Monday, September 1, 2008

What Else Can We Do?

An article titled, What's Missing In The R-Word Debate, appeared in this past weekend's Washington Post. The author, Susan Senator, makes some very interesting points, and I felt reading the article was well worth my time. After reading the article, I then read the comments posted by readers. That was a mistake. The more I read the angrier I got.

Then it hit me. Our intellectual debates over the use of the word 'retarded', our plea for understanding of the hurt the word causes, our comparison of the word to other denigratory terms are all futile efforts. We're making no progress at all. People outside our sphere of disabilities don't get it and really aren't interested.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that I am very sad about this.


Attila The Mom said...

Yep. But these same people would be shocked, just SHOCKED if you imply that they might as well be using the "n" word.

Anonymous said...

Yup, the word is everywhere. Teens are using it the most, it seems. I let it be known when around the teens I know that I won't tolerate the word. That is about as far as I take it. I let them know why and figure they have to make up their mind as to whether or not they will say it elsewhere. But, around me they best not say it!

I have seen a few movies lately where the word was used many times. Does not thrill me. I can always think of words that would work just as well.

Thankfully teachers and medical professionals are gradually stopping using the word. I am sure in some areas it is not being used for diagnosis at all. Unfortunately, living in the midwest...we are always way behind.

Anonymous said...

I fear my answer to the question will not be easily accepted....I just think that all of us who understand will have to continue to make the message known at each and every opportunity, forever, one person at a time. Sigh. Barbara