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.”

MORE:  What Happened at the Last Presidential Debate

52 comments
SimonPayn
SimonPayn

Why is it that all of the well known right-wing women in the US seem to be such hateful, unintelligent people?  Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Ann Coulter to name but a few.

They hypocracy of this is what really upsets me though.  If Bill Maher or Jon Stewart had made that comment about Mitt Romney, Ann Coulter would have been the first to be screaming about how inappropriate that comment was.  She's a nasty, unpleasant, selfish hack. 

BodeMaxwell
BodeMaxwell

Envy brings out the beast in people. That's why in relation to Obama Ann, just like Rush her male clone is a beast.

SeekacougarLiu
SeekacougarLiu

Have you done almost done with Halloween outfits? It is the time to meet some one to celebrate the festival.

JohnWalters
JohnWalters

I am very sorry for her, I had thought she was not like the Liberals name calling and using words that hurt others. Now I will not listen to anything she has to say. I will pray for her and hope she will come to know Jesus as her Lord.

Christine Rosso Robertson
Christine Rosso Robertson

This woman and her comments disgust me. As an administrator in special education and an advocate for people with disabilities, I am offended to my core. She has no relevance.

DavRi
DavRi

Ignore trolls. Do not feed the trolls.  colter is a TROLL.

shesaiddestroy
shesaiddestroy

I'm offended that you're all offended. I'm offended you all are so bad at math and science. I'm offended by how fat you Americans are with all the hungry people in the world: piggies. I'm offended by how much debt you fat and stupid Americans push on the world, so you can get even fatter and more retarded. piggies. I mean, who do you people think you are? Your country has slid into irrelevancy and nearly insolvency. Nobody likes America or Americans because you are so arrogant, conceited and narcissistic. So, your opinions about a successful woman like Ann Coulter, your nasty and snide comments just once again show the world how fat and stupid nearly all Americans are. Why are you people so ignorant? Why can't you learn the basics of math and science? Retired. or is that Retard? heh

shesaiddestroy
shesaiddestroy

Ann Coulter rules! She is such a smart woman. Yeah, yeah she offends a retard now and again. But whatevs. Americans are the most sniveling cry babies anywhere on earth. Bunch sensitive whiners. waaaah! Always crying about something: the most indebted, fat and dumb people in the OECD. No one cares what you

Mark Styner
Mark Styner

Just another shock jock that feeds off of neo-con hatred. She will eventually implode. See Glenn Beck.

GaryMarkle
GaryMarkle

She can't really help herself, as her emotional development has been retarded. She demonstrates this in the way she caries herself morally, ethically and intellectually. That's her challenge. She's a genuine psychopath. Unfortunately there's no cure for the condition, but cognitive therapy may help. The problem with the psychopathic mindset is that they have a desire to project a negative mindset onto weak and vulnerable minds, and they make concerted efforts to promote hatred and division. Her words are just a demonstration of her mental illness.

Joan Kyle
Joan Kyle

Why this hack gets two minutes of air time is beyond me.

renegaderider66
renegaderider66

As  someone who has worked with the developmentally disabled for over 25 years. I am calling bs on this letter. Not to offend anyone but there is NO WAY someone with downs syndrome could have formulated those words. I am not excusing ann coulter in anyway, she does not speak for me but that letter was written by someone other than him and they should be ashamed of exploiting that individual because of their own personal politcal rage. People with downs syndrome don't give a rat's behind about polotics. It is actually disgusting.  

Lisa Dee
Lisa Dee

The replies to her tweets are the best laugh I've had all week. She deserves all of it.

Amy Lapid
Amy Lapid

Very well said and well-handled, Mr. Stephens.

Amy Stiener
Amy Stiener

She's a disgusting representative of a human being. She's a female Rush Limbaugh. I'm sure they sleep just fine with the millions they have from their zealots that keep them going strong.

Richard Miller
Richard Miller

Methinks Ms. Coulter does not have both oars in the water.

Pucca Mami
Pucca Mami

Her whole family must be a real pleasure.

Lisa Dee
Lisa Dee

Coulter is just a loudmouth c*nt, but she knows that.

Christina Pflum
Christina Pflum

that would be *C.S.*, but i suppose i can be nice and say, sure, thats what i mean :)

ComplainerChua
ComplainerChua

americans are getting absurd.you can't make reference to anything anymore.retards are people afflicted with mental disfucntions. if you act like one then you can be called as one.

it has nothing to do with being offensive to any group of people. you are what you are. we can't say that retards are the same as non-retards. blame your genes, blame your pre-natal doctors, blame your mother, if you want but the fact still remains that there are retarded people. 

JosephConner
JosephConner

Why is this vile woman allowed to speak in public?

Christina Pflum
Christina Pflum

how does she feel about the *C* word, because i think shes a HUGE *C*!

Patti Millar
Patti Millar

Note to the media outlets: stop giving this woman what she craves - publicity. If no one pays her any mind, she will go away. What must be wrong in her life that she is so hateful?

Tim Mandese
Tim Mandese

Oh please! Anyone that says they have never used the word retard, is a liar! PC is going to be the death of this country. Where was the outrage when Obama likened his bowling skills to being "Like Special Olympics or something."? What if she said "moron"? "Stupid" used to be a clinical term at one time. Focus on the big picture....Focus on the reason she described Obama that way, not how she described him!

Terri Yancy
Terri Yancy

Mainstream talkshows need to stop inviting her on just because her outrageousness draws ratings. She is poorly informed, dishonest, and makes no arguments that aren't based on logical fallacies. She should not make a wonderful living being a horrible person and a national embarrassment.

Shaley de la Torre
Shaley de la Torre

Ann Coulter, please don't apologize and say you were taken out of context.

Allison Dean
Allison Dean

She is not a typical republican...she it's an ignorant woman who says shocking things for this very reason...(We are giving her a lot of undue press and cares) I am a proud republican, special education teacher and this type of language needs to be laud to rest along with the other hurtful things that were said during the days before civil rights. I love my students and even though some of them truly are intellectually delayed (the new professional term for mentally retarded) I think that they are some of the most interesting, amazing, kindhearted and loving people on this earth. It kind of breaks my heart to hear this young athlete refer to himself in this way...even if it is to make a very valid and honest point. She may claim to be a Republican,.but honestly I think she is in a party all to herself.

Debbie Helland
Debbie Helland

People like this woman is why our society is so messed up. This is a good example why our children are bullies today. Kids learn from example.

Josue M Gutierrez
Josue M Gutierrez

its only wrong if right wing pundits say idiotic things. it seems like the morons on messnbc can say whatever they want and its ok because dumb americans agree with them. we need to start holding all these idiots accountable,on messnbc and faux news.

Gayle Garber
Gayle Garber

Barbara, I was thinking another word! :-)

Lu Plonski
Lu Plonski

She and her Adam's apple... should find work at a Cheap, Cut Rate Chicken Ranch somewhere near Vegas.. they'd just need to tape her mouth shut.

JohnWalters
JohnWalters

@shesaiddestroy I wonder how much you gave to feed to poor last year. I wonder how many bag lunches and blankets you handed out to the homeless. I wonder if you believe the Universe made itself. America gives more to help the poor of this world than all other countries combined. How much did your country give of it's wealth to feed the poor last year?

DavRi
DavRi

@Cynthia Davis Smith -- Just like Palin!

poly105619
poly105619

@renegaderider66 What about Chris Burke?  Why would having Down syndrome mean that someone wouldn't care about the things that are affecting them in the world?

But you're right that those aren't all his words.  The thing is, that's not a secret.  He said in something he wrote on this subject, long before this Ann Coulter thing happened:

"That is why I love being a Global Messenger. I work for days telling my dad what I want to talk about and he tries to write it down for me. Then we do it over and over until we have something that says what I mean."

So I don't think that there's any attempt to put forth that the words themselves are solely his.  He clearly sees being a Global Messenger as both an honor and a responsibility, and it seems like he works very hard to make sure that, with help, he finds a way to share his thoughts in a way that he believes makes it easiest for others to understand.

poly105619
poly105619

@ComplainerChua Acting stupid in no way equals acting like someone with an intellectual disability.  The fact that you seem unaware of that is exactly why the word is a problem.

mcoll03
mcoll03

@Tim Mandese Actually, there was an uproar over Obama's comments and he apologized.  The point is that words and language matter.  She used the word thinking it was provocative and funny.  It's not funny to anyone who knows people with developmental disabilities or has seen the look on one of their faces when someone has used that word toward them.  

ComplainerChua
ComplainerChua

@poly105619 @ComplainerChua the fact that someone as intelligent as Obama acts like a retard is in itself the problem. i don't blame retards for the intellectual incapacity. it is something they cannot control. but for someone that became a president of the USA acting like a retard is not acceptable & should be called as such.