You know, The Monster Mash!
Okay, sorry. I won’t bother with my usual attempts at scatological satire. I really, really wanted to, but it all seemed so contrived (and too easy). So, let’s go with this assertion instead: There are good people in this world, there are bad people in this world, and then there are horrible people in this world.
Ann Coulter just may qualify for acceptance in the latter group (and you don’t even need to be chromosomally-enhanced to know it.)
Perhaps such an assertion is far too reductionistic. I’m sure it is, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be helpful–especially in light of the fact that Ms. Coulter’s diatribes against countless people knows no limits. From talking about ‘bombing’ anyone who doesn’t agree with her (even Canadians!) to referring to people she despises as ‘faggots’, she certainly loves the platform some media outlets extend to her hate speech. For Ann, the only way to disagree with people is to draw comparisons to them with all that she thinks is below her and/or that which she despises. You know, in her case, Canadians, people with different religious and political views, ‘foreigners’, gays, and even those who are considered mentally handicapped. (There is so much power in categorizing folks, isn’t there? This is when it may be important to read Foucault.)
That she often employs the rhetoric of hate speech is, of course, nothing new. I’m just baffled that anyone takes her seriously–and, for that, I apologize for taking time to even mention her. I’m much too busy for this nonsense, yet here I am . . . again . . .
Anyway. Given that I’m not much of a ‘high-road’ kind of guy, I thought it would be wise to allow John Franklin Stephens to plead his case in that which is the latest Coulter debacle.
Here’s his open letter to Sweet Annie:
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
Special Olympics Virginia
My only problem with this letter is I can’t figure out why John doesn’t think Ann is shallow. I’m guessing he’s just being charitable. I don’t know how he does it. Perhaps that’s part of what it means to be a stellar human being.
I wouldn’t know.
[Post-script: Seriously, though Ann . . . whatever happened to the ‘Transylvania Twist’?]
About the Author
Tripp York teaches religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than half a dozen books including, Third Way Allegiance, The Purple Crown, and Living on Hope While Living in Babylon. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume collection called the Peaceable Kingdom Series. An actor and a lighting designer, Tripp also surfs and spends his weekends shoveling elephant and giraffe poop.