Looking at a list of all of the fabulous places this week’s featured blogger has been featured makes me feel a little intimidated. She’s been everywhere! But, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ellen of Love That Max in person and she’s so sweet that I forgot to be intimated. In case you haven’t met her yet, you are in for a treat.
Would You Call My Son A Retard? That’s the name of the video I made last month, to raise awareness about the rampant use of the word “retard.” It’s a very personal thing for me: My son, Max, is cognitively impaired due to a stroke he had at birth. When people fling the word around as an insult, it demeans people with disabilities—even if the word isn’t directed at my son. Saying stuff like “That’s so retarded!” spreads the idea that people with disabilities are stupid and loser-like. It demeans my son. It’s painful to hear when you love someone who is differently abled.
I’ve written about the use of the word “retard” before, and gotten a whole lot of nasty comments. Then my video made it onto CNN.com’s homepage and… whoa. The comments. Beyond ignorant and nasty. The kinder ones said “You’re retarded for doing this.” I didn’t respond. I finally stopped reading, and I decided to choose pity instead of anger. Still…
6 things I’d like to say to the nasties
1) Do you have a mother?
2) Were you perhaps raised by wolves?
3) Do you think that an ignorant or angry quote from a commenter, especially an anonymous one who’s too cowardly to use his/her real name, matters at all in this world? Nope. If anything, you’ve probably helped people understand just how much ignorance there is out there about kids with disabilities, and why I’m speaking up about one word—and about RESPECT. That’s really what matters here.
4) Do you believe that if you intellectually try to argue me out of why railing against one word doesn’t matter you’re going to sway my opinion? Nope. It matters to this mom, and to many others. It’s a hurtful word. Find another one to use, it’s not that hard.
5) If you think you’re funny by calling my efforts “retarded,” I’m sorry for your humor disability. Alas, there is no therapy for that.
6) Do you believe in karma? I do.