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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ann Coulter made me cry

I am not a political person.  I am what would probably be termed a one-issue person, or maybe two issues---public education and autism support.  I have never watched Ann Coulter, although I am kind of vaguely aware she's some kind of political speaker.  I didn't watch the debates.  I look up enough information on each candidate's views to see where they stand on the issues important to me, and vote based on that, regardless of party.

That is why I was surprised at my reaction to reading about what Ann Coulter tweeted after the debate.  You can read about it here----  link  -----  She used the shortened form of the word "retardation" as an insult to Obama.  I usually don't let things like that bother me; the whole "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me" bit is something I believe.  But something about this one really got me.  Why would a public figure, albeit public for being in the media, feel it was okay to use that word as an insult?  And it makes no sense.  It isn't even a case of someone speaking the truth in a harsh way.  But even if it were, WHY IS IT AN INSULT?

My daughter is retarded.  She is autistic and retarded.  I don't give that word power.  It's a  true word, not the most politically correct one to use, but a true word.  Why in the world would that ever be an insult?  It means she has trouble learning, and probably always will.  It means she is behind other kids in terms of being able to talk.  It means in her case she can't read or write or do math.  It says nothing about character.  It doesn't mean she's a bad person or even a good person.  It means something about how she learns.  Do we say "blind" as an insult?  Or "deaf"?  Or "tall"?  Or "blue-eyed"?  Of course not.  They are just descriptions.  Why would you think that using a word that is a way to describe my daughter's intelligence is an insult?  It just hurts.  It feels like I would feel seeing someone kick a puppy.  It made me feel like I was being punched.

Here's a picture of my daughter.  I invite Ann Coulter to come to my house and see her, and call her that to her face.


Sophie's Trains said...

Oh I hate that word. I wonder why using racial or sexist slurs is no longer "politically correct", and yet insulting someone by calling them a deragatory term for developmentally delayed is still publicly prevalent. I think it's such a loaded word too, conjuring images of decades of prejudice and stigma regarding mentally challenged individuals. I am glad to see she's getting flack for her ignorant statement at least in the blogging world

Becca said...

Ann Coulter is like a political version of Howard stern - she makes a living saying shocking, disgusting things. I'm sorry people give her the attention she craves and I'm sorry she says such awful things. I think "retarded" is in the same category as "gay" or "fat." for some reason they're all still sort of acceptable slurs in our society, but I do think that's slowly changing. I never used to see people called out or using these terms but now more and more that's happening. There is some hope (but coulter will probably never see the light, sadly).

audball said...

Ann Coulter is an attention-grabbing shrew, who has tried (unsuccessfully) to "entertain" a conservative audience.

This is John Franklin Stephens eloquent response to her tweet from yesterday. He is a far kinder human being than I am:

Suzanne said...

Thanks for the comments and support. I've been thinking since I guess what this woman wants is attention, I shouldn't give her any. I really don't care about her opinion---reading more about her today, it doesn't seem worth worrying about her. She said more nasty stuff today, and I'm sure she feels any publicity is good publicity. She said something like the only people who would be upset by her comments were "retarded" themselves. An interesting side fact I also discovered---she was in my husband's class at the same college. He can't remember ever having met her, and I guess her college, despite its lofty reputation, turns out some people she describes as that word, as my husband was upset by her comments too, of course. I won't dignify her with any more attention, and I won't call her a name that has come into my mind quite a bit to call her today. I'll just pretend she doesn't exist. Ann who?