It's a pretty safe bet that no one will ever peg me as too politically correct. I think it's the "politically" part of that phrase that keeps me completely uninterested. I mean, really, how many things can be both political and correct? Most days I look around and see political correctness run amuck. It grates on every one of my nerves. I will even admit that sometimes I purposely choose political incorrectness...just to annoy the p.c. police. (It's really liberating, you should try it sometime!)
I wonder why phrases like politically correct have overtaken common courtesy and decency in our society. There are a lot of words you will hear me say, some are nice: please, thank you, excuse me, I'm sorry, You only have two items, go right ahead, etc. You know, those simple words that could really improve day to day life in this country.
But some of my words, they aren't quite as nice: bite me, jackass jerk, idiot, waste of skin (I could go on and on here). You know, those simple words that don't improve much of anything except my mood, and allow me to let off steam.
Then, there are the words you will never hear me use. They are useless words. Words that I choose not to speak...not because I'm afraid the p.c. police will come after me, but because no good comes from them. They sting and humiliate. Now, you may say that some of my above-mentioned words sting and humiliate. Probably so. I do make attempts at filtering rather than speaking those words aloud...well, unless I'm yelling them at the computer, or t.v. (And, as I've said before, as long as Pelosi is sittin' on the Hill, idiot will be firmly planted in my vocabulary.)
Two words that have always made me uncomfortable are retard and retarded. When I hear those words, I feel unsettled. I instantly look around, hoping no one else heard them as well. Those two words are useless. For many, they are painful words. I've heard kids use the word when talking to a friend: "Dude, you are such a retard." or "Why do you act so retarded?" I've asked why they use those words. Often the response is something along the lines of: "I didn't mean anything by it." or "I was just joking around." Well, then that's perfect. If you didn't mean anything by it, it shouldn't be too difficult replacing those words with something else.
Today, the Special Olympics launched a campaign to stop the use of the R-word. I don't believe this is political correctness run amuck. This is about the preservation of dignity. I see this campaign as a way of honoring, and showing respect to, people who deserve it...they deserve respect simply because of who they are. I was especially touched to learn that the campaign plan was devised by a group of students attending a Special Olympics youth summit. The group included students with and without disabilities. Because of their efforts, over 700 rallies and events were held today, kicking off the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign.
This has been on my mind recently, as I've read blogs concerning the topic. It struck me that had Victoria lived, I probably wouldn't have waited for a Special Olympics campaign to spread the word. There is no doubt, that in addition to extreme physical disabilities, she would have had severe intellectual disabilities. So, if those words pop into your mind, please do me a favor. Could you remember my precious baby girl? Surely, you would never have disrespected or humiliated her. I'm certainly not intending to make anyone feel badly, or to make myself sound holier-than-thou...just scroll back up and reread my words (remember bite me, and jackass jerk). I have more than enough to work on.
I am committed to this campaign. The Special Olympics has super cool "Spread the Word" tshirts for sale. So, I've decided it's time for another tshirt GIVEAWAY! Yippee!! To be entered, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, then visit the R-word site (yes, site meter will spill the beans on whether or not you visited R-word). Followers get an extra entry...that's right, there are times a girl has no shame. Winner will be randomly selected...that means I let Princie pull a name out of her Cowgirl hat! We're so high tech like that.