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Author Chuck Klosterman Backs Up R-Word Apology with $25,000 Charity Donation

The website disabilityscoop.com was co-founded in 2008 by journalist Michelle Diament and photographer Shaun Heasley. Today, Heasley has a heartwarming item about the recent actions of author and New York Times columnist Chuck Klosterman.

Picking up on some local TV coverage late last week in Portland, Maine by Tim Goff, Heasley recaps what happened when Kari Wagner-Peck – the mother of a seven-year-old with Down syndrome – wrote about the author-journalist’s use in past work like this 2008 New York magazine article of the words “retards,” “retard” and “non-retarded:”

Wagner-Peck told WCSH-TV that days later she was overwhelmed when Klosterman not only replied, but owned up.

“I have spent the last two days trying to figure out a way to properly address the issue you have raised on your website. I’ve slowly concluded the best way is to just be as straightforward as possible: I was wrong. You are right,” Klosterman wrote.

Klosterman added that he plans to donate $25,000 to the charity of Wagner-Peck’s choice. “I have done something bad, so help me do something good.”

The Portland mom posted her open letter to Klosterman on November 7 and followed up November 12 with his response. Klosterman’s actions remind it’s never too late to do the right thing.

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