Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The One For Ann (And All Her Friends)

Ann Coulter.  I have nothing nice to say about you, so I really try not to say anything at all.  It is a value that one of the many people who helped raise me into a responsible adult imparted on me.  I am not saying I'm perfect - far from it.  But I know the difference between a little bit of snarky gossip and spouting off a mouthful of batshit crazy hate.  You, Ms. C, tend to do a little too much of the latter.  So today I'm going to tell you how I feel about you - and it isn't going to be nice.

Normally when I see you pop up on television I am in the process of changing the channel.  I try not to watch any political "news" because it makes my head explode and it is kind of boring.  It means I miss a lot of the things you say on a day to day basis, and I like it that way.

But you can't hide from crazy forever, and so when I saw your Tweet that went viral yesterday it made my blood boil:

I don't know you in real life Ann.  I don't know what has happened to you in your past to make you such an angry and hateful person (and I refuse to read your books to find out).  You seem to be very comfortable using derogatory words and nasty comments as a way to get a little fame.  Most of your "journalism" consists of putting down the people you disagree with by using hate speech.  Why do you think this is okay?  Why do 1,119 people think that this kind of speech is okay?  Why aren't you as a public figure more ashamed of yourself for using this kind of language and instead adding more fuel to this fire?  Why are you still being sponsored by a major "news" network?!?!

But I can only control myself, and I can control my words.  I choose not to associate myself with people who take no issue with tossing that word around.   I choose to speak up when someone offends me with that word.  I choose to carefully pick a different word when I find something stupid, offensive, or disagreeable - unlike you Ann.

I look over at my son watching his favorite t.v. show this morning and my heart physically hurts.  Someday he will be at school, and someday he will make another little kid mad or hurt or confused - because that's life and those are kids.  Maybe he will steal their toy, or run into them while walking down the hall, or even just flap his way into class.  And then I worry that that little kid will have no problem calling my son a retard.  Why would they?  They hear that word from their parents, or they see it on tv and no one cares.  Maybe their parents and Ann Coulter use it "properly" - you know, as a way to describe a guy that cuts them off in traffic or a political candidate.  But these kids, they aren't going to be able to discriminate when it is or is not "appropriate" to use that word.  That is where I am not okay with this.

I care, and some day Little Man will care about the "r-word".  I certainly don't think that we are going to eliminate the r-word from our vocabulary anytime soon. There will always be people comfortable saying it among their friends or as a joke. There are the people that consider me to be overreacting when I flinch at their flippant use of the word. There are the people who are "allowed" to use the word because they have a disability, who are taking back the negative language. Yes, all of these things are going to continue, and we have no way of stopping it as much as it breaks my heart.

But I hope that maybe, just maybe enough people will be offended by a public figure using this word that there will be some backlash for Ann Coulter.  That she won't be able to get away this kind of talk just because it wasn't the n-word or the c-word or the s-word or any other hateful speech I can come up with off the top of my head.  I hope that Ann gets a great big karmic slapdown. 

I know life isn't always fair like that though.  So if life can't hand her a plate full of karma, I can hope for something else.  I hope that there are parents sitting down with their kids tonight and explaining to them that what Ann Coulter said is wrong and why it is hurtful and not funny or satirical.  I hope that they explain to their kids that she is not making the right word choices.  And I hope they maybe think twice before they use that word themselves.

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