Open Letter To Ann Coulter Penned By John Franklin Stephens, Man With Down Syndrome
Ann Coulter has been attacked on the left and right for her proud use of the word “retard” in reference to President Obama. The most pointed criticism arrives on Coulter’s desk from Special Olympics athlete John Franklin Stephens, who has Down syndrome.
Stephens wrote an open letter to Ann Coulter, shortly after a Special Olympics rep responded to the conservative commentator’s controversial and liberal use of the word “retard.” The letter is a finely-crafted human plea from Stephens, and a thoughtful criticism of Coulter’s use of the offensive word.
“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?” Stephens writes.
“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.
“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.”
Stephens concludes with: “A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens.”
Thus far, Coulter nor her camp have responded to Stephens’ letter. Whether or not she’ll take the criticism to heart or shrug Stephens’ letter off as a manipulated political message, remains to be seen. It should be noted that Stephens isn’t just a random mouthpiece for the Special Olympics, hand-picked to provide a personal and emotional response to Coulter’s comments. He has actually written thoughtful pieces on society’s use of the “r-word” as far back as 2008.
You can read one here.
What do you think of Ann Coulter’s use of the word “retard?” Should she apologize to John Franklin Stephens and others like him? Sound off!