Dear Ann Coulter: Special Olympian Pens Open Letter to Pundit over Use of R-Word

John Franklin Stephens, a 30 year-old man with Down syndrome, wrote an open letter to the conservative pundit about her offensive comment.

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Ann Coulter says outrageous things for a living, and she isn’t known for conceding anything when her commentary crosses the line into the offensive. But as the election lurches into its frantic final weeks, the conservative pundit is rightfully getting an enormous amount of criticism for likening President Obama to a “retard” in a tweet sent during Monday’s presidential debate:

A day later, Coulter reiterated the sentiment when she mocked the President’s use of the term “Romnesia” on the campaign trail:

In a response, a Special Olympics athlete named John Franklin Stephens, who describes himself as a 30 year-old with Down syndrome, wrote a polite open letter that’s since been widely circulated on social networks and news sites. He also invited the pundit to eventually attend a Special Olympics:

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.

Coulter’s outrageous language — and the outrage it reliably prompts — has become a staple of her media persona. When contacted on Tuesday by the New York Observer‘s Politicker about the offensive tweet, she emailed back what seems like the exact opposite of an apology: “The only people who will be offended are too retarded to understand it.”

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