Wednesday, 6 March 2013
Spreading The Word....
Today is a day to spread awareness about how hurtful, offensive and ignorant it is to use the word "retard". There are so many other words that can be used to express ones feelings. Today is a day to become aware and take the pledge to stop using that word as a synonym for stupid, silly, ridiculous.....you get the idea.
One would think that all those who have a child with a disability already "get it". That the sting of hearing the R Word cuts to the core, to the very fibre of ones being. That when they hear that word being used all that comes to mind is their perfect, beautiful child's face. That those using "retard", those saying "I lost my keys! I am so retarded!" These people are saying that they are as stupid as a person with a developmental disability.
One would think....
But I have heard retard used within the special needs community more then once. Each time I have been so stunned that I am unable to formulate any words. I am shell shocked. I do not know what to say.
Perhaps like those without a child with a disability, perhaps it is such a habit that they don't even know when they are using that word or maybe some truly don't understand how offensive the R word is.
Perhaps there is a culture of ignorance in this small town. Not only is the special needs community here NOT a community (it's more of a "you're on your own sweet cheeks" kind of community). Perhaps this lack of community perpetuates the lack of knowledge about the offense of retard.
Or maybe, some of those in the special needs community think it's ok for them to use retard? You know, kind of like how some people in the Afro-American/Canadian community think it's ok for them to use ni**$* to one another?
I really don't know as I am just speculating and thinking "out loud" so to speak.
All I know is that words are tools that have the power to unit or alienate people, communities, families.
The more people do their best to show kindness and respect to all people, the less the R Word will be used.