Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear Hollywood -- Get A Grip Part 2

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."  Nelson Mandela

Wow-- the power of parents is amazing!!!

Since posting my rant about the movie "The Change Up" on Friday night there has been ACTION!!!

One of the moms from the Babycenter: Down Syndrome Group started a Facebook page called "Stop Disability Slurs -Do You Have The Courage?"

Multiple moms who have children who have Down syndrome have also blogged about their feelings and reactions to the movie:

The Chronicles of Ellie Bellie Bear:
The 3rd 21st:
Julian's Journey--Life As We Know It:

This is what we call a grassroots effort, folks!!!  It's incredible and it's powerful and the message is that we will not stand by and let our children, our friend's children or anyone else with a disability be the subject of slurs and hateful language without putting up a fight.

What can you do?  You can "Like" the Facebook page called "Stop Disability Slurs -Do You Have The Courage?"  Just visit the page and "Like" and show Hollywood that while we like our Junior Mints, our extra large buttered popcorn and our Diet Coke's, we do not like disability slurs against our children.

It's been a couple of days since I saw the movie and there has been a lot of discussion among the moms who have children with Down syndrome as to how we feel about it and what feelings the movie brings up.

I was just angry on Friday.  Now I am just sad and I worry about Joey's future.  I worry about him being in a dark movie theater and feeling as sad and hurt as I did.  We went out to escape for a few hours from what has been a pretty intense summer with Joey's open heart surgery only eight weeks ago.  We wanted to laugh and enjoy a night out.  Instead, my heart ached and instead of escaping for the night I felt tears stinging my eyes and my stomach wrenching in knots because to hear someone ask if a child is "retarded" and to say that the child looks a little "downsy" was just too much for me to bear.  I swear to you--it was almost like watching a car accident because it felt like time slowed down and I heard every cruel word so clearly.  I hope that my posts and the other mom's posts help prevent other parents, family and friends from paying their hard-earned money for such hateful slurs in a "comedy".

The other piece that is so tough is that we LOVE the movies.  We really do.  We go to every, single Oscar nominated movie.  We see every single documentary, cartoon, drama, and foreign film that is nominated every year.  It's our passion and our escape.  I hope that someday Tommy and Joey will also escape with us to the movies--but what I fear is that someday, unless we speak up now and unless something is done, Joey will innocently be sitting in a theater and also hear such ignorance and hate and I fear so deep in my heart that he will know exactly what they are saying and tears will sting his eyes.

Our friend's son is 25-years-old and he has Down syndrome.  He also loves the movies.  His mom and I talked awhile back about the "r" word and about the disability slurs.  She said to me, "Jen, be prepared.  They know.  They know what those words mean and they know when people are making fun of them."

That is what truly breaks my heart.  I am tough and I am getting tougher every day, but I will forever stand up for any man, woman or child who is being unjustly singled out and ridiculed for something they have not one ounce of control over.

What can you do?  You can become educated.  You can help educate others.  You can try to be more aware, more compassionate and more understanding of all differences.  We are the change.

Trying on our Buddy Walk shirts! 

The Buddy Walk is a wonderful way to help spread awareness.

Maureen and Dick visiting their All Star.


  1. Jen, it all starts with one. In this case, you were/are the "one". I read your post about the movie and became both angered and sad. I posted it on facebook. Gretchen (Julian's Life Journey) saw my post and wrote her blog. She created the FB page Stop Disability Slurs in which I am now co-admin. There are now other organizations taking a stand and issues public announcements. It all started because YOU took a chance and YOU stood up. If it wasn't for your blog. . . Keep doing what you are doing because it is working!!!!!

    Btw, love the Buddy Walk shirts! Ours isn't until October and we cannot register yet. . .need help with a team name--suggestions???

  2. Forgot--that last pic is priceless

  3. Awwww--- Anna-- thank you so much-- you are too kind. I was just angry and couldn't hold it in!!!
    I'm starting to brainstorm about Ellie's Buddy Walk team.... it's got to be something relating to her. We did a baseball theme because our walk is held up where the Cleveland Indians play baseball. The first thing that comes to mind is Ellie's "Bow"dacious Bears and all the girls could have bows they wear in their hair with the colors matching your team shirts! Can you tell I am girl-hungry!!! :-) All these boys!!! That website: gave me the idea. I'll keep thinking! Hugs and thanks to you!

  4. Nice job with this post! It's nice that even though we live in a time where we have to face these slights, we can also be these kinds of advocates for our children and start to raise awareness.


Thank you for your comment! We read every comment!