So yes, this is another “public figure drops the r-bomb” post. Because ever since I wrote about our interpretation of “being retarded” – well, I notice it more now.
Once again, I have Twitter to thank for bringing this one to my attention – Repeat R-Word offender, Ann Coulter.
Ann. Ann. Ann.
What are we going to do with you? You keep using the word “retarded” which, as a mother of a special needs child, just raises my hackles.
In 2011, you called an MSNBC host a “retarded person”.
This week, you tweeted this gem –
I’m not even sure how to address this with you. You are a well-educated woman who is an author, a writer, a commentator. You earn your living with words, both spoken and written. And yet you keep flinging the word “retarded” around as an insult to people.
Well, it is insulting. But not in the way you mean it.
It’s insulting to anyone with a mental disability, or who has a loved one with a mental disability. It’s insulting to those of us who have children with a label of “mentally retarded”. It is insulting to my child, to my children, to my husband and to me.
Let me tell you a story Ann…
A couple of years ago, my daughter Miriam came home from school, storming into the house, in a state of anger I’d never seen from her before. She was told by a friend that her younger sister Maura was being made fun of at school. This upset Miriam a lot. Now I did not jump to instant fury. Sometimes things get blown up in the retelling. Instead, I decided to ask about it at school.
Except before I could ask anyone at school what was going on, I witnessed first-hand a classmate of Maura’s making fun of her. Right in front of me. I was nearly speechless, I was so shocked by this little girl gleefully mocking my child, who at the time, was crying and upset over something.
When I talked to the teacher the next day, I found out that this was an ongoing problem. When I talked to a friend, I found out that her child was also being made fun of for having special needs.
There’s a point to this story Ann. Which is this –
How are we supposed to be teaching our children not to bully, not to make fun of those who are different, to grow up to be kind good people who respect others, when adults like you hurl the word “retarded” around as an insult?
I would love to see how you can explain your choice of words to my older three children. Please, explain to them how it’s okay for you to use the word “retarded” the way you do. Because even to my 12 year old, it’s not an acceptable word choice. My 16 yr old son would use the word “pathetic” to describe an adult who uses “retarded” as an insult.
I have a very smart 16 year old.
So really, any time you want to discuss with my children why it’s okay to hurl the word “retarded” as an insult, please, come on over.
I think you could learn a thing or two.
In the meantime, I won’t hold my breath and think that you’ll actually change your ways. It would be lovely if you did, but obviously, you don’t care enough as you keep flinging the word about as an insult. Sure, it is within your rights. You can use that word all you want to describe voters and tv hosts and anyone else you choose.
But let’s be honest – the only person it makes look stupid…is you.