Alternate title: The post that makes everyone mad.
By now you’d have to live under a rock not to have heard that Ann Coulter called the President a “retard” on Twitter after the debate the other night. I was doing my usual that evening–reading twitter, watching Netflix, just relaxing–when that word started lighting up my Twitter stream. There it was–again and again. I was lucky because all of the people who re-tweeted it were angry about it. They were disgusted and wanted to let the world know. I saw the whole thing as a desperate grab for attention–one that had obviously succeeded–and did not get in on the retweeting fun. Later, I did tweet that I thought that using slurs about the disabled for attention pretty much made you the lowest life form on the planet, but I was careful not to use Ann’s name or handle because I honestly believe nothing would have satisfied her more.
I left it at that.
But then I got to thinking and the more I thought, the madder I got. I’m pretty sure madder isn’t a word, but that’s never stopped me before.
So here’s the deal: The Special Olympics–a pretty fantastic organization–has spent the last SEVERAL years and I’m assuming some significant dollars trying to educate the public about “the r-word.” They did this because their athletes said that the word was hurtful, they didn’t like it, and they wanted people to stop using it as an insult.
So then Ms. Coulter, a woman with considerable reach and power, takes that word, takes the years of work that has been done to try to educate the population, and she politicizes it and uses it to her advantage.
I watched Twitter very carefully last night and I checked Facebook regularly today. I was re-tweeted many times about Ann Coulter and pretty much all of the people who re-tweeted me were also vocal Democrats. When I tweeted about my local radio station using the r-word, I got like two retweets. The same is true for Facebook–all of the people sharing the story were again, vocal Democrats. Suddenly, not calling people a retard because it is offensive is Republican/Democrat thing as opposed to what it actually is–A NOT BEING A JERK THING.
Using respectful language is not and should not be political, and I hate the this woman–who is obviously just trying to court controversy (she has a new book coming out!)–is making it that way. I don’t care who you vote for. I don’t.
But when you decide that you can’t call someone out because y’all vote for the same candidate? I notice that and I do care.
And when you’re suddenly the biggest supporter of the cognitively impaired because it suits your political agenda? I notice that too.
So stop. Stop riding on the backs of people who have worked for many years to make a change that has to do with dignity and not politics. I can’t take it any more.