An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

Note: The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last nightís Presidential debate. Thank you to the Special Olympics for the use of this post.


Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you arenít dumb and you arenít shallow. †So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

Iím a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the publicís 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,

John Franklin Stephens

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 Ė 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 havenít made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia

This post has been republished with permission from the Special Olympics blog.


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Top photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr


Theo v.
Theo v3 years ago

Did Ann ever reply to this open letter?

Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

I noticed that my comment had been taken off! After several people gave me green stars! So here it is again.

I don't really know this tranny bloke Anne coulter, me being from England and all, but from my little bit o' research he seems like the kind of geezer that would use the unabbreviated terms for everything, much like some of the guys in my local pub in the east end. Insensitive twats...or as they'd say in America... Insensitive T words.
U.S.A is so abbreviated! you cant use the N word because it reminds the whites of slavery - you still keep it prominent mind you! instead of using another word for it.
And you cant use the r-word (retard) because it discriminates against the mentally impaired. As someone here pointed may soon be wrong to call someone the L word, 'lame' because it discriminates against people who are truly physically lame (bad leg) and soon only Usain Bolt will be able to use the S - word (slow)

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

I really don't know what this letter is talking about. I have seen Ann Coulter of lots of shows on several different networks. I have never seen her degrade special needs people. As the mother of a son with ADD I would never support anyone who puts special people down.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush5 years ago

Ms. Coulter, as the rest on Fox, have to live up to a certain criteria, in order keep their contract.
Whether, they believe all the garbage they promote, is of little consequence to them.
If they believe most of what they say, they have sold their souls to the devil.
If they don't believe what they say, they are hypocrites.

Their salary is all that matters to them, which appears strange, if you pretend to be a Christian.

Holly M.
Holly M5 years ago

John Franklin Stephens, I don't know you, but admire you tremendously. You may take more time to say things, but you are more eloquent than many who claim to be normal. Your letter was well worth my time to read, and you expressed yourself well. Using the "r" word as an insult is one of my biggest pet peeves. Mental retardation is not a choice; it is a medical diagnosis. Stupidity like Ann Coulter's is voluntary.

Lyn B.
Lyn B5 years ago

I hate it when I accidentally hit the post button by accident while typing!

Anyway..... Thank you Cindy B, I couldn't have said it better!

Gina H.
Gina H5 years ago

John Franklin Stephens you are wonderful and I admire you so much for calling out Ann Coulter on her horrible comment. Take pride in who you are and all that you accomplish! Some day people will see how much you and others with Down Syndrome gift us beyond measure by sharing your friendship and love!

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley5 years ago

Coulter is a coward. Only someone ignorant and childish would use such a patronising remark as an insult. Grow up.

Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago


Cindy B.
Cindy B5 years ago

No, Robert B, ann coulter isn't "NOTHING;" she is SOMETHING... but in spite of having quite a huge vocabulary, I cannot seem to find the words to describe just what that "something" is, without horribly insulting the thing in question. For instance: to call ms coulter a piece of dogshit would insult innocent dogshit everywhere...

To call ann coulter anything at all would be to define, and therefore somehow limit, her vileness. And that would be inappropriate as her vileness has no boundaries. It taints and putrifies everything around her; it rises to the heavens and rides upon the solar winds into distant galaxies, tainting and putrifying all it meets there.... It cannot even be sucked into a black hole, for the black hole spits it back out, gagging and shuddering. The vileness of ann coulter may well yet knock the entire universe out of its very synchronicity.

And now, after addressing this issue, I will go take a long, hot, soapy shower. Yucccck.