This is a response to something I saw on Facebook. I’m responding here, as I really needed time to think about what I wanted to say. It also comes out of many months worth of comments by many, but this one person felt they needed to say. If all the arguing and nastiness built up to this, the use of one word has made me spill forth.
Take what you’re about to see for what it is. This isn’t angry rambling. I’ve had time to craft this the way I know how. You can stop now, if you so choose.
Let it be known, my “friend,” that you are offensive.
I scrolled past what you said. I chose to ignore it. I ignored alot of things people have said about the elections. But, I’m not keeping quiet anymore. I opened my mouth a few months ago, but then I shut it again. But I’m refusing to be quiet anymore.
I really hate using this word (or the slang), so forgive me – this will the be the last and only time I say this word here. I will preface my saying this by reminding you that I do not EVER want to see anyone use this to comment on anything I share, whether it be here or on Facebook. If I see it (and I will, rest assured), your comment will be removed, and you will be warned. Do it again, and you will be blocked.
I saw a Facebook status by someone that used the derogatory slang used for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (the “R-word”), and applied it to Trump supporters. This person referred to people as “Trumptards,” citing that it is their new favorite word, and how funny it is (hahaha).
Guess who wrote that “hahaha,” because that’s how you felt?
Guess who didn’t write that “hahaha” because they found it funny.
Guess who isn’t laughing.
Nope. Not at all.
By using that, you are not only offending individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (how dare you), but you’re grouping people unfavorably based on their political affiliation, and ridiculing them based on your opinion. It’s almost as if someone who uses this word thinks it is perfectly acceptable to do so, and that is no better than the reaction of millions post-Election Day.
Guess who wasn’t laughing and gloating then either.
I’m still not laughing.
I’m also not gloating
And I’m not laughing right now.
I guess I should also remind you (and whoever feels this word is acceptable on any level) that the r-word is not only obsolete, but using offensive to anyone who lives and thrives with a developmental and intellectual disability. Use of the word suggests an inability to do something. The actual definition is “delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment.” By using that word, you’re effectively holding back any progress that has been made to not use that word (or use it correctly, in the medical sense). And by referring to Trump supporters in such a manner, it means the inability to vote based on decisions much like your own.
This may come as a shocker to you, but people from both sides (yes, both parties! Shocker!) are to blame for the hate speech and nastiness, but it is the non-Trump supporters (I won’t say in favor of any of the other candidates, given that not everyone voted for one of the two main parties) who are taking it to a whole other level by not accepting the way the election turned out. And this may also come as a shocker, but if the opposite had happened, this invasive (and pervasive) nastiness would not be as prevalent as it is right now. I know it wouldn’t be non-existent (you didn’t see that I said “existed,” so don’t twist my words), but it wouldn’t be as widespread.
By using this word, you are showing how ignorant you are. And I feel sorry for you. Really, I do. You miss out on meaningful friendships, and knowing that people (all people) are more than just their political affiliation. When you look past what you obviously perceive to be a flaw, you’d find that you can, in fact, be friends with people who don’t think the way you do. And since I don’t think the way you do, I’m not one of them.
You’re also missing out on getting to know the quality of life that individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities have. Having worked in this particular field for almost seven years, I can tell you that the individuals my co-workers support lead wonderful lives – they advocate for themselves, work, attend programs, volunteer, and have social calendars 99% of the people I know would be envious of. They also vote. Oh yes they do! They’ll also tell you how much they hate that word, whether it be the actual word, or the slang form. By using that word, you’re using one of the most offensive words in the English language. It started out as a medical term, and became a negative part of our everyday language.
I’m not here to lecture or tell you what you can and can’t say. I’m here, as a (hopefully) decent human being, to shed a little light on how the use of one supposedly small word can have huge consequences for how you (yes, you) are perceived as a person. Your very character rides on how you present yourself. If you so choose hate words/language and use it to belittle people who vote for a specific candidate, then you are also choosing to offend people who were once classified by the outdated slang you obviously find to be a normal part of language. Again, I feel sorry for you, the people who choose to befriend you, and the people who look up to you.
It’s one thing to see the word being used, and it’s another to make the decision that you really want people to see you using it on such a public forum. And it is yet another thing when people find it funny enough to laugh.
Will this be read? I hope so. Will it be read by the people that would benefit the most? Nope, probably not. Will I lose friends because of this? Yeah, most likely. If I haven’t given you reasons to respect me (at a minimum) or call me a friend (that may be asking too much at this point), then I’m not going to sway you. Will I gain friends? Nope, I won’t. I wish you well should you choose to unfriend me, but I hope you read this and understand that what you said really was a poor choice of words.
Freedom of speech is precious. You used your right, and I used mine.