It would be rather hypocritical of me to reprimand anyone for not being politically correct. As a small statured woman with a physical disability who authors a blog entitled “Adventures of the Gimp Avenger,” I understand that there can be some merit to ‘shock value.’ However, there is really no value or merit in using inappropriate vocabulary which only hurts innocent and vulnerable people.
It was not all that long ago that I stopped using the “R-Word.” I was not trying to be hurtful when I used this word. I was simply ignorant. For this, I am truly sorry. Fortunately, back in April I had the privilege of interviewing a young man named Dakota Johns. He is a recent high school graduate, motivational speaker, a ‘Best Buddies International’ Ambassador, supporter of the Special Olympics, an entrepreneur, and a true and honest friend with a great sense of humor who has Downs Syndrome. During this interview, Dakota educated me about the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign. He informed me that using the R-Word makes many with intellectual disabilities feel bad about themselves and hurts their feelings.
Suddenly, this word affected me on a personal level…like flipping a switch. This hateful word has the power to make my very gentle and kind friend sad. That is not acceptable. As an activist/advocate for people with disabilities and as a compassionate human being, there is no way that word could remain in my vocabulary now that I understand the magnitude of its negative impact.
People make mistakes every day but only those with integrity admit it and apologize. I take personal responsibility very seriously, admit when I am wrong, and do my best to make amends. I’m just Jane Hash from Madison, Ohio though. Few know who I am. While I do my best to make society a safer, more accepting, and all-around better place, my affect on society as a whole is very insignificant.
Ms. Coulter, as a public figure with a wealth of resources, you have an excellent opportunity in front of you if you choose to take it. I challenge you to take it. I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and face those who you are hurting. I challenge you to volunteer at a Best Buddies International event, give a public apology, make a sizable donation to their organization, and then see how easily the R-Word rolls off your tongue. Only cowards hide behind their Twitters while they are calling people juvenile names, disregarding all the innocent people being negatively affected. Let’s see how big your lady-balls really are. Do you accept this challenge?
Jane Hash aka THE GIMP AVENGER