Sunday, March 21, 2010

The "R" Word

I saw this comment on a thread from one of my fan pages on Facebook.

Anyone else want to send Jason a little note? Ask him what part of the quote is "funny?" Ask him if there is anything else he finds "horrifically offensive" that he's just willing to toss out into cyberworld because chances are it will still get a laugh? No, because that would only be proving the essence of his point (which could have been said in much more intelligent, creative, and useful words.) So let Jason go. And I'll remain a fan of Regretsy. For now.

I've never liked the negative use of the word "retard" or "retarded," even when I was very young. So to see it flung around so carelessly, abundantly, and ignorantly makes me feel painfully indignant, especially since the birth of sweet Mirabel just nine weeks ago.

So, what can I do? What can we do? We can make a pledge. We can teach our children, and let them teach their peers. (Watch as 7th grader Kevin makes a speech in front of his whole middle school. Seventh grade! Is there a more difficult, awkward time in childhood? This kid rocks!) We can just be aware. Don't refer to something ridiculous, tedious, or boring as retarded. Even though "mental retardation" has been replaced with the more-PC "intellectually challenged," the slang still springs from the diagnostic term.

I don't want to become one of those suddenly-sensitive and/or self-righteous types who becomes an outspoken naysayer just because I have been personally affected by something. So I won't rant or rave. Like I said, I've never used the "r-word" negatively or condoned its use. I am just now so keenly aware that it's harmful, and hateful, and so dang prevalent.

This post, by a father of a toddler with Ds, is raw and uncomfortable at times. But he says better than I ever could just why we need to "spread the word to end the word."

And it's always nice when a celebrity has something to say.

Happy National Down Syndrome Day! With my thanks to Mirabel for opening my eyes when you opened yours.


  1. Hey Emily - I'm Dan from Down With Oz. I just read your whole blog. We have a lot in common. Will you email me, pretty please? I can't find your email address.

  2. Great post, Emily! And thanks for the shout-out to Kevin :)

  3. Yet another beautiful post Emily. There is a reason why Jason has the profile picture he does...he is a thug with a bad record.

  4. Emily, I left a blog award for you on my blog :)