Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spread the word to end the word campaign


A personal message from John C. McGinley

Hi, I’m John C. McGinley. I’m an ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society, and today I’m teaming up with Special Olympics to bring you a message that’s important to me.
John C. McGinley and his son, Max
So many times in life you are asked to change…
Change your clothes. Change lanes. Change jobs. Change the sheets. Change flights. Change your tune. Change horses midstream. Change your latitudes and your attitudes!
Change, and the ability to adapt, is to the human condition as air is to the lungs. We change, and in the doing, we thrive!
In fact, we just elected a president who promised, above all else, to “change.”
What if, on March 31, you elected to change the way you use the words “retard” and “retarded”?
Hardly seems like the largest of sacrifices. Not when you consider the changes in language that you have, so willingly, already elected to integrate into your vernacular. You no longer use the words nigger, or kike, or faggot, or jap, or kraut, or mick, or wop.
Why would you? Why on earth would you? Those are all words that hurt. Those are all racial and ethnic slurs and epithets that perpetuate negative stigmas. They are painful! And that is not okay. It is wrong to pain people with your language. Especially, when you have already been made aware of your oral transgression’s impact.
Make no mistake about it: WORDS DO HURT! And when you pepper your speak with “retard” and “retarded,” you are spreading hurt. So stop it. Stop saying “retard” and “retarded.” Those words suck! You are better than that and you definitely do not need to be “that guy.”
There is no longer any acceptable occasion to lace your dialogue with the words “retard” and “retarded.” Without fail, those words are the stuff of hurt. They, straight up, are. So, stop it! Stop using the “R-word.”
The 7 million people with intellectual disabilities (around the planet) who are on the receiving end of this hate speak are genetically designed to love unconditionally. These “retards” are NEVER going to return your vitriol. Ever! So what could possibly be the up-side of continuing to use the “R-word” in your daily discourse?
We love you. We do!
And, just in case you missed it and you need an extra hug? We love you!
You do not need to love us in any kind of reciprocal fashion. You don’t. (It’s not that kind of bargain.)
But, how about on March 31, you elect to change? A word? Two stinkin’ syllables?
On March 31, join us and “Spread the Word to End the Word.” And the word is “retard!” It HURTS! So help us to cut it out.
Thank you!
We do love you!
John C. McGinley


Tausha said...

Great Post!! Hopefully people will learn. Oh, the reading program, it's a pain to write all that stuff out but I am slowly getting there. Sam is starting to say dadadada which I cried the first time I heard him saying it. How is the potty training going? Hopefully you are being successful. Not sure I am excited for that part with Sam. :-)

Deedsgirl said...

Hello from Athens,
Thanks so much for what you do help the Down syndrome community. We wanted to reach out to you and offer you a copy of our recently published book about Teddy Kremer, a Down syndrome young man who became batboy for the Cincinnati Reds. You may have seen Teddy’s story on ABC News or perhaps in ESPN. The book is told through Teddy’s eyes and is his story of the trials and triumphs of growing up as a special needs person. The message of Stealing First is that everyone can contribute and that we all deserve a chance to prove our worth. The book is also a commentary on the power of parenting.
We would like to send you a copy of the book for your review. If you like the story, we welcome a review and/or mention of the book on your blog. Just send us your address and we will get a copy in the mail.
But, I emphasize, there are no obligations on your part.
Thanks again for all you are doing to make a difference in the lives of those who have the gift of joy.
You can watch the ABC News story about Teddy here : http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/teddy-kramer-30-batboy-cincinnati-reds-syndrome-20376974

Jan Babcock