Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So I still don't have thick skin

On Facebook, a teenager that I know used the r-word.  I probably should have let it go, but I promised Miss B that I would stick up for her, so I just had to say something.  While most people that I know have been kind and understanding about ending the use of the r-word, this young man didn't.  Here's the exchange: (I took out the names, the rest is verbatim)

Me: r*tard is a super offensive word, just as bad as the n-word. If you wouldn't use it, that would be great!
Teenager: Only r*tards are offended by the word r*tard

(At this point, I kind of snapped.  I shouldn't have, especially realizing the source, but I haven't developed a thick skin yet.)

Me: what a very insensitve, inconsiderate response. I thought higher of you than that.
Seeing how my daughter has Down syndrome and will be medically diagnosed with mental retardation, I find it highly offensive for you to use the word "r*tard" to refer to anything you don't like or that you think is stupid b/c really, you are making fun of my daughter and other people that have a similar diagnosis, and I'm not okay with that.

The way I see it, only people with low emotional IQs, would continue to use a word that someone has told them is offensive and has asked them nicely to stop. Because my daughter is unable to advocate for herself at this time, I will have to do it for her. Last time I checked, my IQ was well into the 140s, which doesn't really qualify me in the "mentally retarded" range....

If your earlier post was an attempt to try to defend your use of that word, please come up with a better response.

Teenager:  To be offended is a choice. It is a choice made by the person that has decided to take offense. And, according to one of the previous latter-day prophets, (I don't remember which one but I can find it if you REALLY CARE that much) taking offense to something is the result of a LACK of spiritual influence.
Me: Nice dodge, but still no good defense of the use of the r-word now that you know that it shouldn't be used.
Teenager: "dodge" ? What am I supposed to be dodging?

Trying to stop others from saying the word "r*tard" is like trying to tell someone to not say the word "tree" simply because you had a tree once that you liked and it died or something so if someone talks about trees you get sad. Sounds stupid huh? Maybe not, since you're doing it.

Also, there's no reason that I SHOULD be having to defend saying "r*tard". It's common english slang. Deal with it.

Me: Wow. Your lack of consideration for others is astounding. Unbelievable.
Teenager: Your lack of seeing this as something worthless to throw a fit over is also.

I am so furious right now, I am shaking.  Is this really what the teenagers of today think???  Does my daughter really have to grow up with people that have such a complete lack of compassion???  Someone reassure me that advocacy efforts will pay off and that the world will be a better place someday.

**Update: So he did go back and delete the "only r*tards are offended by the word r*tard" so maybe he eventully realized how extremely offensive that was?

14 comments:

Courtney said...

And that's why I am choosing to home school my children- so they can grow up to be intelligent and respectful people.
That kid has no clue, does he?

Adrienne said...

Oh.My.Goodness. I would ring his/her little neck if I could. Do you know the parent of this disrespectful and down right mean kid? Wow they need some sense knocked into them, hard. That makes me furious!!!! I think I'm starting to fume and I don't even know this little brat. I just need to sit back and breathe. I'm sure this is not the norm for teens and this kid has it coming, he or she will learn the hard way, some how- I hope!

Marisa said...

This twit is a member of the church? I might expect that from someone else, not from someone who grew up singing "I am a Child of God!" Vent to Darrin-and give Miss B a big kiss.

The Mussertons said...

Carrie, not all teens are like that. I posted something to an IL about his use of the R-word and he very politely responded and corrected himself. Hugs and I know not everyone will agree with me, but I don't think you need to have thicker skin, I think others need to be become more aware of others. Even if a word was learned as slang, it still has meaning to others. If a person is incapable of seeing or understanding that it should not reflect on your level of sensitivity but on theirs. Just my two cents though...

Jenny said...

OMG! I am speechless.

Kristen's mom said...

A week or so ago while Kristen was in the hospital the tech also known as a CNA came in to take her blood pressure she couldn't figure out how the manual blood pressure cuff worked, she left to get help and came back and said, "no one else could get it to work either,so I guess I'm not a retard after all." I thought to myself, Thanks for showing how much class you DON'T have,... By the way, you can leave now. She was well in her twenties and I couldn't believe it, I wish I would have said something instead of just thinking it.

Wendy P said...

Good for you for advocating for your girl! And I bet some of it seeped into his brain. I'm sure at least one person read the exchange and changed their thinking, and that makes it worth it. It's really hard, though.

Chanda said...

If it makes you feel any better about teenagers... the R-Word campaign started in Lincoln, Nebraska at Lincoln North Star High School by a bunch of students who didn't think that it should be used in a derogatory way. That is one of the reason why the National Special Olympics is being held at North Star this summer.

Kate said...

Knowing the kid who said these mean things to you, I want to ring his neck also, he really is inconsiderate about these things. I no longer classified as a "teenager" since i did just turn into an adult, but I know that you know this, but just want to say again- that not all teenagers are the insensitive and uncompassionate; just the select few like that young man in my ward. Since you have been such a great friend and example to me, I have stopped using the R-word and when I hear others say it around me I ask them not to, that I find it offensive, when you first started advocating for your beautiful daughter. I hope you never stop advocating for Miss Banana, and that you realize that by making comments like that on facebook, you really are making a difference. You have made a differnce in my life by raising your daughter and being an advocate for her since she was diagnosed while still in pregnancy, and helping me see that one simple word can hurt so much. I think people are ignorant about a lot of these things, but he's not. He's just rude. But you handled it like the awsome person that you are. You rock sister Roberts and I miss you here in Nebraska!

Sasha said...

Wow. I would be angry too. I don't even know what to say. I am speechless. Keep advocating for your daughter and just let the negative energy from this individual bypass you. You said your part and hopefully something you said will sink in.

Blake and Audra said...

WOW! Are you kidding me right now? I honestly can't believe someone actually thought they were making a good argument. I agree with the Mussertons, you do not need to grow thicker skin, others need to become more aware. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I was getting SO mad at the kid too while reading it. I just can't believe the insensitivity. He needs to take a look in the mirror and figure himself out.

heather said...

I posted something about "Banning the R-word" campaign on my fb page last spring and got in a heated debate with someone over the word. It still makes me angry to this day but I had 3 friends de-friend me over it. Ridiculous! Your comments were right on and I can't believe he tried to support his derogatory language with a statement from an LDS authority. Get real!

Team S said...

It's too bad that your polite request and explanation had no impact on this individual, but thank you for sharing so that others might learn from it. It is always frustrating when attempts to educate and inform go nowhere, but we cannot give up!

Bethany said...

Wow, is this kid for real? Niiice. Just goes to show you how school age kids have changed so much since we were in school. Grr.

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