His death “set off massive protests led by Al Sharpton, who was looking for a new gig a year after his work on the Tawana Brawley hoax had concluded so triumphantly.”

Coulter relates that the white youths had been “lying in wait to attack a romantic rival — a black or Hispanic youth allegedly dating a neighborhood girl. It was Yusef’s bad luck that he happened to be walking past the girl’s house that night….”

Coulter’s next paragraph is astonishing:

“No one — not the responding police officers, the witnesses, the black commissioner of police (…), not the girl who had inspired the attack — believed there was a racial element to the shooting.” She brings in Shelby Steele here for backup.

All those people are either lying or delusional, perhaps trying (unsuccessfully as it turned out) to avoid another racial shakedown circus. I feel confident saying this because in her next paragraph Coulter describes the residents of Bensonhurst as “mostly Italian American.”

I don’t pretend to understand the deep-seated animosity between many blacks and Italians, but denying the part it must have played in this crime beggars belief — especially since we’d been told earlier that the white kids were on the lookout for “a black or Hispanic youth.”

I realize Coulter is simply reporting the opinions of those on the scene, but I’d have appreciated her questioning their honesty, too.

When well-intentioned people take sound arguments one step too far, they undermine their own credibility.

We can argue about how often race plays a role in crime — but not that it never does. To do so is to become as blindly ideological as the race-obsessed progressives we criticize.

As Rush Limbaugh always says: Conservatives lose arguments (and elections) because out of “decency” or stupidity we too often accept “sacred” liberal premises rather than challenge them.

If we can’t rely on Ann Coulter — and sometimes, not even El Rushbo himself — to be 100% fearless and candid, we may be doomed to another hundred years of equivocation, butt-covering, and the very racial demagoguery she rightly decries.

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