May 24, 2011
Not Acceptable R-Word PSA
This PSA aired only a few hours ago, and already it has undergone significant scrutiny. The criticisms I've heard/read include that the slurs used at the beginning are outdated and/or too offensive to even be used. However, I think that is exactly the point.... those words ARE offensive and that's WHY they became a thing of the past. That's exactly the message the special needs community is trying to send about the R-word. It is offensive. It is not acceptable. It HAS to become a thing of the past.
Have you had any experiences trying to spread the word that the "R" word is unacceptable? I've asked people I interact with to stop using it when when I've heard them say it (usually in reference to themselves). I try not to lecture or act offended, but explain that I know they didn't mean to offend and I understand that it's unfortunately a common saying. Then I go on to explain that since I've become Chloe's mom, I've come to understand what a cutting word that is and when used in jest, it is not funny but highly degrading. People always seem supportive and understanding when I bring it up, which is why it shocks me how often I hear them use it afterward. Do they forget? Do they think I'm being oversensitive? Do they just not care? Since I can't answer those questions definitively, I politely remind them again. And I will remind them again and again and again.... as many times as I have to. I may just send this video with a short personal message tomorrow, in another attempt to get the point across.
Share your experiences as well! And please continue to spread the word....