It seems lately I have been surrounded by ignorance. Please forgive me for starting that way. But in all honesty, that is the feeling. Intelligent people saying ignorant things.
If you read my most recent facebook status, you will find this:
In the course of five minutes, I found several of my facebook friends either using the r-word themselves or responding in a lighthearted way to someone on their wall that used the word. Skimming over the word like it was unnoticed or unimportant. Maybe it is to them. Maybe it's not important to you.
Just know, it matters to me and it matters to Eslea.
Whenever I take the time to point out to someone that they should not use that word because it is offensive to me, to my daughter, and to thousands of others, I tend to get the same response..."I didn't mean it that way".
People...the context in which you used the word clearly shows that you "meant" it that way.
That computer you just called "retarded"...I can bet you that it is not "slow in development". Which by the way is the actual definition of the word.
When you post on a picture the descriptive words "looks retarded", you are implying that someone looks less then "normal". That somehow a person that is "retarded" could not ever possibly look okay in a picture.
I would also say that people need to use that word carefully. Know the exact meaning and use it in the appropriate context. Using it in regards to your teacher (or boss, or ex boy friend) who you happen to dislike, is not correct. Quite frankly, unless you sat next to me in my intellectual assessment course...I would say you most likely are not going to ever use the word correctly. So maybe you should just not use it at all.
To take the word and shorten it to "retard" basically says that you just denied that person of being a person. That cute little girl in pigtails is no longer a cute little girl. Nope, she is a "retard".
Oh, but you didn't use that word in reference to her directly? Well please explain to me exactly who/what are you comparing whatever you just called a "retard" to?
I understand that words only have as much power as we give them.
This word, "retard", has power. It no longer is used in reference to "delayed development". Instead it is used to imply that something is less then "normal" and perhaps unworthy or even...unnecessary.
Why am I on this kick today? Because I've heard it used way too much lately.
Around me. Around my Eslea. By Friends. By Students. By Family Members.
I understand it is a hard habit to break. But it is a habit that must be broken.
If you are old enough to have a facebook account with updated pictures and statuses, you are old enough to make the decision to not degrade an entire population of human beings with one derogatory word.
That is it. I have said my peace.
Just be warned....I run into people all the time that give me plenty of material to use under this same title post.
Since that is now off my chest (breathing out), it's time to enjoy the weekend.
Happy Friday people!!