For my next few entries, I have decided to follow Ann Coulter, an outspoken author and TV personality, who until recently has not been as active on the election radar. I will be examining her comments and the public reactions to her infamous views.
Beyond the bayonets and horses of last Monday’s debate, another phrase appeared within the glorious digital world of Twitter. Ann Coulter, sent a tweet which blew all over the twitter sphere in a matter of minutes. The tweet said:
Coulter’s remarks about the president reflect her understanding of Romney’s less aggressive image throughout the debate. However what has come under scrutiny is not her opinion of the debate, but her use of the word ‘retard’. The R-word clearly is offensive and Coulter’s use of the term has been condemned by the Special Olympics, whose programs hope to empower individuals who have differences in ability. Special Olympics said it was “sad to see @AnnCoulter continue her use of hateful language by using the #Rword in her discourse.” Not only did the Special Olympics catch wind of her comment, but their athletes did as well.
Special Olympian John Franklin Stephens wrote a letter to Coulter which went viral within a few hours of it being published. Stephens states, “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.” Stephens continues on in the article to invite Coulter to spend a day with Special Olympians to “See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.”
The letter from Stephens can be read in full here
Other negative responses to her Tweet came in the form of retweeting. Actress Sophia Bush said “You disgust me.” While Jenny Johnson, a self-described “writer, wife, and asshole” retweeted “You stay classy Ann Coulter.” These are some of the many comments Coulter received, which seemed to shame Coulter’s use of the word.
As I saw on Monday night, this issue regarding individuals of differences in abilities is not strictly a partisan view. President Obama, when prompted about gun control, continually targeted “criminals and the mentally ill” as groups who should have limited gun control. I saw this as the President reaching out to the citizens of the swing state of Colorado, where the president currently is slightly behind according to Politico swing state polls. Even though he wished to relate to those who recently experienced the shooting tragedy in Aurora, his depiction of those with mental differences made them all villains who should have limited rights. It is sad to see a point in this election where the political world bluntly degrades certain groups for political gain. I know it is not a new tactic within politics; however it still does not justify targeting individuals for personal gain.