Let’s End the R-Word Once and For All
John Franklin Stephens, Special Olympics Virginia athlete and global messenger, first spoke out in a 2008 essay called “Using the Word ‘Retard’ to Describe Me Hurts.” Last October, he wrote an open letter to conservative commentator Ann Coulter, calling her out for her use of the R word as a slur in a tweet. The letter has been viewed more than 3 million times.
Frank, as he’s known to friends, has gone on to speak about discrimination all over the country. In honor of Spread the Word to End the Word’s annual day of awareness, we asked Frank to reflect on the Ann Coulter aftermath, the reason he now thanks her, and why he’s so much more than just a label. Frank will also be a guest on HuffPo Live on March 6 at 6pm EST.