We all know Ann Coulter is a “real piece-of-work,” as some might politely put it. Others might call her a bigot who represents everything that’s wrong with America, or a shock-jock narcissist who get her kicks out of belittling everyone she thinks is beneath her (which includes pretty much everyone).
Vile Ann Coulter at her worst:
Perhaps nothing exemplifies what a horrible person Coulter is more than back in 2012, when she tweeted her appraisal of debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama.
This comment was met with much-deserved outrage from commentators and decent human beings all over the country. Of course, this outrage seemed to please Coulter to no end. I mean, it is how she thrives and makes her living.
John Franklin Stephens, who had previously schooled the world on why the “r-word” is wrong, stands up to the horrible Coulter
One person decided to take the high road, and respond to Ann Coulter with the grace and class she will never have. His name is John Franklin Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete and Global Messenger for the organization, and he decided to write an open letter in response to Coulter’s insensitive tweet.
Stephen, an individual with Down Syndrome, was no stranger to the power of the written word, as shown in his earlier open letter to the world in describing why the word “retard” is so hurtful. It’s really worth reading the whole thing, but here are some excerpts:
So, what’s wrong with “retard”? I can only tell you what it means to me and people like me when we hear it. It means that the rest of you are excluding us from your group. We are something that is not like you and something that none of you would ever want to be. We are something outside the “in” group. We are someone that is not your kind.
That’s some compelling stuff. In this letter, Stephens even addresses those who say it’s just a joke, or a word not actually meant to use to describe someone with a mental disability.
Last, I get the joke — the irony — that only dumb and shallow people are using a term that means dumb and shallow. The problem is, it is only funny if you think a “retard” is someone dumb and shallow. I am not those things, but every time the term is used it tells young people that it is OK to think of me that way and to keep me on the outside.
Without further ado, the Special Olympian’s powerful open letter to Ann Coulter:
It was in this spirit of logical eloquence, that Stephens penned the following open letter to Coulter:
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
Special Olympics Virginia
I have to say, Mr. Stephens was much more respectful than most people would be in response to such hateful, willful ignorance. Then again, it makes sense that someone who has overcome so much would have such a beautiful spirit.
How did Ann Coulter respond to courteously being called out?
Did she apologize or give any thought to how her words might affect others? Of course not. Although she didn’t respond with the nasty “screw you” as she did to other people who her criticized her for this remark, she doubled down with this response:
“I do not need to be told this.”
Well, obviously Ann, you do need to be told this. You need to be told this over and over and over. Of course, repetition will never bring about a little thing called empathy, so maybe you really are just hopeless.
Watch John Franklin Stephens in his own words:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz6xw6mHFV4&w=560&h=315]
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