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Ann Coulter Slammed For Using ‘R-Word’


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As the presidential campaign hits fever pitch, conservative political commentator Ann Coulter is taking heat for her repeated use of the word “retard.”

Coulter has taken to using the term — which is considered offensive by many with disabilities — on Twitter in recent weeks. Now her comments are generating significant backlash from the special needs community.

Initially, Coulter took to Twitter in late September, criticizing President Barack Obama by writing, “I had no idea how crucial the retarded vote is in this election.”

The tweet sparked a handful of responses from parents of those with disabilities requesting that Coulter stop using the offensive term. Some asked the right-wing pundit for an apology.

“STOP using that word! It’s like freaking nails on a chalkboard!” wrote actress and autism advocate Holly Robinson Peete to Coulter on the social network.

This week, however, Coulter continued to use the “r-word.”

“I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard,” Coulter tweeted in response to the final presidential debate Monday night.

She followed up with another comment Tuesday morning, also referring to Obama, that read “If he’s ‘the smartest guy in the room’ it must be one retarded room.”

Coulter’s choice of words is yielding criticism from bloggers and Twitter users as well as major organizations like Special Olympics, which has campaigned against the use of the word “retard” for years, and called it “sad to see (Coulter) continue her use of hateful language.”

At least one self-advocate is also speaking out, inviting Coulter to learn more about people like himself.

“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,” wrote John Franklin Stephens, who has Down syndrome, in an open letter to Coulter on the Special Olympics blog. “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.”

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Comments (61 Responses)

  1. Jon K. Evans says:

    The word is HARD CORE DISABLED-Just like Christopher Reeve, the late Rasul (Rocky) Clark, or Tammy Duckworth. Retard is like using the other ETHNIC SLURS-which I co not care to repeat and perpetuate.

  2. Katy says:

    Ann Coulter is nothing more than an offensive troll who is groping for attention because her latest badly-written book is not selling very well. Ignore trolls.

  3. Keenan Wellar says:

    The John Stephens letter is great – obviously it will have no impact on Coulter, but getting public attention to the points made has great value. I find it is somewhat unfortunate however that much of the “anti-r-word” movement is contained under the Special Olympics brand. The “s-word” is a big problem too – not just the word “special” but the segregation that comes with it – special schools, special classrooms, special housing, special sports…it’s all a part of the problem. If we can’t bowl together, that’s pretty sad, isn’t it?

  4. Thomas C. Wood says:

    I am not the “R” word.
    I am a person with Autism (Asperger’s) & Cerebral Palsy.
    Ms. Coulter is a shrill jerk who’s only enjoyment out of life is to trash other people.

  5. Johannes says:

    Some people are retarded that does not make them any less human. Caucasian is the minority race in the world that does not make us any less human. When a person uses the qualities of a group of people as an insult that should not diminish those people but it sure puts a question mark on the qualities of the user.

  6. 4-DEEDS-UNDONE says:

    This entire issue has nothing to do with politics! I value the first amendment and recognize that she has the right to say whatever she wants. Those same liberties apply to us as well and it’s past time we put aside political differences and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. There is an online petition at entitled “lets get ann coulter off the air”. As soon as it gets 10,000 signatures it will be sent out world wide to every subscriber. I would urge anyone who wants their voices heard to sign it, just enter the words “ann coulter off the air into any search engine and you’ll find it. Another way is to send an email to her publishers at and focus on common decency instead of politics. Any support is appreciated.

  7. Glen S says:

    As another poster stated: Why is this community not in an uproar about Bill Maher? Can anyone say, “Double Standard?”

  8. Laurie says:

    Can you believe she said it means “loser” and defended her use of it on Pierce Morgan last Friday night (Oct. 26, 2012)?!

  9. Logan says:

    It is sad and even tragic that someone who has a high profile choose to use such degrading and offensive language just to get and keep her being the center of the public attention. She is so hateful that she will ignore the cries and pleas of people (even those with disabilities – myself included) to stop using such hurtful and unnecessary language.

  10. Denise says:

    Her comments are completely unacceptable. There should be an outcry so large that the media can’t stop talking about it.

  11. Beverly says:

    Ann Coulter is offensive 90% of the time that her mouth opens and since it never shuts! She is one of those “tell it like it is” – a genuis in her own mind spewing her volumous words of ignorance. Ms Coulter should you shut your mouth long enough and open your heart and mind – maybe the next time you speak you might be sensitive to the fact that your words are hurtful and distructive to so many people with special challenges in an already cruel world.

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