The Epiphany Season
Shane Kennedy, Ann Coulter
Coulter responded with a jab at the way the student talked.
"You don't want the Republicans in power, does that mean you want a dictatorship, gay boy?" she said.
-Aasen, Adam. "Ann Coulter splits IU's crowd." Indiana Daily Student 24 February 2006
Then, the head of a Republican student organization said some more.
IU College Republicans President Shane Kennedy defended Coulter's comments by stressing that the speech was for entertainment and attendees should have expected Coulter to say controversial comments.
"I think the guy could have been more respectful to her," he said. "I mean, we already know that she was going to be controversial and she was just saying what people were thinking. If you are going to talk like you are gay, then Ann Coulter is going to call you gay."
Mr. Kennedy (congrats on your very Republican name by the way), I fail to follow your reasoning. Are you saying that people who "talk" gay, whatever that means, need to be more respectful than those who do not?
Judging by your name, I'll say you're "named" Democrat. Should I call you Democrat, Democrat boy?
And judging by your Facebook profile's "About Me" section . . .
"I believe in allowing whomever [sic] cares to develop their [sic] own opinion"
. . . I assume that you do, at least on some slightly incoherent level, respect the integrity of other people. I would assume this about you anyway; it's one of the underpinnings of a civil society.
So, isn't the gay-talker entitled to the same respect that you claim he should have afforded Ms. Coulter?
You should have distanced yourself from Ann Coulter's comments. She's a big girl, she can take care of herself. (She, for instance, will not have the minutiae of her Facebook and Friendster profiles posted for posterity by a rogue graduate student.)
Instead, you sided with her and against a fellow student, a student who "talks" gay, whatever that means. Dumb move, Mr. Kennedy.
Your comments in the Indiana Daily Student are offensive to the very idea of civil, democratic society, and I am worried that you are a homophobic frat boy. I don't know that you are a homophobic frat boy, but it is tempting to stereotype you, the very same way that you and Ms. Coulter stereotype and single out people who "talk" gay, whatever that means.
I am tempted to stereotype you as a homophobic frat boy because your Facebook interests are a little one-sided:
Beautiful Women, Politics, World Issues, Women, Sports, Acting & Theater, Enjoying Life, and oh yeah...WoMeNYour Friendster profile's "Who I want to meet" is in the same vein:
An independent girl who doesn't need me to support her. Someone who is with me because they [sic] want to be,not [sic] because they [sic] have to be.
Mr. Kennedy, if you told me -- assuming I was a girl -- I was with you because I had to be, I would call the police. Forcing someone to be with you isn't really a viable option (legally speaking), but I for one am glad you clarified your intentions anyway. As you well know, there are a lot of girls out there secretly hoping to be forced into a relationship with you. They would probably never admit this, but they still crave it, deeply.
An independent thinker whom I would be proud to conversate [sic] with.
Can this be true? I very much doubt you would "conversate" (is that Republican-speak for "conservative conversation?") with anyone who disagreed with Ms. Coulter's political views. But if you're being honest (you know, like the current Republican administration) you've opened the door to a new dating demographic: female Democrats who want to be forced into a relationship with you.
Ooh! I feel a Venn diagram coming on. Wait, it's passing now. Okay, no diagram.
And be careful. Your preposition is dangling.
She has to be attractive so that my attention is on her at all times.
This sounds obsessive to me, and I don't see an opportunity for a long term relationship to form. Relationships are based on more than just physical attraction. I am also concerned that you may have an unhealthy image of the female body and would relentlessly impose these unrealistic societal "norms" on your target.
Why can't your attention wander? What is it that you're worried about exactly? Men? Mr. Kennedy, are you worried that you might have feelings for the opposite gender? The opposite gender of Ms. Coulter?
Someone who likes taking chances both physically and emotionally.
Mr. Kennedy, I assume you know that unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy and/or disease. Your future girlfriend will be taking emotional risks if she is forced to be in a relationship with you, develops an eating disorder, gets pregnant and, all the while, has to listen to your political perspective
A girl who understands what the true meaning of happiness is. Who is not rapped [sic] up in themselves [sic]. Who makes me as happy as I hope to make them [sic].
At this point, your incessant use of the third person plural makes me wonder if you aren't expecting to live some kind of double life (i.e., you would have multiple romantic partners) -- that is, if you aren't living one already.
Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? I have not. Would you like to go sometime?
Will stand up for herself. Is not engulfed in drama 24/7. Did I mention she has to be able to have fun in any situation?
Mr. Kennedy, your parents have both died in a terrible car accident. You are summoned back to Greensburg, your hometown, for the funeral. It's Thursday, and it's raining. You and your girlfriend Amber go into the church, hang up your dripping outerwear on the rusty narthex coat rack and are ushered into the small, carpeted church, all the way to the front of the nave. The organist is playing a historically-informed rendition of Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, S. 687 on organo pleno. Amber touches your arm and gives you a knowing look. She stands up for herself, surprisingly not engulfed in the drama that surrounds her. She trots up to the organ and slides onto the bench. After a moment, she pulls the Quintadena and Nasard in the left hand, the Rohrflute and Tierce in the right, and begins pounding out the "continuo" for Heart and Soul. After some convincing, the church organist begins playing the melody line on the Regal. They finish to thunderous, yet weepy applause. Amber joins you back in the pew and offers you a Mentos. What a catch.
Doesn't take life too serious [sic]. Accepts me for who I am. Yeah, I know, this is a lot, but she is out there.
Word, Mr. Kennedy. Word. But I think you might be talking like you're gay.
Whatever that means.
It's not just me: Wikipedia currently references Coulter's IU speech, "Liberals hate both God and America."
UPDATE: (27 Feb 22:31) Shane Kennedy has written me to express that he feels wildly misrepresented by the IDS article: "I do feel the need to
let you know that I am in no way a 'homophobic frat boy', and understand your
thoughts after reading the short quote taken out of context that would lead
you to feel that way."
With his permission,
I am hosting a letter Shane Kennedy sent to the author of the IDS article.
(I received this in an attachment from Shane Kennedy. The document properties summary, however, lists the author as John P. Ramey.)
UPDATE: 18 Feb 2011 To protect the privacy of a third party, we have removed the MS Word document from Sinden.org, but the full text of the letter is below:
Mr. Adam Aesen,
Once again I have trusted you and given you my time for an interview that I thought would be represented fairly. In your mind you may have thought that you did indeed represent me fairly, but once again I am disappointed to say that I feel as if you haven't. During our 10 minute interview we discussed a wide range of topics which would have portrayed me as the moderate I am, and not the neo-conservative who believes everything that Ann Coulter says and does. Maybe you should have put my quote in the article where I said that a large majority (including myself) of conservatives don't agree with everything Ann Coulter said. You only quoted me on the one topic in which you could spin to be controversial. Where you have failed to be unbiased as a journalist is the way you lead into my quote. It enabled the reader to already be hostile towards my upcoming quote that they have yet to read. By saying I was defending Ann Coulter for calling a kid gay. I was in no way defending this, but stated my feelings on the fact that she said it. That was the question, not whether she was right or wrong for doing so. It is not my place to pass that judgment.
I have received numerous emails today from random people who are very upset with what I said. Granted, if I were to read the article without having any knowledge of the other topics discussed between you and I, and not knowing me as a person, I would be angry as well. Dealing with the press is new to me, I took this job to learn a different type of leadership. The Army's way of leadership is much different than motivating a bunch of volunteer college students to do a job. I am learning how a few of my words can be speculated and construed in many different ways, therefore allowing many people to view me in a very unsatisfying manner.
I am hereby requesting that you either print everything that was discussed by you and I in a timely manner (7 days), or I will go to the Herald Times for an interview to get this cleared up.
At first, I was not bothered by the emails because I realize that no matter what I say or do, or how sincere my intentions are, people are going to disagree with me. But when they have the right to be angry with me due to an article being depicted in a way to make me look the way you have, then I feel as if it is my responsibility to clear this up. I have done two articles with the IDS so far, and you guys are 0-2.
This letter is being Carbon Copied to the editor of the IDS as well as some other people who deserve to see this.
[Email address redacted]@swbell.net
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