Saturday, February 06, 2010

Took The Words Out Of My Mouth

I've been thinking about the Rahm Emmanuel incident regarding his use of the word "retarded" and trying to figure out how I wanted to address it. I've just read this Paul Shlichta article which says it all for me. The same could be said for other words, such as "bastard" which I once used as it was meant to be used and good golly how the poop hit the fan! Shlichta nails it. Now that I think of it, I get the same crap for using "homo".

12 comments:

Edwin Drood said...
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Edwin Drood said...

El Rushbo said it best, when Rahm called the special Olympics to apologize.

"Ralm calls a bunch of Democrats F'ing Retards and then apologizes to Retards."

winteryknight said...

I don't usually blog about these word gaffes. If somebody accidentally says something embarassing, you can talk to them aboutit privately, no need to blow it out of all proportion in public.

Mark said...

Rahm Emanuel has Downs Syndrome. And so does his boss.

Mark said...

My oldest son is mildly retarded, and I use the term in the correct way.

In spite of his handicap, he is raising his child remarkably well. Retardation doesn't necessarily mean the retarded person is stupid. Quite the contrary, my mildly retarded son is very intelligent.

For those of you who don't know or don't remember, my son's wife died suddenly last summer leaving him to raise three children by himself, the youngest of who was only 14 months old at the time.

Taking his mild retardation, as well as his medical and psychological problems into account, he really is doing a remarkable job raising his children.

winteryknight said...

What I mean is, you're fine to mention it, but other people are talking about it too much.

I don't think it should discussed more than the 1.56 trillion deficit or the 17% real unemployment rate.

Marshall Art said...

I agree that in the list of important issues, Emmanuel's verbal gaffe ranks low. However, not as low as it would be if it wasn't an Obama guy. Even more importantly, however, I feel that the urge to pillary someone over the use of such a word is political correctness run amok and it seems Palin has fallen prey to it, unless she's just calling out an Obama guy for the obvious hypocrisy.

For my part, to call someone a retard is to question their mental abilities. It is not a slight in the least toward those suffering form mental retardation because it's an appropriate term for them. For those who aren't, as I've suggested, it only means that they're idea or action wasn't the brightest or best and on par with what someone with an actual mental handicap could muster. There's way too much sensitivity over name calling in this country and it's a major dodge by those who claim offense.

Marshall Art said...

Mark,

To suggest Rahm or his boss have Downs IS an in appropriate remark considering they clearly don't have Downs. You really should retract the statement.

Stan said...

They just don't get it. It's not the "N-word" or the "F-word" or the "R-word" that causes the problem. When someone uses a term -- any term -- to classify someone else as primarily different and possibly different in a not-so-good way, it will be received as an insult. The last person crossing the finish line in a race doesn't like to hear "loser", but "speed challenged" doesn't make it feel better. Until we're able to control the responses to our terminology, we won't be able to fix this problem.

Marshall Art said...

Exactly Stan, and something I've suggested myself on more than one occasion, particularly regarding racism. People make too much of the word when the real issue is the intention of the person using it. Such insults have no power unless the recipient of the insult gives it power.

Always On Watch said...

Isn't "retardation" a medical term? If I recall correctly, it used to be.

Marshall Art said...

AOW,

Yes it is. However, as the linked article shows, some, like Special Olympics Exec Tim Shriver, wish to eliminate it from the medical lexicon due to its use as a slur or insult. But as the author suggests, when the word "challenged" is used instead, then "challenged" has been used to insult. "Special" then became the accepted word, but it too is used in the same manner.


It happens in other areas as well. Homosexuals don't like "homo", although it's merely an abbreviation and therefor appropriate, so they went with "gay", a word I never use publicly for that purpose. Of course, how common is the put down, "that's so gay"?

The problem of course is that people are way too sensitive and the politically correct crowd use this crap as another bludgeon to control others. How gay and retarded is that?