Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Best Thing I've Read All Year


This is in reply to Ann Coulter tweets calling President Obama "retarded".  Story HERE

The Open letter follows in its entirety.  Again, the source is the first link.  To donate to Special Olympics (as I just did in his honor) go HERE.

What follows is the above sourced Open Letter.

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

John Franklin Stephens
The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.
Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
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.
A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia


  1. He's a whole lot nicer than the way I would respond. I bow to this man's kindness.

  2. Sophie, thank you so much for sharing John's letter. What a wonderful, loving response to Ann Coulter.

  3. Last night Obama saw fit to again avoid hard news interviews and spend time on Leno.

    Back on March 20, 2009, as part of a 40 minute session on Leno, Obama started his own controversy that devolved into a discussion of the use of the word 'retard' when he compared his bowling and his use of the White House bowling alley as being like the 'Special Olympics'.

    It just strikes me as a bit one sided for you and the media to make a big deal of a pundit's tweet while ignoring a similar comment from the leader of the free world.

    1. Avoid hard news? You mean aside from all the interviews he gave? Coming from a republican, that's laughable. ALL GOP candidates AVOID everyone but their own propaganda networks, Fox and CNN (newly aquired by Bain Capital, still owned by Romney)

      In any case, I recall the incident of which you speak. I also remember he was castigated roundly (and appropriately)by the media.

      On a related note: The GOP Noise machine are the first to insist that people "respect the office" of the president when it's occupied by a rethuglican. However, when it's not, it's open season. And now that a black man is in the office, the remarks have been downright traitorous. But who cares, right? After all, they regard anyone not exactly like them as sub-human.