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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guest Post From the Husband

I'm the husband- Drew. I was pushed into the office and instructed to make a "guest post about the r-word." Ummmm...ok.  I'm not quite as excited about the blog scene (or blogosphere or whatever it's called) as my lovely wife.  All the stuff I have to read seems a bit too cutesy and perfect and, frankly, a crock. But, I will humor her. Wait a sec...she just told me not to post anything until she's read it...anyone have a copy of Fahrenheit 451 nearby?

Anyway, the "r-word".  Hmmm...really? The "r-word", the "n-word", the "f-word", the "I'm too emotionally insecure to actually say it, so I'll act like a five year old and say the first letter- word." The word is RETARDED. Retard. Nigger. Faggot. Ugly, unfair, and, at one time, socially acceptable. I don't think we do anyone any favors by making the word seem less offensive by only referring to it by its first letter.  People don't feel the word when it's been neutered by the PC Gestapo.  They lack the understanding of why it dehumanizes people when they are denied its dehumanizing effect. (But, I'm still going to do it, because Elizabeth doesn't appreciate those words typed all over her blog.)

Not that I am innocent. All those words have crossed my lips.  You should've seen me ask, "Have you seen my baseball?"... it used to crack the kids up in high school...and here I am.  My little "r-word" is splashing and laughing and playing in the tub with his mother and sister.  And if I ever hear anyone refer to him as a retard, I have a wide range of imaginary responses on tap-from quick and clever retorts to water boarding.  I prefer daydreaming of the latter...

Why the change of heart?

 Because Grayson is a person- a human, a boy, a child, a toddler...a person!!

To call him a retard is to strip away at his humanity and lump him into some inferior group. 

It's to say, ok, you are one of us...EXCEPT you're a little less.

Ever read Animal Farm? "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." That's basically it.

Someone has decided they are more equal than Grayson. 

Someone decided they were more equal than the homosexual couple up the road. Someone decided they were more equal than the black children playing in the park.  People are always figuring they are more equal than someone else.  It's all crap.

Grayson is equal. He doesn't need or deserve to be dismissed. God, or Nature, chose him to be born, just like anyone else. He made it through...he's here like everyone else. He deserves his dignity and his responsibilities, too.

But, I'm not totally there. When someone says "that's so (insert r-word)" or "Ha, Ha. Drew, you're so (insert r-word again)" I don't feel angry or bothered.  I give the obligatory "we don't say that" simply because I'm told that I am supposed to.  I feel more indignant when I hear the old man up the road say he's "sweatin' like a (insert n-word)."  My skin crawls when I hear people say "I hate watching two (insert f-word) kiss in public." I should be more bothered by "retard"...but, I'm not. Maybe because, far more so than the other two words, I'm more guilty of using it without thinking or remorse.  Maybe I resist getting offended because I feel so much like a hypocrite.  Then again, aren't all converts hypocrites to a degree? Maybe embracing your inner hypocrite is the first step on the road to salvation.

 I guess, at the end of the day, I have to ask if the word is useful.  It's not.  F-word= not useful.  N-word= not useful.  R-word= not useful.  I have to tell myself not to waste time with words that aren't useful.  They don't build relationships or understanding.  They foster hate and mistrust. They dehumanize...so, yes, I'm on board to end the word.    

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