Sunday, March 22, 2009

When Slurs are Facile

You're Slip is Showing! It was like something out of Special Olympics. You're so gay!

Last week our President let it slip that he compared his own bowling skills (abysmal) to the Special Olympics. The point being of course, that he was worse. Instead of being self-deprecating, which was his intent, it came across as a slur. Why?

There are still a few words that trip off the tongues of people who would never utter "nigger" or "kike" or "polack." It seems that special needs people, gay people and females are still subject to terms that are slurs hidden in humor.

I doubt the President meant to trash the Special Olympics, but really, how could that so easily come out of his mouth?


LisaL said...

It came out so easily because it's perfectly acceptable to him and so many others to make these comments. I don't think he was mean-spirited in intent, it just means absolutely nothing to him to talk like that. We have a lot of work to do! I'm glad you've posted this because many of his supporters are silent now. I know parents of special needs kids who are defending him, just because they voted for him. This is just plain wrong, regardless of political affiliation. Even as a semi-conservative, I'd be just as upset if any Republican said something like this.

pixiemama said...

I was really heartbroken over it. Why, Obama, why?

hellokittiemama said...

hear hear!!!

Ditto and Ditto again :)

GFCF Mommy said...

Heartbroken is how I felt too. But I thought Timothy Shriver's statement showed incredible grace and his hope that this would be a "teachable moment" was thoughtful.


Laura said...

Sigh. I was offended, too. Then read the comments of fellow dems on Huffington, and so many of the comments were about needing to "lighten up" and then there was the stuff about PC BS. Yeah, unless you were offended, it's just PC BS - OK? Do I have any more abbreviations to throw in? I was thinking about this this morning -- how many of the terms of insult came from the old terms to describe the spectrum of low IQ - imbecile, moron, idiot. Now they are common insults. Oh, and I saw your comment on fb (another abbrev. for ya!) about retarded, and retard and how the tard ending is so popular today in various slurs.

For the record, I thought Obama was comparing his treatment by others - the praise for his low bowling score, and people saying, "Good job!" etc. to spectators of Special Olympics. But, still offensive, and though I was glad he apologized to Shriver right away, it still saddens me that the audience laughed, and tons of other people out there thought the comment was funny and don't think, "Why exactly is it so funny to laugh at people who are different from you, people who don't meet society's standards of being 'normal'?"

Kim Stagliano said...

Everyone tries to defend their candidate - well a lot of people. When Palin pretty much offended 90% of America as "not being real Americans" because we didn't live in podunk towns and carry rifles in our F150s Conservatives backed her right up. It's human nature to defend your team. A-Rod and Bonds anyone?

IT will pass. I just thought I should mention it did raise my eyebrows. Now let's concentrate on raising the economy.

RJeff said...

I have several colleagues and friends who think nothing of the epithet "Oh, that's so retarded!" I, for one applaud the Special Olympics for their efforts in eradicating this depracating adjective.

As for the prez, IMO this turn of phrase is, for worse or for far worse, a part of the lexicon, and until attention is drawn to it, he's no better or no worse than any other human being. We as a concerned group need to assist in changing the perception of all human beings in this regard.

Cheryl Kauffman said...

I think all of us have said something we have later regretted. The most important thing is that we learn from our mistakes and realize we need to improve. One positive thing about this is it has brought attention to special needs children and the more we talk about this issue, the better chance for our nation to realize we have work to do on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Today (March 31) is the day: spread the word to end the word

I wrote a post about it here:

Anonymous said...

Because he's an arrogant jackass. Duh.

The bigger question is why so many intelligent people who should know better are willing to make excuses for such an incompetent jerk-off. He's a walking mistake. It's on him. That's no reflection on our kids.