To the Radio Station that described the weather as "retarded"...


The other day one of your Radio Host so eloquently used the word "retarded" to describe the weather. It was brought to Happy Soul Project's attention and we posted this on your Facebook Page:


I didn't post it so anyone would lose their job or get in trouble in any way shape or form. I totally realize it wasn't said in malice or directed at anyone - It was simply used as slang in a way that someone wouldn't even realize they are offending anyone. 


See here's the thing. Before I had my daughter Pip, who just happens to have Down syndrome, I probably used that same word to describe my brother when he annoyed me, any form of exercise because I can't stand it and like your Radio Host the weather. It wasn't said with the intent to hurt anyone, it was used as "that's so gay" might be. Not in hate but still both wrong. 


I mean even after having Pip, close people in my life still use the word without thinking. And while I'm not normally an "R-Word Crusader", I do have to honestly admit I cringe inside each and every time I hear it said. 


And if I cringe and am not  ├╝ber sensitive about it, you can imagine how hurtful it would seem to others that are. You see some people fight tirelessly to spread the word to end this word. And then to have it so causally used in the media, it's as if it takes all their efforts back a bunch of steps. 


There is also the issue and responsibility of being a voice and changing social perspective starting from behind your microphone. Because we are consciously making an effort to not use that word in our home, to then have my 3 year old hear it used to describe the weather through the media, is not right. I understand he will hear it at school, within society, through friends, etc, but the media should be the place where we are leading the way on change. 


You've issued an apology: 


And I want to applaud you for listening to others and realizing one small word can hold such power. But after reading comments from others, there is obviously still so much to do to educate that change:


 "If she loses her job it will be retarded..."
Wow...our society is way too sensitive. If you are afraid of being offended don't listen to any sort of media...or venture outside your home for that matter. Get a life.", "it doesnt surprise me that ppl are taking a big defense to the word 'retarded' or any bad word for that matter, we can't sing our national anthem at school because we defend ppl, we can't say merry Christmas: because we defend ppl and its all complete bullshit if you ask me"
"This is retarded to be discussing this. Its a word. A word that can be used to describe and emphasize many diferent things"
"O ya bc im over weight should i take offense of the holiday fat Tuesday... its just uggg a friggin word people get over it." 
And a real special one "Here is a new word some people are fuctards'.


Listen, I get it, I really do, I'm a writer, I live and breathe words. It is just a word. But look what one little word can do. Look what one little word can evoke in people, both good and bad. Look how one little word can powerfully start a conversation. 


So, I guess in a way thank you for describing the weather that way. Because you started a greater conversation to bring awareness to where change is needed. 


Cheers,



14 comments:

  1. I guess I've complained that in these past few years we've become almost a little TOO politically correct, but this word, retarded, hits closer to home. I agree, it's insensitive, but that's because my cousin Todd was DS. I've always asked people who used it in my presence to not do so in the future and no one has mocked me or criticized me or said I shouldn't be so sensitive. And I DO think that in most cases, the people referring to the weather as retarded, or some other scenario, in most cases, they are not being vindictive or mean. But while I agree, in some cases, that we worry a little too much sometimes about being PC, this one, this word, this one matters to me... Thanks for making me realize I can't have it both ways...

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  2. Anonymous14.2.15

    "I'm a writer I live and breath words."

    Would it be retarded to suggest a new career or hobby?

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    1. Anonymous14.2.15

      You are an ugly troll Anonymous. Go away and cast your miserable, sad, negative energy elsewhere. Tara, your blog is amazing, inspiring and changing the world. Keep on shining!

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    2. Anonymous14.2.15

      God graced us with much more than we could ever dream. Some peole,those that use the smallest amount of brain we were born with, would be considered to have small minds. Of all the words in the world,we are capable of so much more than small minds venture to use. This is really an issue of personal growth. What a shame to waste minutes, time,and life by being small minded. Especially when you reachout,go out of your way to post something publicly,or broadcast to many over the air. These that do so are wanting to be heard...want their message out there for others to hear. What a loss it is to use that ability to reach others by having such a small mind...and not use other words or great language has to offer. A tacky way to say it" why must people remain to be so stupid." Because not having anything nice to say is just like being stupid.....cant think of anything better??? And so ypud call that a small mind. Be and do good at the least. Good day to you who hides behind anonymous to lash out at someone with your small mind.

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    3. It would be to use that word on this post. What is wrong with you? There is no good way to use the R-word.

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  3. Anonymous14.2.15

    This touches me and I want you to know that I am thankful that you took a stand. I have a sister, cousin and second cousin with special needs. I am also a highschool teacher. I begin the first day of each semester discussing this aspect of my personal life with my students and I ask them to kindly respect me, my family, themselves and their friends by not referring to anyone in our class or school community as "stupid, retarded, idiots or morons etc". I say that I have had to grow up listening to people put others and themselves down - when we should be in a positive environment where we build one another up. The looks of guilt that overcome the faces of my students is shocking - as they never think of this, since this was not their intent when they used the words...however, they do acknowledge and agree that nothing good comes out of using the words.

    I do want to say that there was one semester when I didn't make this short 2 minute speech to my classes. And the outcome was unbelievable - there were students who used those words EVERY day - without a thought and each time they used it, I cringed and my heart broke a little bit. Needless to say....I am back to saying the speech each class, each semester - and it makes a world of difference. :)

    I hope people aren't ignorant or rude enough to not realize the negative connotations attached to using such words and that now this conversation is happening, perhaps it will decrease the amount of times they use it in the future.

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  4. The author of the comment above has gone out of his/her way to be hurtful, but lacks the courage to even sign his/her name. Pathetic.

    Tara, thank-you for having the courage to say and do all the things you do!

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  5. Anonymous14.2.15

    Krys.. " this one matters cuz it offends me " basically admitting that if you didn't have a personal connection you would completely agree the outrage about the retard word is retarded. Its mind boggling, the double standards people can delude themselves with. Either suck it up and be consistent with your views, and don't tell people not to use the word,..... Or be consistent and do so for every word someone might find offensive. But you won't. Because its all about what offends "you" . Everyone else is too sensitive and PC until someone says something that offends you and then they are I'm the wrong. Lmao

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  6. If only you brave enough to post your sarcasm without being anonymous.

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  7. Dave C14.2.15

    It's not over-sensitive to point out that something can be offensive. It's interesting to see how sensitive some people are to your perceived sensitivity, and how aggressively they react.

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  8. I think the comments on the FB site have been removed!

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  9. Anonymous16.2.15

    I have an aunt with down syndrome. I know all too well what the word means in its most offensive way. However, I am not immune to using it. To describe inanimate ojects, never people. We can't remove a word from the dictionary because a group of people might be offended. I don't think of my aunt as "retarded". She's not.

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