I am mad today. Mad for Ollie. Mad for our society.
Before I joined the Down Syndrome community never realized how easily and often the word retarded was thrown around. It's constantly used & I will admit to be a user of the word in my younger years - shame on me. I know better now.
We use the word retarded to call each other stupid or ridiculous. Well it is a hate word. It is a disability slur. Now that I have Ollie, it hurts. If someone called her retarded to my face I think I'd lose it on them.
Do you think this face is stupid or ridiculous? Would you make fun of her to my face for having Down Syndrome? Would you think it was funny that she has to work harder at every single thing she will accomplish in life than anyone else?
No. The fact is that she is a person. She may have special needs, but she deserves respect. She is loved. She is unique. She is smart. She is joyful. She is funny. She is only 6 months old & she is changing the world & perspectives of those that have met her.
First it was GQ magazine. In a fashion article they said in a nutshell that Boston's fashion is so bad that they add a little extra and ruin it, just like Down Syndrome. They issued a standard apology email to all those that complained, but have yet to publicly apologize. Shame on GQ magazine - you owe us all a public apology and even a fashion spread with young men & women of the DS community styling it up!
Now it's the new movie The Change Up. I for one am very disappointed because I'm a huge Ryan Reynolds fan & have been since his days on 2 Guys A Girl & A Pizza Place. I wanted to see this movie, but now I won't put my money into a pocket that is involved. In one scene in the beginning of the movie, Ryan Reynolds who plays a bachelor who has never settled down, visits his long-time friend Jason Bateman; he sees his twins in their high chairs and says, “Why aren’t they talking – what are they retarded?” Which is offensive enough but then he says, “And this one, he looks Downsy”. I mean seriously come on Ryan & Hollywood - is it funny?
So I ask you - would it be so hilarious to make racial jokes, religious jokes, sexist jokes, gay jokes? No! We as society have stood up against this stuff for years & look at the progress made!
But where is this progress for the people with special needs? Who stands up for them? If they can't advocate for themselves who does it for them?
I know some people may think I'm a bit sensitive on the matter, but why the hell wouldn't I be? Why would I not fight for Ollie?! It's time for a change! It's time for a movement! It's time for us to stop backing down & to say you aren't funny when you make fun of people with any form of disability!
It starts with us.
Please join us in this quest! Read here how to help & follow the steps to join our facebook group & how to pester Hollywood enough to get an apology & make an impact on future films.