Monday, September 27, 2004

My Latest Feelings on the word "Retard"

Among us Special-needs folk, there's always a new story, and new ways of being offended by the use of the word, usually as opposed to "retard-ed", which even makes most people emphasize the right syllable. This is a recent response to one of those wonderful moments shared in our little community:

I participate in an online gaming site, which includes a forum site similar to this one. Both in the game, and in the forums, this term appears often. I know that I can't change the world to suit me, but I will and do take occasional issue with it, particularly if I've established some sort of relationship with the person. I did that the other day(via private messaging), and received the interesting response that he thought I shouldn't be so offended by the term "tard", and that I was making "a mountain out of a molehill." I explained that I was not responding publicly, that I was taking issue with it because we were friends, that it was not a "friendship-breaker", but that he needed to know that he was offending at least me without even meaning to, in a public place. I also said that I didn't think that my daughter and I should be "invisible" in the sense that I take no issue with it (phrased differently, of course), and that a lot of my expressions had changed when Emma was born. It seemed to make an impression.I guess what I've learned is that it does me little good to get mad (sure, I do), but I'm trying to pick my battles, like Chang-Kwai-Caine in Kung-Fu, lol. In the game itself (a WWII game), yes, I've actually hunted down and repeatedly killed the poor sap who's used the epithet. They never know why. . .