Attila, the R-Word & Me: The Last Post

I am always ready, willing and mostly able to discuss anything I present on “as the crow flies…”, regardless of whether you agree with me or not unless you call me names and have nothing but ugliness to spread around. I delete that stuff which is why if you went looking for the disparaging comments left the other day you won’t find them. I think discussion and open communication are important in any public forum so long as you can manage to be civil and constructive.

But as with all good things, this must come to an end. School is beginning for Attie and her son in a few days and the first days back to high school is always requires more of a mom’s energy and more so when you have a creative and thoughtful kid like Little Guy. I’ll look forward to reading about his new experiences and growth this year.

So in my habit of seeing things through to the end, I am posting Attie’s last comment to our discussion.

why I love you so much—your willingness to discuss and discuss. 🙂
I’m not even going to READ the dorky comment left. Thanks for the

I certainly don’t think any words should be banned, and I hope it
didn’t come off that way (and how in the world do you “ban” a word?).
But to hear/read some people talk (not you, of course), you’d think
that because some people have a disability, they don’t have a right to
voice their objections either, much less occupy a space on the planet:

“I think most people that have a disability should be dead- the ones
that contribute nothing, they are like that cause they have bad genes
(recessive genes), and keeping them alive and letting them breed is
stupid- and- Tropic Blunder… what a retarded slogan”…from Youtube.

In your post, you wrote: ‘”What if that boy had yelled “Throw it
back! Are you slow or what?” Would that have made it any better an
experience for either of them?’

I’m not positive, but I think it might have. My son would have
probably thought about it for a minute and said something like, “Well,
I guess maybe I am being slow.” But as the word “retard” has been slung
at him as an insult so often, I’m not sure he is able to distinguish
it’s originally intended meaning from what it has become in our
culture–a word deliberately used to degrade people with cognitive

You wrote: “Is it really just about creating awareness in the
general population about the use of a term that some people find

It is to me, but obviously I can’t speak for anyone else.

As always, love to you, my friend, and I appreciate your willingness to share ideas.

I think I’m going to bow out of the discussion now because school,
etc is starting this week and I’m going to have a whole new set of
issues on my plate to stress me out and piss me off. I can only handle
one thing at a time. 😉

Thanks again,


No you didn’t come off as
wanting to ban the word or the movie in my view, so much as supporting those who do. Obviously you can’t ban a word, but demonstrators and protesters were calling for a ban of the movie which is what I objected to.

There are many people in the world with disabilities far more profound than mine and I have often thinking while reading Attie’s posts about her son how difficult it must be to have a child with hidden disability like his, especially a cognitive one.

I readily admit, my immediate world is not focused on intellectual, developmental  or cognitive disabilities anymore so I don’t always hear the “retard” comments as well as I used to when I was working with people with those disabilties. I also don’t have children in my life on a day to day basis and raising kids is tough job, not for the faint of heart for sure. So I am well aware of my deficits in understanding what it is to be a mom to a teenage kid with cognitive disabilites, at least I think I am.

I am artist and writer with a disability, not “legally” married but with a partner of 13 years, no kids and the ability to express myself freely nearly all the time. Our Bill of RIghts is very important to me, especially the first 2, which are being attacked and eroded with alarming regularity by both society as a whole and the government.

Obviously anyone who reads Cheaper Than Therapy or your Disaboom blog
with any regularity knows that you are not someone who jumps on the
bandwagon without some thought so I was a surprised by your defense of
such things. I am grateful you didn’t just blow me off and ignore the
conversation. Thanks for slogging through it with me, helping me to
see more clearly your point of view and reminding me I need to comment more…;)

This is the way I have seen true change come about. It doesn’t happen by censorship or insults and that is why I believe conversations and discussions like this are so valuable. They keep our minds open and views broad by asking us to stretch our perceptions and see the world as others see it and then come to understand what that other path must be like for the person traveling it.