Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Speak out: The r-word

Well, I had this big long blog all set complaining about how annoyed I was at our eye doctor and our hour and 45 minute wait today, but something more important has arisen, so I will share that instead!
As some of you know, I used to work at Special Olympics Indiana. It was a great organization and the athletes are amazing. This evening I received an e-mail from one of my friends who still works there telling me about the new Ben Stiller/Jack Black movie and how it uses the "r-word." Here is some of her e-mail:

Lots of you may have heard about the controversy surrounding the new Ben Stiller/Jack Black movie Tropic Thunder, and its depiction of people with intellectual disabilities.

Without going into too many details, the gist is that the movie completely makes fun of and demeans people with intellectual disabilities. The “r-word”, retard (it makes me cringe to even type that word!) is used over 20 times in the film. I find it shocking and appalling that this is considered funny. I love a good joke as much as the next person, but to make fun of the most vulnerable population in the most callous way, in a format that will reach hundreds of thousands of people, is simply mean. And in no way funny.

Special Olympics, Best Buddies, Down’s Syndrome Association and many other disability advocacy group are strongly protesting this film. One of the ways in which Special Olympics is doing that is through the petition “Change the Conversation…Stop using the r-word.” You can visit and sign an online petition to not use that word and to help erase it from the popular vernacular.

I agree with her and many, many others and cannot believe that this word is still being used. So if you get a chance visit the the above site and Speak out against the use of the "r-word."