Friday, April 17, 2009

Facebook hurts!

I had 2 'friends' from high school delete me as their friend on facebook because of the following conversation and their loyalty to Brian. I do need to point out that I was the first one to delete in this mess. I deleted Brian after all of his rude comments. He left the very last comment on this thread after he had been deleted from my fb page. I just feel like I am in high school all over again.

Spread the word to end the word!

Shauna at 9:40am March 31
Wow, you made me think about how many times I've said it with no intention of ever ridiculing someone. But, of course you're so right. I'm sorry...I will promise to stop now! :}

Brig at 9:50am March 31
agreed --- ever since working with special education groups in junior high, I've felt this same way. See this article on cnn:

Brian at 12:12pm March 31
It's so retarded that someone didn't think about this campaign earlier.

Heather at 1:04pm March 31
Brian --that is exactly what this is about, but I guess I can't expect for you to understand how it feels when I hear that word used casually. It didn't always bother me, but that changed 6 years ago when my daughter was born with Down syndrome.

Sylvia at 2:14pm March 31
I didn't even know that was a word!

Heather at 2:23pm March 31
Sylvia--The R word is "retard" and "retarded".

Brian at 3:55pm March 31
I understand why your personal experience might warrant that perspective. I've never met an individual with Down Syndrome or any other condition that might garner the "R" word that could give a damn. They're happy, they're connected to source way more than any of us "normal" people, and, if they could, I would put money on them saying "this campaign is retarded—focus on running around and frolicking in the park. Look, like ME wheeee!"

Brig at 4:57pm March 31
wow, Brian I don't know who you are but you sound unbelievably insensitive. I guess you feel like you need the attention you get from provoking and hurting others.

Brian at 5:25pm March 31
Illustrating that these special beings are way more connected to source (read=God) and would never waste time signing petitions about things is not insensitive, in my opinion. Using the "R" word on an anti-"R" word post is just being ironic. It'll only serve to make a few people laugh—and a few more people sign your petition to spite me. So, I'm really just brightening the world a little here. :)

Sylvia at 5:32pm March 31
I was just pointing out that we don't use that isn't even a word to us!even a word to us!

Heather at 9:35pm March 31
Brian--apparently you have NOT met anyone with Down syndrome because there is so much more to each one of them than you imply with your comment that they are just happy and in a park running around. There are many people with Down syndrome that are behind this campaign and are great self advocates. But I honestly feel like any comment I make to you just isn't worth my time. It is obvious that you think you know what it is like to be a parent of a child with special needs. So I will leave it at that.

Mandy at 11:41am April 1
Good job Heather!! And I don't think your comment made anyone laugh Brian. It was rude.

Brian at 12:11pm April 1
Thank you, Heather. That makes total sense. I have met numerous people with Down's Syndrome. And, as mentioned twice before in this thread, I believe they are more connected to God than any "normal" people I have encountered. They are extremely special beings—and I don't know that I'd deem that extra 21st chromosome a disability. As a mother of one of these special beings, I'm certain you have witnessed, as have I, that they are some of our greatest teachers...To clarify, I don't think all with DS frolic in parks; it was a singular example to illustrate that they are, generally, impeccably happy, despite their perceived disabilities—which I find inspiring. I don't attach the label "retard" to anyone with DS or any other perceived mental disability. I only use the word by its purest definition: delayed reaction—or, in this case, delayed perception. So I will sign the petition, as it states "derogatory use of the word". I will leave it at that.

Heather at 12:32pm April 1
Thanks Brian! I definitely did not mean for this to be controversial or hateful! So I appreciate you taking the time to clarify your feelings.

Annette at 10:04pm April 2
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, we are trying to raise awareness that "special needs" is a better way to refer to people, the same way we are now refer to Indians as Native Americans, Black people as African Americans and so on. I think it is fantastic that some kids started this and after seeing the movie "Pay it Forward" I believe it is worth it to even change one person's derogatory use of the word.


Michelle said...

I think it's too bad for those HS friend that deleted you as a bad for them. and I understand where Brian is coming from as far as children with Down Syndrome being very special and connected to God, but that was the point of the 'Spread the Word to end the Word.' Good job sticking to your guns and I think its too bad for those old friends of yours not to see what a wonderful person you are and how you are taking the time in your life to make a huge difference. You go girl! I am behind you 100%

COOLWHIP said...

Everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion. Instead of trying to convice people that what I think is the right way to think, I'll just keep it to myself, then there is no contention. If only everyone kept their comments to themselves.... I'm sorry they he picked your facebook to differ, it ugs me to read stuff like that. You did handle it well, and it seemed to resolve in the end.

Tausha said...

I am so sorry you had to deal with that today. Sounds like you are better off without your HS friends if they can't just say, Hey, I am sorry I didn't mean to offend or hurt you. Instead they have to defend their use of the word and make them feel like it's okay. They get defensive because they know it's wrong. I had the same issue but get this, with my Mom and Sister. So far I hadn't confronted them about it but a few weeks ago I had it and I said something and my Mom got mad at me for getting after her and my Sister. I didn't talk to her for 3weeks. She never called to apologize. My little Sister did and I appreciated it but she still says it. I guess people who don't have a child with special needs will never fully understand. I have a hard time knowing now if I should just stay quite to avoid conflict and be christlike or say something? The problem is I get hot under the collar and really lash out sometimes. I guess that's why it's great that we and others with children with disibilities know each other because at least we know someone understands and feels the same way we do. Sorry they deleted you from Facebook. I personally hate Facebook but that's because I know so many people who use it in the wrong way so I have just stayed off of it. Anyway, you are in the right and I am sorry they were so insensitive.

Cheri said...

Wow. the conversation actually seems to resolve itself.. I don't understand what their reasoning was but owell- I think it's their loss. sorry this happened though...I agree with coolwhip, that sometimes it's best to keep your comments to yourelf.

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

I'm so sorry you were hurt. It makes it so hard to be courageous and stand up for what you believe in when things like this happen. No matter what, you did the right thing in stating your opinion to help change the world for the better.

Scarehaircare said...

Brian sounds like he was backpedaling to try and save face over what he obviously thought was being funny. Heather, you handled it well. We've been through this before, when people didn't understand and insisted on using that word. That person who truly ment to change offered a sincere apology. Brian has not.

Delete away. The glory of FB means you don't have to have them on your page. :)

Sending much love and hugs. I'm proud of you for keeping your dignity and grace during such a tough conversation.

Karol said...

Ugh. Sorry you even had to engage in that…. Sometimes it seems whenever one is standing for a good cause, there is opposition. I think you handled the situation well, though -- good for you Heath. :::hugs:::

Kiki said...

WOw! I don't even know what to say-I can't believe someone you know would be so insensitive!I loved your comments!

Lily said...

I'm the queen of delete! People don't understand or care because they aren't living it. BUT, you do get through to some people so don't ever give up or think your opinion doesn't count or isn't valuable, because it is both. More importantly our kids count and are valuable!

Jeff said...

I had a similar argument over lunch with about 6 co-workers over lunch. I was sort of cornered about whether or not I would go see the new Ben Stiller movie. I said I could not support Ben Stiller in any movie and was instantly on the defensive from people saying, "lighten up", "it is too hard to be politically correct all the time." Having a child with DS automatically signed me up to be an advocate - and right now I advocating for her to have a better world. you can replace brian with me as a friend on facebook.