Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spread the Word!

So I missed yesterday - sorry.  Kids took precedence!  Forgive me if I blog about the "Spread the Word to End the Word" a day late.

Retard.  Retarded.

Two of the most hateful, and hurtful, words in the English language.  I put it up there with a number of other words that I can't even bring myself to type.  N-word for African-Americans.  K-word for Jews.  S-word for Hispanics.  C-word for Asians. 

Yes, I realize that the true meaning of the the word "retarded" is "delayed."  I do not object to its usage as such.  Delay implies that you will get to your goal eventually.  It just might take you longer.  My children are both retarded in their speech-language skills.  But I can see the growth and progress every single day.  Their communication skills improve noticibly.  They will succeed, just at their own pace.

However, the majority of those who use this word use it as a derogatory term to mean STUPID, DUMB, IDIOTIC, etc.  Two very different meanings.  My children are far from stupid, dumb or idiotic.  And when someone uses the R-word as such, it is beyond hurtful.  You don't know my children (well, some of you do), so using this term in a derogatory way will bring out the pissed-off, short, Polish mom in me.  I will call you on it.  And odds are, I will not be nice.

People who claim that it's "just a word" have obviously never been in the minority.  It hurts.  It scars.  It offends.  it angers. But it also shows that those who use it are somewhat lacking.  If you use the R-word as a slam, you will NEVER reach your full potential as a human being.  You are CHOOSING hate.  Yet my children reach and push their potential every single day, loving everyone they come into contact with (ok, not the nurses when they have to give shots, but seriously...). 

And I'm not asking for top-down censorship.  Yes, this is America, and we have free speech.  You do have the right to say whatever you would like.  But we, as a society, don't have to condone it.  I want to see this word become as taboo as some I mentioned earlier.  No law is stopping you from using those, but if you have half a brain, you know those are simply not acceptable.  And the R-word is not acceptable either.

My children are loving, bright, fun, smart, witty, manipulative, amazing, happy, silly, excited, friendly little buggers.  They reach their potential - will you?