Man with Down syndrome responds to Ann Coulter’s ‘retard’ insult

‘You just wanted to belittle the president by linking him to people like me’

John Franklin Stephens didn’t take kindly to conservative author Anne Coulter’s use of the word “retard” in an insult hurled at President Barack Obama during Monday night’s presidential debate, so he did something about it.

Stephens, 30, a Special Olympics athlete who has Down syndrome, felt so strongly that he wrote an eloquent open letter to Coulter after she tweeted: “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.”

In the letter, which is posted at the Special Olympics website, Stephens questions why Coulter chose to use such a hurtful word, writing: “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 writes that people like him, who are described using the “R-word”, are often bullied in school, have to struggle to be thoughtful about everything they say and are “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.”

This letter isn’t the first time Stephens has spoken up for people with intellectual disabilities. He penned an editorial for the Denver Post, speaking against the film Tropic Thunder, which repeatedly used the word retard as an insult.




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Man with Down syndrome responds to Ann Coulter’s ‘retard’ insult

  1. Stephens has a clearer sense of fairness and more integrity in his little finger, than that vile woman has in her whole body. Hopefully this will end Romney s Campaign stone dead, judge a man by the company he keeps!.

    • Wrong! One bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch! If that was the case, OBAMA would have been rotten a LONG time ago!

  2. “posted on” the Special Olympics web site

    • Saying it was “posed on” the site is also correct.

  3. I have such respect for Mr. Stephens. Thank you so much, and your voice is valuable in our society’s journey towards respect for those with disabilities and challenges.

  4. A noble endeavour no doubt, but futile. It would be best if we collectively ignore intellectual deadweights like Coulter and Limbaugh: they thrive on the light of day some give them.

  5. I am more confused about why anyone listens to her in the first place. Not long ago, people had a following due to their expertise on a topic: law, sociology, religion, math – you name it. We used to idolize people who can actually contribute something to the world. Now we are in the age of any attention is good attention; you get attention by being the most base and ludicrous human being out there? no problem – at least you got some attention. Thankfully Mr. Stephens is the one who comes out looking like a hero in this case.

  6. Coulter’s ruthless and heartless nature makes me wonder what happened to her as a child or during her formative years to make her so vile. It must have been horrible!

  7. Coulter is a self-promoting boor. Pay her no attention. She craves it.

  8. The odd thing is that Ann Coulter and Bill Maher are best friends yet they espouse opposite views. This leads me to believe that NOTHING that comes out of the mouths of people like Ann Coulter is in any way an honest expression of their feelings. I think she says everything and anything that will shock people and make her money. The sad thing is that she appeals to alot of people who believe in the crap she is “selling”. She won’t be anymore affected by this gentleman’s open letter than she was when a young student of Arab ethnicity stood up and asked her about her comment that all Muslims should eshew planes for magic carpets. Ann just gets more publicity and sells more books.

  9. First, getting insulted over a word and trying to censor everything is a joke. Second, Anne Coulter is a joke and professional troll who will say and do anything to get on TV. She is just seeking attention so will write a trite apology and get even more news coverage when she should be completely ignored. Don’t feed the trolls

  10. Thanks Mr. Stevens. You are an inspiration to everyone to stand up to ignorant people like this. I can’t believe the stupidity of this ‘lady’.

  11. Sorry about the spelling on my last post

  12. So is Maclean’s planning to write something about the fact that the Obama White house lied and deceived the American people about the events in Benghazi?
    Or can we expect to see more of the same absurd fixation on Coulter and Trump?
    Coulter’s use of a nasty word is supposed to be news? She does that every day. Can’t wait for the daily Anne Coulter post.

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