Saturday, July 13, 2013

Big Brother and Politics of Racial Slurs

Bill Maher was one of the first letter campaigns I ever entered.
When Gabriel was a baby, Bill Maher used the word retard on his show.
It hurt. It stung. It was horrible.
Many people like me wrote letters expressing our outrage.
I remember being so pleased the NDSS and ARC wrote him and
he apologized, on the air.

It was a feel good moment. I felt like I had advocates who supported my baby. Then it happened again. More letters and another on air apology.

Only this time it didn't feel quite so good to those of us who felt a little
déjà vue.

As the years have passed more and more celebrities started to join in the slurs and turned the R word into one that seems to always mistakenly slip off their tongue.
Bill Maher joined back in the ignorance and pushed the envelope further, attacking a specific child with Down syndrome this time.
Why not?
NDSS sent him his letter again but this time he didn't make any apologies.
Why should he?
He put the letter in file 13.
As did all the others.

A letter doesn't work any more.

Tim Shriver started the Spread The Word Campaign in 2004.
He even went on The Bill Maher Show and The View.
In 9 years there are 400,000 thousand signatures pledging to not use
the R word....
Special Olympics reports they have over 4 million athletes yet there are only 400,000 signatures.
I don't get it.

Some people say it is about politics.
Inner politics or real politics?
They say
Politics run everything.
Even Nonprofits.

Does it matter what political party you belong to whether we should call you out for the R word? A child gets bullied based on his diagnosis of Down syndrome and it is political? Really?!? Does it matter if a celebrity has contributed to your non profit or invited you on his show? Does that give them a pass? Are we that easily bought off? Are we that star struck? That shallow?
Oh,come perform at our fundraiser and you can say anything you want ,is that how it works?!? Or hey, use a person with an intellectual difference in your show and you can have a seasonal pass. Really?

How sad. How predictable. How weak. How informative.

The show Big Brother just released tape of racist remarks from some of their contestants. People were fired. Did the show defend the slurs by saying but we have a Asian American on our show? No how ridiculous would that be?..... Yet our community has allowed this, repeatedly.

Barbara Walters and Whoopie Goldberg seem to think it is ok to use the R word if you are old. Really? Old like Bill Maher old? Really? He isn't much older than me and he is a hell of a lot younger than Barbara. He has been educated repeatedly. Apparently so have you two, the R word was a topic of discussion on The View in 2010.

My mom is 84. She doesn't call black people the N word and she is from Mississippi. Would she be excused because she is old or where she was raised though? Seriously?!?
Give me a break! She also does not say spic, chink, wetback, fag, dyke or retarded. Why?
She has humanity. She can make a point without degrading herself and others with slurs against their person.
Hurling slurs is not intelligent humor. It is not satire. It is mean.
Plain and simple.

We need to start holding all people, even celebrities who sit at our table, accountable and serve up a consequence or two in true respect for people with intellectual differences.

It is time to start walking the talk we really believe people with intellectual difference deserve equality. Every single time we let this happen without real consequence people lose faith and doubt the sincerity and mission of our paid advocates.

Stop accepting and promoting the lies that people just don't know better.
The word has been spread.
It is time for step two.
Consequences. Real consequences.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. Good one, Rachel. This issue does feel like beating a dead horse sometimes, doesn't it? Grrr... Not that I would beat any horse, living or dead. :)


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