Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ann Coulter and the Prevalence of Bigotry

You may have read that Ann Coulter called Obama a "retard" on Twitter.

I'm shocked by the amount of blog comments and Tweets I've read defending Ann, because they hate Obama and/or because they think "retard" is an accurate, acceptable term.

It isn't. It's hate speech. It's a slur. You're right, "retard" isn't a bad word. But it is in the context of equating disability with something undesirable. Something insult worthy.

But, for me, Ann Coulter's use of this term, and her supporters' defence of it, is not really the main issue.

The issue is that it is socially acceptable to use this term for some reason. People who use the word, or are okay with it, argue that it's okay because "retard" is a real word and they aren't referring to people with intellectual disabilities. They love them! "I'm not hateful. My neighbor has Autism. This is about Obama, not slow kids, you PC libtard @$#%#*!" (It ALWAYS turns into a partisan thing.)

The issue is that despite Ann's lack of tact, her hate speech, people follow her. She is influential. That scares me.

The issue is that even many of those who admonished Ann, mostly liberals, used hate speech. Calling her a "tranny," saying that she is the retard. What does that say about the discourse and our attitudes to transexuals and intellectually disabled people?

3 comments :

  1. An loves attention, and there's nothing she won't do to get that attention.

    Presumably, she is smart enough to realize that, while it's okay to criticize public figures in cruel ways, it's simply NOT okay to do so by using slurs.

    She knows this - and she knows it's not about being PC or not being PC.

    She called John Edwards a "fag" a few years back, she knows the drill.

    I just don't get it...

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  2. Katy - I don't get it either. She was on "Piers Morgan" tonight complaining about the "word police," when here she is deciding which words are loaded and which ones aren't. But it's not her decision. She's either ignorant to how loaded and offensive and painful it is, which I think a lot of people who use it are, or she doesn't care.

    You can't use a word that is so hurtful to people with intellectual disabilities and then say "I'm not referring to them." You can, but you can't remove this context, especially when you're aware that it exists.

    I didn't know about her "fag" comment. I'm not surprised.

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  3. Yes, retard is a word, just the same as idiot savant, insane or ni**ar... Does not make it OK to use them...

    But most politicians will take you on a crazy roller coaster ride of justification rather then just say "I am sorry, I was wrong, I should not have said that"

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