Ann Coulter calls Obama a retard. Here, a “retard” responds…

Via on Oct 25, 2012

Update: Ann Coulter doubles down on use of “retard.”

“Look, no one would refer to a Down 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’ had been used colloquially to just mean ‘loser’ for 30 years…But no, no — these aggressive victims have to come out and tell you what words to use.

“It would be one thing if I said in my tweet a joke about Special Olympics, a joke about Down Syndrome…No one would call someone with Down Syndrome ‘retard.’ I call you a ‘retard.’”

[They're]…word police.”

“Oh, screw them…that’s what they feel I do? I feel they’re being authoritarian bullying victims.”

So apparently bullies never use the term “retard” when bullying those with challenges. And apparently Ann—rich, conventionally beautiful, educated…is the one getting bullied. Interesting.

~ Original post follows ~

This is how we respond to ignorance. With heart, wit and friendliness.

The below was tweeted by Ann Coulter, yes that Ann Coulter, yup, after the third and final debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

“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 & still loves life so much.”

I learned this lesson, too, myself years ago. I love that his response is about education, not merely condemnation. Please share if you, too, are touched. ~ ed.

Wow of the Day:

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 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.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.

Read the rest here. But note that it ends on a non-aggressive note, unlike most of we “normal” people’s missives:

Come join us someday at Special Olympics.  See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven’t made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia

~

Update:

It’s an open letter, so here’s the full bit:

Dear Ann Coulter,

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 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.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.

After I saw your tweet, 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 and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

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.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics.  See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven’t made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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11 Responses to “Ann Coulter calls Obama a retard. Here, a “retard” responds…”

  1. elviragooch says:

    Well John Franklin, I would love to call you friend! Bravo for your beautifully written piece. And bravo for seeing the beauty in life, even when it isn't so pretty in your day to day dealing with people like Ms. Coulter. You have brought a tear to my eye, and a smile to my lips.Quite an accomplishment. Much love and big hugs XOX

  2. Richard Kurtz says:

    No, Ann Coulter is not dumb. She knows exactly what she is doing. She has figured out that saying outrageous, ugly things will keep her in the spotlight she seems to crave. Did your mom ever tell you to ignore mean bullies and sometimes they might go away? This is one of those times. Let's hope it works.

    • Ren says:

      I'm glad that John did not ignore her – at least, I'm glad that he wrote the letter. The "badge of honor" is a beautiful sentiment and his retorts were wonderfully witty. Politics aside, an enlightening read about the use of such an oft abused word.

      I understand the shock value point but that's television. This man's words should not be caged in by context.

  3. Melody says:

    Bravo John Franklin. As a yoga teacher to adults with Downs, I love this polite response to yes, a Bullie!

  4. Sharon Powell says:

    Look and learn. A lesson in grace. So, so graceful and soaring above the rest of these so-called pillars of society. Let's all be mindful of the language we use and the immense hurt a simple word can inflict. Bless you John Franklin. Sharon Powell

  5. mark says:

    Such a elegant reply. It will fall on the deaf ears of the Ann Coulters of this world and that is their loss. Thank you being able to rise above the nasty words and bully tactics. We all need to reflect on the words we use.

  6. Heather says:

    It was really quite shocking (but then not really given whom it came from ) when this came out. As a CANADIAN we tend to think of ourselves as a bit more demure and certainly "past" using the word retard. I thought this word went out in the early 90's when it was politically incorrect to use it.

    I really have to shake my head at someone like Ann. She is not dumb just very insensitive….and given that Obama is far from being stupid…I guess, she could have used a better word to express herself.

  7. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Ann Coulter is the classic case of the preening bully ruling class mascot who can dish it out but can't take it …

  8. JOJO says:

    reading the letter made me :) :D :')

  9. @undefined says:

    Did you guys all forget about Obama's special olympics joke on leno?

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