Once again, Ann Coulter has opened her mouth.
Once again, she has put her foot in that mouth and now she’s become the target of parents of special needs children this week for her comments that were directed at president Obama. The conservative talk show hostess said she approved of Mitt Romney’s decision to “be kind and gentle to the retard.”
Really, Ann? It’s not the first time she’s used that word.
She doesn’t like president Obama. We get that. But to stoop that low? Really, Ann? You’ve been called out by blogger Ellen Seidman on it. Seidman, the mother of a special needs child, wrote in her blog “Love that Max,” “At this point, I’m thinking the woman must surely be aware that the word is offensive, and she chooses not to care. That’s pretty vile and heartless.”
The word “retard” demeans Max and millions more with intellectual disabilities, Seidman tweeted at Coulter. Still, the comment was favorited 1,215 times and earned 2,993 retweets as of this writing, presumably by a number of people who didn’t find it offensive. But sentiments from those who chose to respond to Coulter on Twitter ranged from disappointment to outrage.
“You disgust me. That man is the president of this country. (& I’m sure all of the disabled children in America appreciate you.),” actor Sophia Bush tweeted.
“Politics aside, this tweet from @anncoulter was offensive & disgusting. ANY use of the “R” word is unacceptable,” @amurphy217 said.
The Special Olympics also condemned her use of the word, saying that it was “sad to see @AnnCoulter continue her use of hateful language by using the #Rword in her discourse.”
You want to slam the president, go ahead. You want to despise Liberals. Okay. But you can’t think of any other word
to use? Come on.
Even a Special Olmypian has directed his ire at her and did so in an open letter on the the Special Olympics blog.
John Franklin Stephens, a 30-year-old Special Olympian with Down syndrome, described what the word meant to him: “I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
“Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next. … Well, Ms. Coulter, you and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor. No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.”
Even people known for their sense of humor came out against it. Comedian and Twitter personality @UncleDynamite resurfaced a 2-year-old post from his tumblr in which he explained why he would no longer follow anyone he saw using “the r-word.”
He re-posted it after seeing people retweeting and favoriting the tweet, which he found disturbing coming from a a “well-educated, self-described Christian with such a huge public presence.” She is well-educated, having graduated from Cornell and recieved her JD (juris doctorae) from the University of Michigan, so yes, there is a level of intelligence. Unfortunately, that intelligence is overshadowed by hate, ignorance and sheer stupidity. She’s also been engaged at least three times but those relationships have all failed.
Congress banned the use of the words “retard” and “retardation” in 2010 in federal health, education and labor laws in favor of using the words “intellectual disability.” The American Psychiatric Association also plans to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual development disorder” in the fifth version of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, to be published by in 2013.
Ann Coulter says she wants to stir up the pot. Given what she said this week about those with disabilities that are not of their own choosing, it’s more like she’s been smoking it. Loose lips do sink ships, as the saying in the 1940’s says. In Ann’s case, her entire fleet has been hit. It’s a good thing that she made that comment here in the United States instead of Canada, where she would have had the cuffs slapped on her for hate speech.
In one of her books, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” Coulter write that liberalism rejects the idea of God and reviles people of faith and second, that it bears all the attributes of a religion itself. I beg to differ. You can be a liberal and still be a good servant of God. It can be done, Ms. Coulter. Imagine if you will Jesus telling the multitude that he can only feed those that have blonde hair and blue eyes.
Perhaps if Ms. Coulter would spend some time with the people that she insulted by her use of the R-word, she will have (hopefully) a moment of conversion, sort of like Paul had on the road to Damascus (short of the blinding light). Ms. Coulter, step back. Look at the bigger picture (and yes, that animal exists). We get that you don’t like president Obama. That’s fine. We get that you’re not a liberal. We can live with that. But you didn’t just cross the line with the comment that was directed at the president. You wiped it off the planet. Salute the rank, not the man.
Short of suggesting that you find a millstone and plunge yourself in the ocean, think before you speak. After all, even you have that right.
Step back. Look at the bigger picture.
If you have the courage to do so.