I usually don’t forward emails. I don’t try to encourage others to side with my view of politics or any number of issues. Even though I’m pretty opinionated, but things can get pretty sticky when you do venture into those types of topics.
I even hesitate to bring up the subject of this post. I do feel it’s important, but sometimes people will view any publicity as good publicity. But this has me really bothered. Enough to say something.
K. is Educably Mentally Retarded. I don’t mind the word retarded. It is what is. It takes her longer to learn some things, some things she’s not going to learn beyond what she has. Today I’m ok with that. When used as it was intended, the word isn’t malicious or derogatory.
Take it out of context and use it in the vernacular and it’s demeaning. If you say, “That’s retarded!” You are implying stupidity. The word retarded should never be synonymous with stupid and all of it’s negative connotations. When used that way it’s not funny either.
I guess Dreamworks and Ben Stiller didn’t get that memo though. Stiller’s latest movie, Tropic Thunder, apparently thinks it’s version of satire is funny. They think having a tag line “Once upon time there was a retard…” is funny. There is a phrase used in the movie “Never Go Full Retard.” And as much as I work to keep calm when confronted with people who think it is ok to speak like that, it becomes extremely difficult not to grab them by their collar and yell, “HOW CAN YOU THINK THAT’S OK?!”
I realize that the word is used as slang on the time. But you know what? That doesn’t make it right.
There are those organizing a boycott of the movie. I would go a step further and ask that you simply educate those around you. You can say my daughter is retarded or that she has a mental disability and use those phrases to explain it. I won’t get offended. It helps people understand things. That’s all. But don’t EVER equate her or her actions or who she is with anyone acting or being stupid. Because she’s not.
PS – I’m not giving a link to the movie on purpose. You want to check it out – Google it yourself.