We lost a great and wonderful woman on Wednesday when Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86. Angelou, who was renown not only for her groundbreaking autobiography ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,’ but also for her lovely poetry and activism. She was the quintessential American success story. She was a woman who came from pretty much nothing. She fought both racism and sexism and built herself up into one of the most respected poets and authors in the world. This was a woman who recited her own poetry at not one, but TWO, Presidential inaugurations. Her impact will be felt for decades to come.
Well, apparently because she was seen as a hero by minorities, women and liberals, some conservative writers decided to use the opportunity of her passing to take a big, giant crap on her legacy. Essentially, they felt that her death was the perfect time to troll. One blogger in particular went out of her way to be as offensive as possible. That would be Debbie Schlussel, professional hate-monger who has made it her mission to spew inflammatory rhetoric, especially when it comes to blacks and Muslims.
In a blog that she posted to her personal site on Wednesday, Schlussel called Angelou a “Racist, US-hating, Anti-Semitic Nutjob.” And that was just in the title! Schlussel spent the majority of her post pointing out that Angelou was not only an awful writer, but that she was an anti-Semite for associating with the Nation of Islam and that she was a “madam and a prostitute” who fled to Africa because she hated America. Per Schlussel, she only returned to help Malcolm X build the Nation of Islam. Schlussel also points out that Angelou never contributed anything positive in her entire life.
Below are some of the worst portions of Schlussel’s post:
Once again, Billy Joel’s lyrics-“Only the Good Die Young”-are proven true, as Marguerite Ann Johnson a/k/a “Maya Angelou” dies at age 86. Angelou was America’s most overrated crappy writer, all because she was Black . . . and a far-leftist.
I was one of the lucky American kids who was never forced to read this Friend of Oprah cretin’s god-awful “writing,” the most overrated dreck on paper. Sadly, high school and college students all over America are forced to wade through her written bath of dung because it’s chic among the brainless radicals who dominate American education at all levels.
Maya Angelou did nothing good for America-not in her Grade A Gitmo Torture Material “writing” and “poems,” not in her many pretentious speeches and pronouncements.
But she’s being lauded today by the many liberal morons across America who worship at the altars of yoga, gluten-free, Priuses, and ADHD.
They like their gods empty.
Maya Angelou is one of those IQ tests pop culture presents us with all the time. If you’re a fan of Angelou, you failed miserably.
I hope she packed light because it’s very hot where she’s headed.
Maya Angelou, Rot In Hell.
You have to hand it to Schlussel…that is some grade-A trolling. But, then again, it is her specialty. Heck, it appears to be her profession. On the other hand, over at the National Review, their writers decided to be a little more subtle in their approach. Rather than beating you over the head with a hate stick like Schlussel, writer Tim Cavanaugh decided to use his article to give Angelou some backhanded praise, point out how boring her writing and poetry was, all while trying to paint her as a full-fledged gun nut. In fact, he titled his piece ‘R.I.P, Maya Angelou, Proud Gun Owner and User.’ He also posted a compilation video of comedian David Alan Grier impersonating Angelou.
Below is an excerpt from Cavanaugh’s piece:
I will confess that Angelou’s writings did not generally keep me up reading all night, but she had an impressive career and earned celebrity in a business — poetry — that is not known for catapulting its practitioners to megastardom. Angelou got what may have been the widest audience for her work when she read a non-rhyming poem at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. Older readers may recall that “On the Pulse of Morning” seemed like a slog at the time, but I can tell you it’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” compared to Richard Blanco’s “One Today,” which rung in President Obama’s second swearing-in, and Elizabeth Alexander’s 2009 inaugural work “Praise Song for the Day,” a poem so boring economists now believe it reduced America’s 2009 GDP by a quarter of a percentage point.
Cavanaugh has already received some blowback from numerous writers, who have rightly pointed out the callous nature of his piece. Not only did he go out of his way to highlight how boring Angelou’s writing was, but he made sure to shoehorn in the fact that she owned a gun and present it as some kind proof that Angelou was a proud defender of Second Amendment rights. Cavanaugh did find a defender, however, at the Daily Caller (big surprise, considering Cavanaugh was once an editor at DC.) Betsy Rothstein wrote a piece slamming Politico’s Dylan Byers for having the temerity to criticize Cavanaugh. Apparently, because Byers isn’t a poet himself, he has no business criticizing Cavanaugh’s piece. Or something.
Who can blame Byers for being outraged? Especially since his own poetic writings clearly rival those of Angelou. Have you seen “And the wondering” — a dramatic reading of Byers’, ahem, literary blog performed by The Daily Caller’s Will Rahn? (Sure, he’s one of my editors, but without a trace of ass kissing, I can honestly say that aside from those blooper reels on MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, this is among the funnier things I’ve watched in the past few years.)
In the end, besides trolling and hoping to offend non-conservatives, what was the point of any of these articles? Seriously, I just want one of these writers to stand up and present the case that they weren’t just looking to ‘stir the pot’ and get a reaction.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).