The buzz of Ann Coulter, the ugliest* person alive, calling the President of the United States a “retard” has died down in the weeks since it happened. Perhaps it’s because winning an election is enough to smooth over any feelings of ire at being called such a slur. Most likely, I think it’s out culture’s collective ADD for important issues. Sure, we can all quote Socially Awkward Penguin, or Gangnam Style (and butcher the Korean, really people!) but our attention span for social justice is miniscule, and I’d be wrong to NOT include myself in that group. I mean, raise your hand if you remember anything about the Kony 2012 incident that ISN’T about that dude who started it getting arrested for masturbating in public.
So my point is that I am not at all surprised that the buzz over Ann Coulter being a hagfish (again) has died down, and it was amazingly naive of me to think that anything lasting would come of the conversation that erupted in the wake of John Franklin Stephen’s “Open Letter to Ann Coulter.”
Here’s what hurt the most for me, a relative of the “retarded” community: EVERYONE who is even moderately liberal leaning at least 25% of the time thought that Coulter’s behavior was (and always is) reprehensible… and then, a few days later, there it was on my Facebook. The same people calling Coulter a horrible person were back to throwing it around themselves.
Here’s the bottom line folks (with all apologies to Dr. Seuss):
You cannot say it in a car, you cannot say it in a bar
You cannot say it here or there, you cannot say it anywhere!
You cannot say it to Obama, you cannot say it my mama,
It’s a horrible offensive slur,
If you want to use it, there’s the door.
Lady Gaga and President Obama have both slipped up and apologized for marginalizing the disabled community, and Coulter should have the decency as a public figure to do the same, but more importantly, everyone should realize that it’s not OK to say it, that it ACTUALLY, REALLY HURTS PEOPLE. People like my brother, people like Rob Rummel-Hudson’s daughter (I would seriously love to get coffee with that man, and I think Schuyler and my bro would have a good time together despite a significant age difference). President Obama is not the person hurt by your use of this word, even if you direct it at him. The people you hurt sometimes lack the most basic ability to speak for themselves.
I am Irreverent on the Internet, and I speak for my brother and other broken kid’s like him: You don’t have to be a pundit and you don’t have to be malicious to hurt me and my family with your thoughtless language, and everyone, pundit or not, needs to start being held accountable. The use of this word as a slur needs to stop.
On one final note, I’ll just leave this here: Spread the Word to End the Word
*”Ugly” referring to the nature of her soul, which is hideous. As far as physical appearance, all I can tell you is that she’s blonde, and I really can’t comment on if I think she’s attractive or not
** I just had this post declared “Super awesome” it probably isn’t, but I want to know what pushing that button means, it’s complete self-indulgence.