Target: Ann Coulter
Goal: Apologize for using the word ‘retard’ in a derogatory tweet
Recently, conservative pundit Ann Coulter posted a comment on her Twitter page about the Presidential debates. She wrote ‘I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.’ The ‘retard’ in the comment refers to President Obama, and it is clearly meant to be a derogatory insult. Coulter’s statement is extremely offensive to people with special needs, but she has not apologized for using this word.
Coulter’s tweet suggests that President Obama has intellectual disabilities, and that this is something to be insulted. Neither of these messages are true. People with disabilities are offended by the tweet and the use of the ableist slur because it spreads the idea that intellectually disabled people are somehow less than other people. John Franklin Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete, responded to Coulter’s tweet: ‘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.’ As a public figure, Coulter is spreading her thoughts to thousands of people. Using this word in a derogatory way will spread this hateful use among her many followers.
Coulter has a history of using offensive language in her political comments, including homophobic and racist slurs. The offensiveness of her language has been pointed out to her by blogger Ellen Seidman, who now says, ‘At this point, I’m thinking the woman must surely be aware that the word is offensive, and she chooses not to care.’ These repeated incidents of offensive language show that Coulter is refusing to consider other people. She needs to recognize that she does offend people, and she needs to apologize for it.
Dear Ms. Coulter:
Recently, you posted a tweet in which you called President Barack Obama a ‘retard.’ This is an ableist slur that is extremely offensive to many people, especially those who are intellectually disabled. The message that you have sent says that disabled people are in some way less than others. This is not true, and spreading this message spreads the idea of discrimination against disabled people.
I ask you to apologize for this tweet. You have offended many people and spread a discriminatory and hateful ideology. While your opinions about politics are respected, offensive language is not an issue of politics. Apologize for using hateful language and help stop the culture of discrimination.
[Your Name Here]