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The R-word Hits Home

Posted Jan 07 2009 2:59pm
A couple days ago, I posted a note on my Facebook page. I am not sure why, but I was leary to post it on my blog first. I finally decided to go ahead and post it here for those who don't do the Facebook thing.

The R-word is a pretty painful word. Just ask anyone who loves or cares for someone with an intellectual disability. I am not afraid of the use of the word... when it is used appropriately as a medical diagnosis as it should be. Gabi is not retarded! She has a mental retardation. I am also not pleased when people think it's funny to smack their hand to their chest making unintelligible "duh duh" sounds. It's just not funny and implies the same type of insult as the use of the words retard or retarded.

But tonight, one of our children said to another, "Your such a retard!" No it wasn't directed at Gabi, but as I overheard this while cleaning my bathroom, I couldn't help but to be angry first, then hurt later. Why would one of our children be saying this? Because they hear it at schools, see it on TV, watch it in movies, hear other children say it, and (in my opinion... far worse) when they hear other adults say it. To say it has been a bad night here at our house is an understatement. It's over now, all is forgiven, but the pain of it is still so fresh.

So, why do I post this in a note on my Facebook page? Because I want to remind people of the use of this word and the pain it causes. My daughter is a beautiful person inside and out and shouldn't be the butt of anyone's jokes or insults. Teach your children by example and explain to them why they shouldn't name call. Does this mean they won't ever? Of course not, and our household tonight is shining example of that. But please don't give up the battle because I am not! For each person on this earth who respects another human being by not using this word is a victory in my eyes and in my heart! Help me to make more victories!

And by all means, take 10 minutes out of your day to listen to the greatest speech regarding the use of the r-word that was written by a high school senior who knows 1st hand how hurtful that word can be:
Soeren Palumbo Fremd HS Speech 2/28/07
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