Saturday, October 27, 2012


"When any prevailing prejudice is attacked, the wise will consider, and leave the narrow-minded to rail with thoughtless vehemence at innovation." - Mary Wollstonecraft

Today's post is about ugliness.  It is about bullying, it is about persecution.  

Today's post is about the R-word. I have spoken of this many times in this blog, on my page and in my groupIt as offensive as any racial, ethnic, socioeconomic or sexual orientation slur.  

However, there are a lot of people, that still don't get that. 

Today's post is for those that still don't quite understand why.  This is for people like the colleague that I had to correct the other day, who responded with "What's that?" and "what context did I use it in?" (after describing her day in our new unit as, well, you know).  The answer is "no context is acceptable";  if the DSM has seen fit to remove it from all definitions, you can too.

If you still think after this post that it is just me and my little 'sensitivities', I thought I'd dispel any illusions by sharing some brilliant posts from other advocates.

Just a Word: From the Mouths of our Public Servants Edition
Just a Word: Election Edition

From Love Life and be gentle 
 Ending the use of the R word one country at a time

From Big Blueberry Eyes:
NJ Self-Advocates On the R word
An Open Letter

From Down Syndrome - Up, Up and Away!:
I Am My Daughter's Voice
Spread the Word to End the Word

From The Chronicles of Ellie Bellie Bear:
 Subnormal, Mentally R*tarded-the Use of Demeaning Labels
R-Word Rant
Ann Coulter's Tweet - A Recap of N*gger, Fag and Retard

From Reinventing Mommy:
Choose Your Words Carefully

From Today Moms:

The most poignant, quite possibly the most important one of all comes from self-advocate John Franklin "Frank" Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete who guest posted the following on the Special Olympics Website:
An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

If you think that it's funny to joke about Down syndrome, think again:

From a typical son:   
An open letter from a pissed dad
What's The Difference?

From The Chronicles of Ellie Bellie Bear:
In case you don't have the link or would like to take the pledge, you can go to Spread the Word to End the Word.

I will admit, there are some that will continue to rail against what were are trying to do here;  most of those will never get it.  There tends to be a lot of talk of "free speech" and rights and all sorts of things... the very things, in fact, that they continue to deny those with a learning disability.  They are, quite probably a hopeless cause;  I hope their children will manage to see through that.  This isn't about a few people with an axe to grind, this is about human rights.  This is about dignity and respect.

The R word is not acceptable any time, any place, any context.  I will call you on it, I will stop watching your shows, buying your products.  I will report you, I will take you to task for your irresponsibility and your cruelty,  for you are well aware of the words that you use.  "I didn't mean it that way" when you use a word that has been used to demean and degrade people, does not cut it.

If you do use this word, consider yourself on notice.

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