Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Spread the Word

It happens all too often when I am out in public. The grocery store. The park. A museum. A bank. I don't even know why I bother to go into Walmart. The r-bombs, dropped everywhere, all around, no thought to anything, or anyone.

Going online, its like a blitzkrieg. That's so KABLAMO! Really? You are so WHAM! Come on, don't be such a KAPOW!

Gotta love the responses when you say something, too. Did you know you can offend someone, even when you "don't mean to"? That something can be hurtful, even if you "don't mean it that way"? That referring to yourself by a derogatory term does not make it less derogatory and insulting?

Then there are the folks who mean it just as they say it, and have no qualms with telling you that people with disabilities don't have the right to be educated, or accommodated, or even to live. Waste of breath, waste of resources, waste of time. After all, what do kids in special ed have to give back to society, anyway, after we spend so much money on them? Why not just let kids with severe physical issues just, well, die?

Going through life seeing red is really bad for my blood pressure. And I already have enough issues with my blood pressure, thank you very much. The sheer disrespect the use of this term spreads and reveals is enough to make one run screaming into the night, without people actually trying to defend it. And people who really think people with disabilities are a waste of space? They forget that it could easily... easily... be their kid. Their sibling. Their parents. Them.

And the "oh, I don't mean Joey" excuse? Yes, you do. Because that term is tossed at him all the time, used to refer to him, whispered behind his back and snickered at him from across the room all the time. So yes, when you are using this term, you are referring to my son.

And you know the real kicker? Joey doesn't even have intellectual disabilities. It isn't a term just about intellectual disability. It is a term used to degrade and dehumanize anyone who is seen as different, who talks a little differently, acts a little differently, is interested in different things or in different ways. It dismisses everything about people that is positive, constructive, and human. Joey's talents in math, in reading, in visual perception? Out the window. Because retards don't have strengths. That is how that term is being used, understood, bandied about, and wielded. Useless, ugly, stupid, irritating, waste of time, waste of space, contemptible, odd, crappy, disgusting, slow, insignificant. That is what you mean.

That is what you say about my sons when you use this word.

Please. Stop.

1 comment:

Stimey said...

Well said. People obliviously say this in front of me all the time and there is nothing that paralyzes me faster. Especially if it is someone who really should know better—people who have kids with disabilities themselves, for instance.