A word?

Forgive me for getting my back up a little, but there is something that is bothering me lately. Perhaps I have been living a sheltered little life out here in rural Australia...or maybe it's just that all of a sudden it's cool to be politically incorrect.

When did the word 'retarded' start re-emerging? Did I miss something? Is it really not used now in a derogatory manner?

Didn't think so.

I seem to have been bombarded with it lately. In emails, on Facebook, in the street, amongst people I know...Seriously...are people so blase about they say that they don't even realise what they are saying?

A 'retard' or 'tard' is not a funny or cool way to describe someone. People with disabilities thought they had lost that tag a while ago. Clearly though, people are still using this term in a manner which I am not comfortable with.
But it isn't about me.
Or is it?

Every time I see it mentioned or have to listen to someone call another person a 'retard' or "gee, that was retarded", I cringe. I feel this little pang of hurt, which becomes anger, and then embarrassment for the person using the term. I wonder if people would ever call Ryley a 'retard'? More to the point, would they dare?

I acknowledge that in many cases, political correctness has gone mad. Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep is something I had a giggle at. However, for many black people, the word 'black' has the same connotations that 'retard' has for people with disabilities.
So where do we draw the line?

Personally, I draw the line at referring to people with disabilities as anything less than the beautiful human beings that they are. A person who has a disability is no less of a person than you or I. They simply have different abilities.
I detest the use of words like 'retard'.
I hate how people are afraid of disability.
I am dismayed by people who can't extend their vocabularly and refrain from using people with disabilities as the butt of their jokes.

Comments

  1. I agree with you Anna and I think you have hit the nail on the head when you say ' people are afraid' of disability. It is ignorance that makes humans behave in such a shameful way. Also, I think people speak without any thought to what they are saying or the impact it might have on others. I also cringe when I hear terms like 'retarded' (and there are many others too).
    I never know whether to comment on what they have said or feel sorry for them. They clearly don't have the privilege of knowing a person with a disability.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i agree with you Anna, good on you for standing up and saying something.

    ReplyDelete

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