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The guest post for today comes out of a response to inappropriate, thoughtless and wrongly used words. The response, on the other hand, was appropriate, intelligent and wise.

During one of the recent American Presidential debates, conservative American colonist Ann Coulter tweeted the following, “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.” 

I am pretty sure that Ms. Coulter regrets the wording and insinuation of her tweet, nonetheless, she, a professional person of words and their meanings, should have known better!

The best response to her tweet was by John Franklin Stephens, whose response is well thought out, wise and very gracious. Mr. Stephens is a Special Olympics athlete with Down syndrome. He knows something of the word ‘retard’ and can speak to the power of that word from a place of very intimate knowledge and experience.

To me, his most powerful statement is, “no one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.” Amen to that!

Oh, and since the election is so soon, and I don’t want to be held responsible for swaying the American public to vote one way or the other (with my readership of … five 😉 ), the American liberals also have a special needs skeleton in their closet. Back in 2009 President Obama, when on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, joked about his bowling score of 129 “was like the Special Olympics or something.”

Obama did apologize to Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman.

Apologies are good, but it is better to think BEFORE we speak, because out of our lips are often the words of our heart.

And, as Mr. Shriver said after the presidential apology, “I think it’s important to see that words hurt and words do matter. And these words that in some respect can be seem as humiliating or a put-down to people with special needs do cause pain and they do result in stereotypes.”

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