Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I didn't mean it like "THAT"

The whole "R" word debate....It gets me angry. The "R" word you say? Yes...The word Retard (For those of you who don't understand) And the most common response is "I didn't mean it like that!" when I say something to the person using it. I advocate, I speak up, I say things. Sometimes it comes from funny ignorant pictures people post. People who are "friends" of mine. People who are family. People who KNOW that we have Little Baer and the love and life he brings to us. Sometimes I can't find the words.  Sometimes, my words shake when I speak them. When I'm not able to openly say something, that is the time it hurts the worst. I feel like I am failing my child. I am allowing him to grow up in a world that is so bias against him and others like him. Would you hate this child? Want to oppress him and bring him down?

But here is the thing....We have TEACHERS....educators.....COACHES who are using this word and then demanding it was a "joke". Demonizing people who stand up to them about using the word. People making excuses for why hate speech is ok. People telling parents that we are "overly sensitive" Seriously? Overly sensitive? We stand for these children....We are their voice..And even when my voice shakes I must speak.

Look....I have used the word. Many times actually, I didn't realize the hurt and hate that came along with it. Because, I like others was ignorant to the entire world in which I lived. no one took the time to tell me. I knew all about the "N" word (I don't have to explain that one do I?) and the "F" word. I made a conscious decision NOT to use those words of hate. And I did the same with the "R" word. But for those people who are told about the "R" word and the hate speech that it then say that we are overly sensitive? Tell that to an African American after you use the "N" word. Or after you call a Gay American the "F" word. See how they like your explanation. Because I'm telling you now, using the "R" word is hate speech. It ranks up there with the other words. It diminishes the respect for my child every time you use it. And for every child like him. Even if you didn't mean it "THAT" way. is yet another attempt to educate and advocate for those of our society you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This is from another blogger, who has a much better way of speaking (writing) then I do. Given to me by yet another friend who feels the pain and sting of that word. These words are NOT mine per say....but they represent how I feel and why I stand among so many others who advocate against why using the "R" word is so damaging.

While your reading, understand that my little Baer is a person with feelings. With love and a heart of Gold. This little guy can not speak for himself. but that does not diminish the fact that he is a person...just like you. For that reason I am not overly sensitive and I am pleading for you to understand EXACTLY what the word retard represents and understand the "real people" behind that word. And then vow to not use the word and allow my child, my little Baer, and others like him to be victimized and hated. This is who the REAL PEOPLE are:

It's time to recognize that the 'R' word is an attack against who people with with intellectual disabilities 'are', it is an attack against the group that they belong to. It is like other words that exist to slur an entire people, unacceptable. The fact that people do not see the seriousness of the word and the attack it represents is simply a result of the fact that they do not take the 'people' who wear that label seriously. The concerns of those with intellectual disabilities have always been diminished and trivialized. There is a sneaking suspicion that they 'don't understand, poor dears', that they 'miss the point, little lambs' so therefore their anger need not be feared as justified. The people who 'ARE' what the 'R' word refers to have a long history.

 They have been torn from families and cast into institutions.

 They have been beaten, hosed down, over medicated, under nourished, sterilized, brutalized, victimized. 

They have been held captive, have been enslaved, have had their being given over to the state.

 They are the group in society most likely to be physically, sexually and financially abused.

 They are the group least likely to see justice, experience fair play, receive accommodation or support within the justice system.

 They are the group most likely to be bullied, most likely to be tyrannized, most likely to be the target of taunts.

 They are the least likely to have their hurt taken seriously, physical hurt, emotional hurt, spiritual hurt.

 They are most likely to be ignored when they speak of pain, have their words diminished by an assumption of diminished capacity. 

They are the least likely to ever be seen as equal, as equivalent and entirely whole.

 They are the victim of some of the most widespread and pervasive prejudices imaginable.

 They are those that the Nazi's thought unworthy of life, they are those targeted by geneticists for non-existence, they need fear those who wear black hats and those who wear white coats.

 They are educated only under protest, they are included as a concession rather than a right, they are neighbours only because petitions failed to keep them out.

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