Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Not Acceptable"

I just found this in my inbox and am thrilled!  Lauren Potter and Jane Lynch of Glee are part of his "hard-hitting" PSA that addresses the fact that the R-word is just as hurtful as other slurs that are no longer a part of our lexicon.  For people with intellectual disabilities and their families, the R-word is an incredibly hurtful slur.

I admit that until I had Joey I had not truly thought about the R-word and what it means and how powerful it is.  

I recently was talking to another mom who has a son who has Down syndrome.  He is 25-years-old and what hit the most in my gut was that his mom told me that when people use that word, he knows exactly what it means and it hurts.  When you really think about the person it is being directed at knowing what it means--that is when I get a lump in my throat.

I am guilty of having used it in the past in casual conversation.  I thought that because it wasn't directed at anyone that it wasn't hurtful.  I was wrong.  I was so wrong.  We are all human, we all make mistakes and we can all try to be a little bit better and a little more thoughtful.  Please join me in trying to use a new R-word-- Respect.

New Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign PSA

    This 30-second television PSA gives voice to a variety of diverse communities, each of whom expresses that it is not acceptable to call them by what were once common words, but are now recognized as offensive slurs. It culminates in actress and self-advocate Lauren Potter from “Glee” stating that it is not acceptable to use the word ‘retard.’ She and “Glee” co-star Jane Lynch make a call to action to stop using the R-word and to promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

    One constant challenge with raising awareness about the hurtful nature of the R-word is that most people do not view it to be as hurtful as other common epithets that our society has consensually removed from our lexicon. The PSA “Not Acceptable” tackles that challenge head on in a hard-hitting and impactful way in an effort to educate our society that for people with intellectual disabilities and those that love them, the R-word is just as hurtful as any other slur. You can make a difference today by taking the pledge to stop using the word 'retard' and replace it with a new R-word: Respect.

    “Not Acceptable” has been previewed by and received support from multiple advocacy organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, Special Olympics, GLAAD, Best Buddies, The National Action Network, The Hispanic Federation, National Puerto Rican Coalition, The Asian-American Foundation, AbilityPath.org and the NAACP.  See the statements of support.
    To date, multiple networks have committed to airing this powerful and compelling PSA including Fox and a majority of their cable channels and regional sports networks, MTV, USA Network and Turner networks including TNT, TBS, truTV and CNN.
    "Not Acceptable" was executive produced by Jim Serpico and Tom Sellitti of New York based Apostle, and shot, produced and directed by Spot On from City Island, NY.

    1 comment:

    1. well said, Jen! Your last paragraph is spot on for I too, had used it casually in the past thinking that it meant no harm because it was not directed at anyone. Not so! It is hurtful and wrong. Respect is the word :-)


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