Ann Coulter stirs backlash after “retard” comment
Ann Coulter is an extremely conservative television personality and author who has a penchant for creating controversy. If anything she makes it her goal to create controversy. This past Monday, the personality started a firestorm when she tweeted: “I highly approve of Romney’s strategy to be kind and gentle to the retard.” Coulter was tweeting during the last debate, in where Romney’s strategy seemed directed in not attacking the president.
John Franklin Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete, wrote Coulter a letter the next day reminding her of the implications of her words. He writes:
“Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult? I’m a 30-year-old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact, it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night…I realized you just wanted to belittle the president by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it…”
He goes on to ask her to come to the Special Olympics next time. He doesn’t think she’ll be able to leave the event without a change of heart. The reason I’m dedicating my “Rant of the Week” to Ms. Coulter’s remark is for two reasons. First, I don’t care what you think of the President. I don’t care if you think he is a complete failure, etc. You should ALWAYS have respect for the office of the presidency. He is STILL YOUR president. You may not have voted for him, but he is YOUR president. Secondly, using the word “retard” for whatever the intention is deplorable; especially in an attempt to degrade the president.
People with developmental disorders aren’t retarded. The only thing retarded is your attitude and your crass choice of diction. I used to find you some way bearable. As a conservative myself I sometimes agreed with some of your positions. I chose to ignore your more radical and extreme comments, but your constant use of the word detests me. Mind you, you lose whatever credibility your argument has when you decide to name-call the president. We aren’t in grammar school. Stop acting like a bully. Make your points while being conscious of your words.
Since the letter was made public, the conservative pundit told Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio that the people who denounced her persuasive usage of the R-word were “liberal bullies.” She says: “Look, no one would refer to a Down’s syndrome child, someone with an actual mental handicap, by saying retard…Where do you think the words imbecile, idiot, moron, cretin come from? These were all technical terms at one time. Retard has been used colloquially to just mean ‘loser’ for 30 years.” Liberal commentator Colmes countered that many Americans consider the R-word deeply offensive. Coulter refused to budge. “Screw them!” she said, “You just cannot go around saying this and that word is offensive. I’m sick of this.”
Stephens does not accept Coulter’s argument. He told Piers Morgan on Friday, “The word ‘retard’ is offensive and I should not be a symbol for someone who is dumb and shallow. If they wanted to use me as a symbol, use me as a symbol for someone who fights adversity.”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself. I think she should be more mindful of her words.
What do you think?
Is this just a case of being overly politically correct?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate