Monday, August 16, 2010

One at a Time

Highly entertaining and thought-provoking disability blogger, Dave Hingsburger, wrote a new post this morning that truly made my jaw drop in amazement. A candidate for mayor of Toronto, Canada, known for being rather outspoken and particularly un-PC on so many levels, had, at some point in his recent career, used the R-word with obviously no thought to its implications or who it may hurt. A rival candidate has seized on this quote (among others) to create a smear campaign against him and has plastered the R-word in all its disturbing, damage-creating glory on his website, in newspapers, on tv and in other public forums.

Who is guilty of the bigger evil here – the candidate who said it, or the rival who is using it to his advantage? To be honest, I can’t answer that. I can say that I’m disgusted. The word “retard,” no matter how it is intended, is hurtful to people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The word “retard” can not be justified in this day and age. States are even removing it from their legislative texts. I know people will say, “oh, it’s just a word.” No, it’s not. It’s a complete concept, fraught with stereotypes and misconceptions. It’s a weapon that injures pride and maims dignity. It’s unnecessary. It hurts my daughter, even though she doesn’t know it yet. As she grows up, she will. She’ll hear it, of that I’m sure, and while I’d love to be able protect her from it, the best thing I can do is to continue to fight against its use and to educate those that do or may use it.

Please voice your disproval of what is going on with these two neighbors to the north. You don’t have to be Canadian to do so. One at a time, folks. We can make a difference one at a time.


Rob Ford (the candidate who initially used the word)
rob@robfordformayor.ca
The George Smitherman Campaign (who have taken advantage of the situation and used the quote gratuitously)
info@georgesmitherman.ca

9 comments:

Dave Hingsburger said...

Rah! Thank you so much, we have power only if we use it, voices only if we speak, community only if we protect it. Thanks again

Dawn said...

Wow...what a post. Thanks so much for sharing that.

I'm with you on not knowing who is really guilty of the bigger evil, but either way, they are both just wrong.

Lacey said...

Wow, I don't know who is the bigger loser! Thanks for the post!

Jenny said...

Great post!

Debbie said...

emailed both individuals. So sad this is still happening, and will unfortunately continue to.

Stephanie said...

Chris recorded the Fryer's Club Roast of David Hasselhoff. At the beginning of the show, I noticed that the "f####t" word was bleeped out. I mentioned the fact that sure they bleep out that word, let's see what words they don't bleep out.

Not even 30 minutes later, the head Roaster made the comment about one of the presenters having "an extra chromosome". Seriously! We were both floored

Leah and Tony Beasley said...

Just wondering where you live, It looked like it said georgetown texas. I grew up in Leander texas right by you. Now we live in san antonio. I am new to your blog. We just adopted 3 babies from The Ukraine that all have downs!!

my family said...

so glad you made us aware of this

JRS said...

Great post! What a tool (both of them).
---Jen