Tolerance is a weird thing. Historically, our country has not been very tolerant. Discrimination has shown its ugly head throughout many centuries in one way or another. Living in the South my entire adult life, I have seen some quite ignorant discriminatory acts. Some of the reasons I love the South are directly connected to the reasons I hate it. I love manners and politeness and rules. I love that I am surrounded by so many Christians. I love being able to put a Christmas tree in my classroom. I love that my cross-country team prays before meals and meets. And all the other teams do, too! I love NOT having hustle and bustle of massive cities. I hate pollution. (I'm probably being discriminatory here because of all the things I associate the North with. Haha.) You know what else? I believe there's nothing wrong with being gay. I have friends that are... DEMOCRATS *gasp*. I also have friends that are non-Christian, even atheist. I try my hardest to be open-minded and tolerant, realizing that we are all from different backgrounds and have had different walks in this life. It's kind of like the saying, "there are many ways to skin a cat." There are many ways to be a good person.
You know what I do hate. Ignorant people. And getting to the point of what's been bothering me, I hate the way mentally disabled people are treated. I hate hearing the word "retarded" thrown around in normal conversation. A coach during a football game is not "retarded." Another driver on the road is not "retarded." When you or someone else make a mistake, you are not a "retard."
Mental retardation is a documented disorder used by SCHOOLS (and other facilities) to identify a person with an IQ below a certain level (70).
I'm not even sure how the term "retard" or "retarded" became so commonly used among teens and adults as a put-down. Why are we tolerant of this??????? And yes, we are tolerant. Within one week, I had 3 facebook friends use this word in common conversation and another very close friend used it twice in common conversation talking to ME. Out of these 4 times, none of the terms were used correctly. Once used when talking about a new law/tax, one for a football call, one for a RACE, and another person used it describing themselves (when clearly they do not have an IQ below 70).
Would you throw around the terms "faggot" or "nigger"? Would you use "diabetic" or "amputee" as put-downs?
You are probably wondering, "My gosh, what got into her?" I think what's gotten into me is that I am totally and utterly consumed with my classroom. And yes, I teach children with mental retardation. They are not "retards." They are people, and they are caring, and wonderful, and they show more compassion and love than 90% of the other people I know. They love to learn, and if you ever hurt their feelings, it is on. You will deal with me.
And that's what's on my mind this week. Do me a favor, if you hear someone use the term "retard" remind them that they are IGNORANT. "Ignorant" is the appropriate and correct term for someone that does not have awareness or education on a topic.