Friday, February 5, 2010

Let's Talk...

About the word "retard"...

According to one of my favorite websites, (yes, I am a dork, thanks very much) the word "retard" has been around since about 1480. It means to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.

We all know what retard means, we all ALSO know that it's a derogatory word used to describe a developmentally or physically handicapped person. Retard/retarded used to be a clinical term to describe a handicapped person and is still used that way by some medical professionals, however as a general rule, most people who use the word retarded use it as a derogatory term, usually to mean something is stupid.

Now...I have a child who is, indeed, physically handicapped, retarded, if you will. I don't use the word retard to describe him OR any other handicapped person AND I sure as hell don't use the word retard to describe something stupid. I don't use the word, I don't allow my children to use the word, and I've even been known to tell people to STOP using the word in my home around my children. It's not an acceptable word in my home any more than the "n" word or any other derogatory word that could be used to describe someone/something.

It's no secret that I do NOT like Sarah Palin, can't stand the woman for a myriad of reasons, one of them being the way I feel she exploits her special needs child for political gain, BUT be that as it may, that's not the point of this. The point is, last week Rahm Emanuel used the word "retarded" to mean that something was stupid. I was taken aback as I pretty much love Emanuel and have been a big supporter of the whole Obama entourage since day one.

Sarah Palin, God bless her, took Emanuel to task about his use of the word retard and I thought "Well good for you, Palin, something we can both agree on. Way to go" I had a bit more respect for her after hearing her statement and then the seeing the way Emanuel responded. I thought it was a good thing.

HOWEVER good old Rush Limbaugh decided to go off on one of his trademark rants (gee, can you tell I'm a HUGE fan of his...or not) and used the "r" word repeatedly.

Now, this would have been an excellent chance for Ms. Palin to really get on the boat, to REALLY prove to me (and countless other special needs families) that she wasn't being political when she lashed out at Emanuel and demanded he be fired, that she GENUINELY did not like him using the word; a non partisan rebuke, if you will. But did she? No, she did not. She, through her publicist said "Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful"

Well, thanks Sarah Barracuda, way to make old Rush feel badly. You call for Emanuel's job but can't even mention Rush by name when speaking out about using the word retard? WHAT is wrong with this picture?

Using the word retard as a derogatory slur is WRONG, regardless of who says it. Bi partisan politics be damned, it's wrong and Rush should have been point blank called out on it.

I'm sorry but if Palin REALLY wanted to be an advocate for her special needs son and all of the other special needs children and family in this country, she would have taken Limbaugh to task the way she felt the need to take Emanuel to task. That little bit of respect I had for Palin is gone because CLEARLY this was a political move, not a genuine statement for ALL special needs families and quite frankly, I think it's bullshit. She wants to be respected and thought of as a champion for special needs parents and children all over and can't even take someone like Rush Limbaugh and tell him, point blank, what he did was wrong. Ridiculous.

I'd be happy to tell Limbaugh, to his face, that using the word retard is wrong, it's hurtful, it's derogatory and it's certainly not appropriate for a person of his political and public stature to perpetuate the hate the comes along with the word retard. Grow up and broaden your vocabulary Limbaugh.

Maybe you're like me and don't like the "r word...if so there's a website out there for out there for you to show your support in getting rid of this awful word.

Join my family and I as we pledge our support to eradicate this derogatory term in every day speech.

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