I am sure you all have heard this before, and are probably tired of me beating a dead horse by now, but sadly I must write about it once again.
Yep, it ... the R WORD.
You see, it seems that no matter how many times I rant about how hurtful the word "retarded" can be to me, to my son, and to my family and friends; no matter how many celebrities have to publicly apologize for "accidentally" saying it in interviews; no matter how many times critics slay filmmakers for using the word in their movies; there will always be individuals in this world who just plain don't get it.
(Either that, or they are just plain mean and heartless.)
I don't think I need to go into my whole spiel again about my thoughts on THE WORD, because I am sure most of you loyal followers know exactly how I feel about it, and I am sure most of you share my sentiment on the topic. However, I must get something off my shoulders.
Thanks to Ann Coulter, my topic for today's Down Syndrome Awareness Month blog was very easy to contrive! Yes, my friends, the lovely Ann Coulter, conservative political commentator, just couldn't help herself and tweeted the following recently:
"Been busy, but is Obama STILL talking about that video? I had no idea how crucial the retarded vote is in this election.”
Really?!?! Yes, really ... she did it, friends. She threw out the R word right then and there, without ANY caution or hesitation. Now, I know that she gains her popularlity by being inappropriate and always crossing the line, but when exactly did being just plain hurtful and heartless become acceptable?!?!
I WILL refrain from getting into my political views on a public forum. I believe the true issue here evades politics altogether. No matter what side of the political aisle you sit on, using the R word in an intentionally derogatory way is NOT acceptable!
What I will NOT refrain from, however, is doing something about this.
I encourage you to read this wonderfully written article by Dan Niblock, a father who lives in Durham and has a son with Down syndrome. He is demanding an apology from Ann Coulter, and I encourage you to join him, me and other moms out there in spreading the word about her inappropriate and hurtful words.
Oh, and in case you didn't know, because the term was being so misused by our society, the term "mental retardation" has even been replaced in the medical community with the word "intellectual disability." This was done in an effort to help thwart the derogatory nature of the R word that our society has imposed over years of misuse. So, if doctors aren't even using the word now, why should we?!?!?
Down Syndrome Fact of the Day #9:
On October 5, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama officially signed bill S. 2781 into federal law. This bill called "Rosa’s Law" (which takes its name and inspiration for 9-year-old Rosa Marcellino) removes the terms “mental retardation” and "mentally retarded" from federal health, education and labor policy and replaces them with people first language “individual with an intellectual disability” and “intellectual disability.” The signing of Rosa’s Law is a significant milestone in establishing dignity, inclusion and respect for all people with intellectual disabilities.