Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Because Words Hurt.....

Let's face it, my blog doesn't have a big audience.  My most read post ever was about Halloween, and I figure that's because a pastor's wife's view point on Halloween could be controversial.  Most of the people who read my blog are my friends, family, and church members, and that's ok with me!  If you are reading this, chances are you know me, and care about me, and my family.  I know that my blog will not have a world wide influence, but I hope that I can, through my writing, effect the hearts and lives of those I know and love.


Today what I am writing about is an issue very near and dear to my heart.  Ending the r-word (retard, or retarded). If you've known me long, you've heard me talk about this before.  But sometimes we need a reminder, because I still hear those I love say it.

Here's the deal.  I personally, have no problem with medical use, or governmental use of the word retardation or mentally retarded.  They use it in a clinical sense, and it means delayed or slowed.  I don't care about all that.  What I cannot stand is when people use the word retard as slang, or as an insult.  "I had a retard moment."  "Dude, you're a retard."  "That's so retarded."  Those words are like nails on a chalkboard.  You see, when you say these things, you are essentially saying.  "I had a Karis moment."  Dude, you're acting like Karis."  "That's so Karis."  I know, you would never say anything like that, but when you use the r-word, that is what a person with an intellectual disablity, or someone who loves them, hears.  You are taking what makes my daughter all that she is, which is wonderful, and using it to call someone or something stupid, bad, less than perfect, dumb, horrible, not worthy.  And, she is certainly not any of those things.  

Many people disagree with me about this and say that parents of people with Down Syndrome, are being over sensitive.  But if you say, "that's so retarded," I can guarantee that you are not saying, "that's as wonderful as ice cream!"  No, what you are saying is, "that's as bad as a person with Down Syndrome" (or any intellectual disability).  It's a derogatory word that's origin is an unflattering comparison to someone with a disability.  The argument that the use of the r-word is NOT offensive, intentionally or not, to people with disabilities, is like saying that you could call someone with an impolite mother an S-O-B, and expect that person not to be offended by the term.  The r-word is offensive.

I know none of you, being my friends and family would ever call Karis a *r-word*.  So please, would you try to remove that word from your language all together?  I'll love you for it!  And, if you feel so inclined, join me in the crusade to end the word.  Let people know, when they use the word, that that's not very nice, pick a different word.  I'd love you for that too!  

If you go to r-word.org  you can make the pledge!  Or, if you would like, leave me a comment here with your pledge!  I usually get about 40-50 reads per blog post.  Can I get 50 people to say "I promise!"?  Holla back now!   



Created by God to be exactly what she is, perfect....













8 comments:

tamra said...

Tracy I love you for this! I love u for sharing exactly how it makes u feel and why...there are too many people in our world who use the misfortune or differences of others to gain acceptance with humor or trying to fit in. Why do we continue to conform to hatefulness and rudeness when reality is the thoughtless words we say can and do hurt people! I am standing with you 100%! Thank you for making people aware and for speaking out when others won't! Change only comes when someone is bold enough to say that its needed! I have been and forever will be an advocate to stop the Rword from being used in my pressence! Love u

nik said...

a friend posted this on face book and i completely understand your point of view. your daughter is absolutely precious! i wanted to reach through the computer screen and give her a big hug! a child's disabilities are so hard for parents to come to grips with, God bless you guys on your journey with Karis. i will definitely think of her sweet little face the next time i am tempted to use the "r word."

Anonymous said...

Tracy I love our Kariscakes just as I love my Jesse the bear! The r word has always been a sore subject for me but I have had Jesse since I was 5 so yeah. I however can not stand the medical communitee to use it either! The people some of the most intelligent in our world and they can not use developmentally delayed. or special needs. But thats my high horse!

angel said...

thank you for writing this i have a son with Down syndrome and i feel just the way you feel about the R word. we can not change the world but if we just change the way 1 person thinks about the R word and its meaning then we have accomplished a lot. THANK YOU!

Bethany said...

She is so pretty!!

Cathy said...

Fabulous post, Tracy!! And if I haven't said it lately...Karis is gorgeous!

Brenda said...

I completely agree!! Thanks for writing this Tracy! I promise...to not use the r-word, and to correct those I love, especially my children if I hear them use it!!

Papa McCain said...

Great blog Tracy and I completely agree with every word. She is wonderfully made the God wants her to be so He can use her to glorify Him. Thank you Tracy