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Palin Says White House Chief Emanuel Should Be Fired Over ‘R-Word’


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Sarah Palin is calling on President Barack Obama to fire his chief of staff after a report last week quoted Rahm Emanuel using the word “retarded.”

“Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the ‘N-word’ or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page.

The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate has a son with Down syndrome.

Palin’s comments follow outrage last week by a host of advocacy groups after The Wall Street Journal quoted Emanuel using the phrase “f—ing retarded.”

In response, Emanuel called Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver to apologize last Wednesday, a move first reported by Disability Scoop. Shriver accepted Emanuel’s apology.

“The White House remains committed to addressing the concerns and needs of Americans living with disabilities and recognizes that derogatory remarks demean us all,” a White House official told Disability Scoop at the time.

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Comments (7 Responses)

  1. marieanne says:

    Using the word retarded isn’t particularly sensitive, but the republicans are hardly a sensitive or even sensible bunch themselves.

  2. Thur Annfin says:

    Sarah Palin, my aren’t you precious!

    The same Republican party that has stood in the way of health care reform for decades gets it’s feathers ruffled by someone saying the R-word. Oh my!

    My daughter who has DS was by far more harmed because I couldn’t buy health insurance for her — no private insurer would have her at any price. She went uninsured from age 5, when my corporate job evaporated, to age 18 when she became eligible for Medicaid. Would Ms. Palin like to try and raise her little boy without health coverage? You want to know about “Death Panels?” I know all about them — they’re insurance companies who decided my child’s life was without worth just because she has Down syndrome.

    I’d say Palin has a lot of nerve, but I think she is actually somewhat psychopathic and without true human compassion. Everything she does is for her own gain.

    I don’t think many people will disagree that Rahm Emanuel is a bit of an A-hole, but to fire him for saying a word that millions of Republicans and Democrats use every day? By and far the majority of eople do not use the word “retarded” to denigrate the truly disabled or cognitively challenged. It’s just a word that people picked up to mean that something isn’t intelligent. The words “moron” and “idiot” were once clinical words just like “retarded.”

    Be honest with yourselves…how many of you ever used the R-word before you had your own challenged kid?

    Awareness needs to be raised, it’s true. But Ms. Palin is hypocritical in her high dudgeon-act. She wears that child of hers like a godly weapon for the Republican party.

  3. erica says:

    The word retarded is not sensitive to whom?! People without disabilties?, of course not because being a person without disabilities is not seen as undesirable quality. No one ever says “your so normal”, or “thats normal”. The special olympics would not have initiated a campaign against using the r-word if it was not sensitive. The federal government would not have made a movement to remove the word from it’s books and replace it with intellectual disability if it wasn’t a sensitive word. The r-word IS sensitive to people with disabilities because people without disabilities use it in negative ways and in ways that mean that it is bad to have a disability. There is nothing bad about having a disability. Please go to and watch the testimonies of people with disabilities talk about how “not sensitive” the r-word really is. Peopel without disabilties have made the r-word “not sensitive” but it is not any less sensitive to those with disabilties. Words are powerful and in this case very hurtful.

  4. twinkie1cat says:

    Retarded is not a bad word in itself. The appropriate term for cognitive disabilities was “retarded” for a long time. It is certainly better than one of the previous terms, “mental defective” It is not like the “n-word” Social Security still uses it. Sarah Palin has not said one public thing about increasing services for children with cognitive disabilities nor come out with the kind of advocacy for people with Downs that Jimmy Carter did for Habitat for Humanity. She is just being a Republican. She is not concerned about the mentally disabled. She does not like Rahm Emmanuel because he is a Democrat. Like the hate preachers she will say anything to attract attention and money.

    “Retarded” is derogatory when used pejoratively the way “gay” often is. (You’re a retard. That’s so retarded) I have a friend who freely admits he is retarded. He lives in a high rise on his own, loves to talk about when he was in Special Olympics, and is not ashamed of his retardation. He knows his strengths and weaknesses and loves the ladies. He knows his retardation is not his fault. He was a drug and alcohol baby. He resents what his mother did to him, but is not ashamed.

    Palin should be ashamed to be the parent of a child with a disability and still a conservative!!

  5. fdang says:

    When a leader speaks an incorrect word they show their insensitivity and a lack of connectivity to the people they are trying to help. Judge a person not by what they say, but by what they do.

    Like may others, who read and post in the Disability Scoop, I am a father of an Autistic adult son. I also work for an agency that assists individuals with developmental disabilities. We are currently approaching a population of 19,000 clients. These individual’s have disabilities ranging from mild to profound.

    During this economic times, where Wall Street agents get bonus and people who earn six figure salaries get raises, the population that I work with are having their services and health insurance reduced. These are people who have no other resources to fall back on.

    In listening to the political rhetoric, these past few years, I’ve learned to classify politicians into three categories. 1.) The Blowhard, a lot of yelling and jumping signifying nothing. 2.)The politician who decreases the amount of money to help the disabled. 3.) The politician who pushes for assistance/money for disabled people.

    My question is: Which one are you Ms. Palin.

    To quote an Old UC Berkley saying: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

  6. vmoskowitz says:

    Sarah Palin is like a bad rash that won’t go away. This is the second story on Disability Scoop that has featured her idiotic comments. Enough already.

  7. job19_25a says:

    Thank you Sarah for drawing attention to this issue on national level, I doubt that any of the detractors that have made comments here would have been able to accomplish such a feat. Thank you for opening doors. It’s typical of the liberal left to fire pot shots at you, but you are standing your ground for what you believe in!
    There have now been 60,000 people sign the “end use of the “r-word.” pledge on That’s bringing awareness to this issue.
    Once again, thank you Sarah.

    As for Rush, as so often is the case, his comments were taken completely out of context. I wonder if anyone attacking him or Sarah Palin on this issue have actually read the transcript of what he said and the comments before and after? It also helps to know what satire is used for. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit. People get a grip.

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