Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 for 21: Language.

In the special needs circles, I tend to be the oddity as far as my politics.  I am exceedingly conservative.  For now, that means I am a republican.  I am not, however, married to a party; nor do I feel the need to protect those of my political leanings when they make stupid choices.

Ann Coulter, for example.  I respect her, as a woman.  She is well-educated.  She has worked hard to get where she is in the political eye.  She is *usually* thoughtful and well-spoken, even if she tends to be harsh, and self-admittedly biased.  Which is her right.

Which brings us to this last firestorm.  After her tweet after Romney and Obama's third debate, "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard", she managed to completely discredit herself.  She has managed to be offensive and abrasive in her response to the public outcry of her word choice, involving the ever mature and lovely, "screw them".

Frankly, she cannot be surprised, as she has chosen to use the word before and received hugely negative feedback.  Rather than use other words that would be less hurtful and offensive, and certainly more indicative of her intelligence and education; she has chosen to defend it citing:
"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,” Coulter insisted. “But no, no — these aggressive victims have to come out and tell you what words to use.”
Now, I am not a giant fan of the word police.  As a matter of fact, I prefer out-dated words, with a soft and caring heart, than politically correct vocabulary with a scornful, distasteful, indifferent treatment of my child.  But, Ms. Coulter has managed to use hurtful language and to disregard the special needs community's hurt by this word.  Not only that, she has continued to use the word in an ugly and offensive manner like a child that has been reprimanded for something they knew better than to do.
I do not agree with  John Franklin Stephens' politics, but he made such an excellent point, without calling her hateful names, taking pot-shots, or even using edgy language.  He made his point with thoughtful, insightful, poignant language.  He found that in making his point in a gentle manner, which comes across FAR more educated than Ms. Coulter, he met with people's hearts that don't even agree with him politically.  Which is something that she should maybe take pointers on?
Please read this entire open letter, via the Special Olympics' blog, to Ann Coulter.  HERE
Frankly, I think that he said everything that needs to be said.  I just wanted to make sure that everyone's seen it.


  1. Ugh. This whole mess makes my blood boil. It's not the *intent* with which she used the word. It's that an *entire* population of people has told her it's offensive to them, that it hurts them, that it perpetuates negative stereotypes, and she *still* chooses to sling it around for her own entertainment. John Stephens definitely put it eloquently. I just wish she heard him. And the rest.

  2. I was sad to see that someone who understands the power of words -who make her living from them, didn't just stand up and admit it but tried to argue that they words were irrelevant and unimportant if not said to or about the offended population. I felt it cowardly.