Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Can I have your attention????

As the Mom of a child with Special Needs, I wear lots of hats. Nurse, Mommy, therapist, teacher, insurance agent, travel agent, and the biggest job I have is ADVOCATE. I don't just advocate for MY son, I advocate for all people with special needs.

One of the absolute BEST campaigns is Tim Shriver's Special Olympics "Spread the Word to End the Word" Campaign. The word we are talking about?  Retard or retarded.

You have all heard people use it, or you might have yourself.  "Oh that is so retarded"  "You are SUCH a retard!"  Yeah - we get that you think you are joking. The thing is - it's not funny.  You are using those words as a slam - as a putdown. Your aim is to bring down somebody to the level that you THINK my son lives at. The only one you are bringing down is yourself.  DOn't quote the dictionary to me. Don't site your right to free speech. To paraphrase Tim Shriver, you have the right to make a fool of yourself. We also have the right to tell you HOW those words affect us.

Don't believe me?  Maybe this will help:


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Blogger Happy Elf Mom said...

I love it! I believe in the right of people to say whatever they're going to say, but it IS akin to using an ethnic slur. It is not acceptable in polite company.

I wanna be polite company. God bless you and keep advocating. :)

May 25, 2011 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger Sharon J said...

Excellent post! Two more words that I've regularly heard used amongst adults putting each other down are "mong" and "spastic". Both of those make me cringe, too.

Of course you're right about everybody having the right to say whatever the like, but when a person knows that a particular word is hurtful then I don't believe they have the right to use that word in the company of those who are likely to be hurt by it. Unfortunately, some fully functioning adults have worse social skills than my son, so why use the word retard in his presence (or mine!)? Mystifies me!

May 25, 2011 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger To Love Endlessly said...

fantastic post!!

May 25, 2011 at 8:52 PM  

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