Ann Coulter Thinks She's Native Because She Descended From Settlers

Christie Poitra

Ann Coulter made a guest appearance on The View to promote her latest book Adios, America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole. Since Coulter has built an entire career on the shock value of her political opinions, it is not surprising that this interview was filled with controversial statements about immigrants, and a questionable presentation of United States history.

A couple minutes into the interview, host Ana Navarro challenged Coulter's views about immigrants by asking if her family immigrated to America. Coulter responded to Navarro’s question by stating that she is actually a Native American because she descended from the early settlers who founded the United States. Coulter goes on to say that she is also not an immigrant because she does not currently reside on tribal land (even though she likely does). The interview transcript that is listed below outlines the conversation between Navarro and Coulter:

            Ana Navarro: “What’s your family’s immigration story, right, are you a Native American?”

            Ann Coulter: “Why, yes I am. I am a settler. I am descended from settlers—not from immigrants.”

            Raven-Symoné: “So that’s not a Native American, you are…”

            Padma Lakshmi: “That’s not a Native American, that’s an immigrant…That’s just a holder…”

            Ann Coulter: “No, if you mean Indian…If you mean INDIAN…”

            Ana Navarro: “Were you already here when the pilgrims showed up? Were your people here?”

            Ann Coulter: “Well no, but I am not living in Cherokee Nation. So, I am not an immigrant to Cherokee Nation. I am living in America—which was created by settlers, not immigrants.”

Although Coulter shares a number of questionable comments throughout the interview, I would like to focus this discussion on why Coulter chooses to call herself a Native American.

Coulter’s beliefs about the history of the United States are steeped in a Manifest Destiny narrative. To Coulter, America came into existence because of the efforts and ingenuity of early settlers to discover an unoccupied territory and forge a government. Coulter defends this half-truth by stating that: “[she is] not living in Cherokee Nation. So [she is] not an immigrant to Cherokee Nation. [She is] living in America—which was created by settlers, not immigrants.” Her views on how America came to be purposefully ignore the long legacy of aboriginal land ownership. Moreover, she does not acknowledge that America was not unoccupied when it was “discovered” by settlers, or the atrocities that were committed against Native people that resulted in the displacement of these societies to the reservations that exist today.

The core of Coulter’s argument against immigration (which is highlighted in the interview transcript) is that there exists two classifications of immigrants, (1) the early settlers that predate the United States, and (2) everyone else. Coulter is not using the term Native American to claim a connection to a Native Nation, rather, she is using the label as a rhetorical tool to weave a semantic argument. Her bastardized definition of Native American enables her to craft an artificial (and arguably racist) hierarchy where her ancestry and individuals sharing a similar background as her are deemed “real Americans.” In essence, Coulter has given herself the right to define who belongs in this Country, and who does not. Following Coulter’s argument to its logical end, neither Native people or anyone who has immigrated in the last 100 years can fit into Coulter’s narrowed definition of a “real American.”

Coulter is soft-selling this Country’s painful history of colonization in order to spin a more palatable creation story of the United States that is in alignment with her political orientations, and her understanding of herself as a “true American.” However, for Coulter to admit that she is anything other than a Native American would weaken her broader ideological arguments against immigration to a-pot-calling-a-kettle-black debate.

Dr. Christie Poitra holds a PhD in Educational Policy from Michigan State University, and a Master of Arts degree in American Indian Studies from UCLA. She writes about tribal governments, educational policy and politics. Feel free to Follow Christie on Twitter @Dr_Poitra, and Instagram: Dr_Poitra

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tmsyr11's picture
Oh give it a 'rest' Dr. Christie - The SCOTUS opinion is "EVERY" American citizen (legal) and Illegal alien has every right to call them-selves as THEY wish, e.g. race, culture, sex, citizen-status. A white woman can call herself black. A man can call himself 'female'. An illegal alien can benefit and participate as if they are legal American citizens. The term "Native" is no longer exclusive to the native-indigenous-tribal clubs anymore thanks in large part to 21-st century Progressive efforts. Another reason, the large majority of 'hate activists' are hate supporters typical of being NON-Indian and non-REGISTERED, non-ENROLLED, non-existent to Legit American Tribal affairs, needs, issues. (Oh and there is one 1/4 guy (non-registered) who id's more with his Apache grandpa). ALLIES are what they are called according to another via the demonstrators who frequently appear at football games. THe only difference between these hate activists and the hippies of the 1960s and into 1970s is today's crowd read, studied, lived on a reservation, or realized their ancestors might have stumbled onto indian blood. Why again should legit Tribal-American Indian (registered, enrolled, tribally-established) listen again to the half-truths, lies, and smoke and screen that were so prevalent during the 1960s and 1970s when it was exclusive to white people "seeking to improve the American Indian"? Just because today's crowd wears a 'feather' or identifies, does it make them anymore trusting?
VirginiaDare's picture
Several thoughts: 1. Hah! Yeah because "Native Americans" were sooooo receptive European explorers and settlers.... Straumsöy (~1009AD), Markland(~1347), Roanoke(1587), Jamestown(1622), etc. 2. Early settlers to Jamestown landed in what was then known as the country of 'Tsenacommacah'. Her point that 'Native Americans' are those present at the founding of the United States of America is valid. Paleo-Indian settlers could certainly be called 'native _', but should really refer to their indigenous tribal names in order to be accurate. 3. A nation-state without borders is neither nation nor state. Even the Powhatans recognized this. When faced with displacement threats from European settlors (who like today, were simply seeking to make a decent living), they attempted to drive them out using any means necessary. I dont believe that threat of a wall and deportation being levied against illegal immigrants today comes close to death. Further, closure of borders is necessary from time-to-time in order to effectuate assimilation of the population to achieve that ever touted 'melting-pot' scenario, as opposed to the weird stratified stew we have become. Remember the age old addage, Diversity + Proximity = War.
Alamosaurus's picture
Whey does anyone keep giving this nutcase--that's what she is--an audience? Comic relief, maybe? Well, I don't think she is very funny. She belongs in a mental institution--and maybe some rabies shots as well.
Peter Castle's picture
Coulter has a distinctly white WASP worldview and is zealously seeking to recreate a WASP nation. See “Adios, Ann: Coulter’s WASP Fantasy” at http://wp.me/p4jHFp-7H.
Peter Castle
fslafountaine's picture
European-Americans want to be considered native to the United States, like the Native American Tribes, and not immigrants from Europe with a genocidal history, deeply ingrained racism and second-class nations and people. European-Americans want to forget their history and heritage. European-Americans invented the racial term “White” to create a new identity and history. European-Americans quickly use the racial term “White” to exclude and discriminate against groups not deemed to be “White”. It was the basis for colonialism, genocide, slavery and racial exploitation and discrimination. It has nothing to do with skin color, as most European-Americans have a ruddy complexions or dark skinned. In modern times European-Americans use the racial term “White” to create false unity among themselves so as to create a false sense of security when dealing with colored people. It is complicated subject and cannot be dealt with in this simple reply. I think the author of the article is on the right track re analytical methodology. As for me, I do not use the racial term “White”. I identify European-Americans as European-Americans, and not as “White”. Of course, I will breakdown European-American groups by their nationality, such as French, English, Irish. Scots, German, Polish, etc. If they are Americans, then German-Americans, English-Americans, etc.
WicanphiTokcaWin's picture
Thank you, for doing a story on this. I seen this on Youtube and couldn't believe what I was hearing at first. She is a very smart woman. She's a master manipulator of the masses. Can you believe that white america may indeed, one day call themselves, "Native American" to fit there, "immigration policies"?
VirginiaDare's picture
Etymology of America: From a Latinized form of the Italian forename of Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512).
quakerite's picture
White people of European descent are like kudzu, a plant which was brought here from another country. It grows rampant, choking out native plants and needs to be controlled in order to let native plants survive. Kudzu will never be considered a plant native to this continent, even if it grows here for hundreds of years. It will always be an invasive species. Same with Europeans.
WVCherokee's picture
The fact that she doesn't think that the Pilgrims/Settlers were immigrants makes her a total Moron. The fact that the settlers came here and mistakenly called them Indians because they thought they were in the West Indies was mistake #1. Mistake #2 was them coming here, stealing the land, and then renaming it for someone from Europe when it was already inhabited by other peoples. So there are NO/NONE/ZERO native "Americans".
WinterWindTeacher's picture
America to me is not the U.S., America is not limited either to borders claimed by the U.S. America to me is a living being, a beautiful woman and mother, large - from the top of Canada all the way down to the tip of Argentina. To love America is to know her, and to know her is to love her. The "Native American People" of America are descended from tribes whose creation and cultural roots are in these lands. The United States however, is a business, a corporation that became a permanent structure for the sole purpose of exploiting the land, mineral resources, forestry products and agriculture. Indentured servants from Europe were brought to the Americas under traumatic conditions, which has helped perpetuate forgetting. African people were also brought to the America's to fulfill the need for workers to exploit the continents resources. There has been a tradition of distancing oneself from acknowledging any relationship, particularly to England. People will deny English heritage and say they are American. Therein is also the excuse for hatred within White people. Part of these White populations were once 'Indians' in their own country where they were attacked and terrorized by the Monarchy's until they surrendered their heritage of living on the lands for generations and were placed into the earliest concentration camps of starvation in Europe, the slums of England. The slum dwellers were the untouchables of their time, the lower caste and were seethed and hated from the privileged places beyond the slum dwellers grasp. The slums generally meant death, final. The U.S. was a breakaway child of England and Company, a runaway. Nonetheless it has created similar conditions in the America's and around the globe replacing the British Empire as the most powerful and wealthiest. If history was not so fictional in the educational system as it is than people would know better where and how they came to be where they are. Most of us were never taught who were the original people on whose soil we stood, or from where does the source of the river come from. Where are the wolves, also native to these lands, what happened to them? Those tangible and vital things most important to us were purposefully put out of reach while our heads were filled with sugary junk thought, bad for your health and conscience material. The text books for educational purposes are not intended for truth but for a fictional fantasy of patriotism to a country that never existed but in fantasy. The real history could not help but cause real human beings to shudder and cry. When the educational system is allowed to teach the truth, it then has the possibility of reconnecting people to their past and also a responsibility for wrongs, crimes committed that have never seen justice nor any open public discussion as to solving these outstanding grievances, violations, trespasses, and criminal acts. It should become public knowledge that their was being promoted a perpetrated murderous thievery with lies against the Native Indigenous Peoples of the America's, to take their lives and their land. Then if a White immigrant said they were Native, it would be in a manner of humor, not for perpetuating forgetfulness, ignorance or deceit. It can be hoped, however unlikely, that a future generation of better educated children will meet the responsibility that their ancestors did not; expressing an apology to the Native Indigenous Peoples for the fallacious hideous barbarism of their ancestors and general malaise of madness to have been the principal actors in a crime inhuman that is painfully shameful. That it is not possible to return the stolen lives regretfully, but it is possible to do everything else to return all else that does not belong to these descendant children, the land. Forgive us for our trespasses, we have no home nor any land, we are from a country long removed who refuses right of return only for 2nd generation emigrants. May we be assisted to some refugee camp until such time the international community can find a place for us, these descendants of murderers and thieves, indentured servants, to be more permanently housed in an acceptable location, approved by a governing body of Indigenous Nations or the United Nations Assembly.