And Hopefully This Will Ring Bells To David...  

Posted by: Cameon in , , , ,

I have thought about the best way to approach David's latest blog response and I'll admit, I was running out of ideas. Until I read one of his own blogs about a video he posted on YouTube. (Which by the way is very interesting)

When David was explaining his video he said that he was so proud of the kids that came up to him because they asked questions. They didn't just accept something for what it was. They became curious and decided to ask questions about the crazy world we live in.

Well David, I decided to do that a long time ago with a specific word and a specific group of people. (And if you don't know what that is by now, you came in a little late)

About 4 years ago, I was in the gym playing dodge ball when I realized that there were a group of kids in the gym that weren't like the rest of us. And, no one was playing with them. Taking it upon myself to be the outgoing person that I always have been, I walk up to them and introduce myself and am instantly aware that these kids aren't like me. No, they are part of the Special Ed class.

I then start to wonder why I am the only one interacting with these kids...was there something wrong with them? Were they the kids that my parents told me to stay away from because they might have smallpox or lice? No...they were just different. They weren't normal. So, naturally, they stayed with their group and we stayed with ours.

Until, at least, I decided that I wanted to question authority and do something about this.

That same afternoon I wrote a note to my Principal asking if I could use my remediation block helping with this classroom. She was shocked because no one had asked to do this as was the teacher of the classroom, but I was welcomed with open arms. Literally.

I walked into this classroom the first day and saw these kids that were my age or younger and yet were so much different. They didn't judge me because I wasn't the most popular kid in school, they didn't judge me based on the clothes I was wearing...they were just open to whatever happened and the person I was.

After meeting and getting to know these amazing kids and how much they loved life I started realizing how much the word "retarded" is used in a negative way. And, honestly, kids my age are the worst offenders but it is moving to younger adults and even adults in their 30's. I was guilty of this as well, until I realized that being retarded isn't really a bad thing. But, generally when we call someone retarded or say someone's actions are retarded it is because they are acting stupid. They aren't doing something right, or they something wrong, or they forget something they should have known...things that can be controlled. This is very different from being mentally retarded.

Words like stupid, idiot, moron, and many others are associated with the word retard now. And it's our own faults that we let it happen. Those words though, aren't supposed to be synonyms for retarded. They used to have a very deep meaning in music meaning to slow or impede. But it's used for a lot more than that now.

Instead of just standing there and avoiding the problem like the people did in the mall David, I took a stand against it. You might think it's wrong. You might think it's completely idiotic. But the thing is, I don't care. I took a stand for something. I asked questions. I didn't just stand there while some guy stood in a mall reading a book with a sign. I didn't avoid the problem. I attacked it head on.

You might think that I'm just very sensitive about "a word." But it's not just a word to me. It's the meaning that we have given the word that simply isn't true. You might not have meant it in a negative way, but it wasn't meant as a personal attack on you. Just a reminder of the misuse of this word.

You are right, we do have the Freedom Of Speech in this country. However, the men that fought for this freedom might not have meant for their hard work and killed friends and family to have fought for something that most people take for advantage these days. I certainly don't mind you asserting your point of view. But at the same time, I want my point of view to be heard as well.

Maybe this will make a little more sense. And, if not, at least I tried and didn't avoid the different looking guy in the gym that day because he was something different that I wasn't used to.

***Argument about the Texas thing will be in a different one. This needed to be said first.***

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 09, 2009 and is filed under , , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


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