During these days of political posturing, words have been thrown around – intended to distract, stir anger and dismantle trust. My ears and heart were weary until this man shared his conviction and offered light to a dark and ugly time.
I share this to remind all of us — our words and presence in this world affect everyone.
Thank you, John.
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 night’s Presidential debate.
Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s 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…
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6 thoughts on “Words with meaning”
I shared this on Facebook today. Absolutely shameful. The letter said it all.
I feel the more we share this letter the more we spread the word of hope. Thank you for your words and encouragement.
Carrie, I can only feel sorry (as John Franklin Stephens did in his letter to Ms. Coulter) for people who do not recognize the face of God in people with special needs and special talents. It was my privilege for 25 years to serve the individuals at Caswell Center (the largest facility of North Carolina for people with mental and motor delays) with orthopaedic conditions. Every one of those special people had a personality, a soul, and a mind to teach me more about how every human is formed in the image of the Creator.
People with Down’s syndrome are precious and loving — always kind, friendly, and with a special type of insight revealing more intelligence than any casual observer could imagine.
The present presidential campaign is full of judgments by people who feel superior — as if people with less money, social standing, or education merit their criticism and scorn. When the President becomes a symbol and a target for that scorn, I think of his social gospel which demonstrates that all persons are created equal and deserving of respect.
More than most politicians, our President has shown by actions and laws that inasmuch as we have done it to the least of the bretheren, we have done it to Our Lord.
Thank you Carrie for your thoughts,
Ed C, MD
Good to hear from you, Ed. Your insight means a lot as I know you have been in a variety of places with a variety of people.
I’ve never had much respect for Ann Coulter before her “tweet”. Now I have less than none. John Franklin Stephens is an incredible young man — just slightly older than my stepson — and I have a world of respect for him! Thanks for sharing, Carrie!
Thanks for your comments, Sam. John’s thoughts and words are important for all of us to hear. I’m glad you stopped my my blog and offered your reflections. May we share this work together!