Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Did you say the "R" word? Oh no!

There is a message floating around social media in regards to the CEO devotion vodka. The message was an exchange of emails from him and a former employee, the only message we see if the one where the CEO ask the former employee "how is your retarded kid") The former employee's child was born with Down syndrome. I do not know the full email exchange. I was heated reading this being a mother to a son who also has Down syndrome. I was so heated that I sent a message to one of the recipients of the email and also to the CEO of that said company.

After thinking on this for a few days,here are my thoughts. It's natural to immediately "hate" the guy who said this horrible thing about a child. Who does that right? Who could be so cruel? What kind of man is he? Well I'm sure he's human. He said something very bad in the heat of the moment. (No excuse) have I said something in the heat of the moment? Sure I have, we all have and you wouldn't be human if you said you never did. Yes I agree bringing a child into the conversation was totally wrong. 

As a mother of a child who has Ds that word is very hurtful and disrespectful. This word has been used to "describe" our children for a long time. It's also been a not so good slang word. It shouldn't be a slang word. Example.. "That shirt looks retarded" couldn't you say "that shirt looks horrible?" With that being said, me as a mom works hard to advocate for my child as many of us do. What do we advocate for? Acceptance, understanding,inclusion,respect, and no more hate. Hate is what this guy is getting. A guy I don't know, a guy who many wish his job will be lost and he would "loose" it all. He made a mistake no doubt about that. I ask myself what was the full message being exchanged?We don't know. 

If I help spread hate doesn't that mean my advocating is pointless? I work to stop the hate and perception of my child. I do hate the word myself, has it always affected me? No! Maybe now my eyes are open and I realize what a horrible word it is and how many words could be used to replace that "slang" word. No he didn't use it as slang he used it to describe a child per say, but I do not know the full content of emails and I will just say I hope he leaned a lesson in that word and how it can be hurtful to others. 

I have a best friend who uses the word to describe everything! I've had this conversation with her as well. Does that mean she is no longer my friend? No she is my friend and I know she just needs to use better words. She loves my child, she's a great person I don't wish her dead or to loose all she has. All we can do is educate others and hope it helps. 

I'm ending this with saying, don't use that word it is just not right! And when having an adult argument don't bring innocent kids into it. As a "friend" said recently "we are our worst enemies"  at times. I can't hate everyone who says the word "retarded" but I can help let them know it's hurtful and there is many more words to use. So Mr. CEO I wish you the best and I hope you never describe a child as retarded again.  That's just "stupid"! 

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