It doesn't happen very often and I am sorry that I let my frustration get the best of me the other day. I think a part of my mini meltdown can be blamed on pregnancy hormones. I have been told that I shouldn't let words get me down, that when people use the "R" word it's not directed at people like my sons. I disagree. There is no instance when someone can call someone else or something else retarded that makes it acceptable. I will continue to react and to educate and fight back against the use of derogatory words. I will fight this fight until people realize what a disgusting word it really is. It was not that long ago that people felt perfectly comfortable calling black people the n word. It was used in everyday conversations. SOMEONE stood up and said NO! This is not acceptable. Then more people stood with him (or her!) and made that same statement- 'This is NOT OKAY!' Today, we hear that word from fewer people (sadly from quite a few rappers) but it's not something I expect to hear in a conversation with the checkout guy at the supermarket. The "R" word is not the same though. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, politicians, actors, news anchors, singers, authors, teachers, students and people from every walk of life and age group can be heard using the "r" word. It's offensive and upsetting. My husband hears it often in his classes at Kent State University and he has corrected people. The kids on our street hear it and now some react and correct others. It's a snowball effect. I am standing up and saying 'NO! I will NOT tolerate that language!' My voice is joining THOUSANDS of other voices all proclaiming the same thing "THIS WORD IS UNACCEPTABLE!" Soon our voices may drown out those of overpaid actors and sports stars and we can change things. I have hope. I will continue to fight. I need to remember that things DO NOT change over night. I need to keep the faith that I can do this- I CAN change how people see kids like mine. I CAN change what opportunities people with disabilities are given. I CAN change the language people see as acceptable. I am strong and capable and I am NEVER going to quit fighting for Casey and Connor and for EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITH ANY DISABILITY. I will NEVER give up on trying to make this a better world for ALL CHILDREN to grow up in. You are all on this journey with me! Help me. Share the link to the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign http://www.r-word.org/ and have your kids, friends and family pledge to stop using the word retard and retarded. Post it to celebrity twitter and facebook pages. Make people aware! It will take time. It just so happens we all have time to spare.
Thanks for all the support. Please keep sharing this blog (use the buttons at the bottom of the post to share) and keep the faith that every time you stand up and say "No!" YOU are making a difference! As always, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find Casey and Connor on FaceBook and become a fan!
"Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory." Ghandi