Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I agree with Sarah Palin

I think Sarah Palin is a turd.

I call her a "turd" because I don't know her personally, so it would be hard for me to call her an idiot. Well, it wouldn't be hard for me to call her an idiot, but I don't like classifying people when I don't know them. That's a dangerous practice.

So, turd it is.

But, I agree with her on something she said recently, regarding use of the word retarded in place of stupid.

Last night I caught the tail end of ABC World News, and the only thing I heard was, essentially, that Sarah Palin was likening Rahm Emanuel's use of the word "retarded" to use of the word "nigger." That's pretty much all they said. So, of course, that didn't sit well with me, because if there's one thing I dislike (and trust me, there are many), I dislike when people try to compare evil to evil. You know, like saying slavery was worse than the Holocaust, or 9/11 was worse than Hurricane Katrina, etc. To me, evil is evil. Don't compare them, because you just get yourself in hot water when you try.

Well, today I went to look for some more information regarding what happened. I am practicing not being so quickly dismissive in my life, because I realized not too long ago that I am, and that's a problem, not only because it leads to me making strong, rash judgments (not me, Miss Non-Judgmental!), but it also means that I don't take the time to think things through. When I make a judgment, I want to make it based upon sound, detailed thought.

So, I found the article (on, no less) about what happened. Apparently, Rahm Emanuel called a bunch of Democrats "fucking retarded." Sounds like something you've said before, doesn't it? I know I have. Even though he said this in August, it leaked recently, and Sarah Palin (who has a special-needs child) made a statement about it, and this is what she said:
"Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the 'N-word' or other such
inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the
people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking."

And I agree with what she said. This is why reading is fundamental, because if you go with what the news tells you, you'll probably end up misjudging a lot of things going on in the world today. The news definitely changed the tone of what she said and left off how she wasn't comparing "retarded" and "nigger," but, was actually including "retarded" in a group of words that has too-common of a usage in today's society. (And too-common of a hurt experienced by people these words have linkage with.)

I knew a young lady in college who would always correct people when they said the word "retarded," and I had, up until that point, never thought about my usage of the word. It's a common insult growing up, and although it wasn't a part of my daily speech, when someone did something silly, I wouldn't think twice if someone said, "man, you're retarded."

Though I may not feel personally offended when someone says, "man, you're retarded," or "man, that's gay," Sarah Palin is right. Because if someone called me a "nigger" as a common insult, or a greeting, or as anything, I'd be ready to knock some heads. But, what kind of educated person could I call myself if I only bring awareness to when people use derogatory language that affects me, but allow all other derogatory language to flow?

So, I think about that when I hear kids at work call each other retarded, and I tell them not to say it, but to correctly verbalize what they are trying to express (such as saying, man you're silly, or man, that was dumb, rather than retarded). Because I am not one of those people sold on the fact that words are just words and that they cannot hurt unless you "give them power." If we continue using words like "gay," "retarded," or "nigger" in everyday speech, it's not that they will lose their hurtful power. Instead, people will just become ignorant to the struggles behind the words. And ignorance is failure.


Esmerelda said...

I'm going to make this a goal for this year - stop saying "gay" and "retarded." I'm very careful about all other inflammatory words but somewhat slack with these as they are socially acceptable (somewhat).

And I despised Sarah Palin until her Oprah interview. Now I am only mildly irritated by her. She can make a few good points, interspersed with turds, of course.

Miss Malorie said...

Esmerelda, I agree with you. I have a younger sister who is in high school, so frequently I catch myself joking with her and saying "that's so gay," and I am consciously making an effort to stop, especially since I work with kids... I can't tell them not to do it and then I do it also.

And I missed her Oprah interview, but I would have liked to see it. This comment that she made also lowered my irritation level, if only a little bit. Now, let's hope she doesn't say something stupid in the next month or so that would have to raise my irritation again.

(Thanks for reading, by the way!! :)

C said...

I think that speaking intentionally is a very difficult thing to do and I admit to using the n-word, gay and retarded. I don't necessarily agree with Palin that the n-word is even on the same level (or anywhere close) to the usage of the word retarded, but I can definitely see that it is hurtful when intended to be so.

Miss Malorie said...

C, I also agree with you. But, speaking with well thought-out intent is definitely a good thing. And no, I didn't agree with her when I thought she was comparing the two words either, but I think she was rather just making a point about the group of words that are extremely hurtful. I think the media did the spin job and made it seem like she was making a comparison. Anything to be sensational, as the media certainly is.

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