Thursday, October 07, 2010

Politically incorrect

I believe in being politically correct.  I know, I know, people make fun of the concept like it's a stupid idea or something.  But I think it's a good thing.  The point is to show respect for everybody and not do or say things that promote stereotypes and that hurt people's feelings.

My favorite example is when I was on the board of the local association for people with development disabilities.  The original name was The Association for Retarded Citizens.  The board of directors wanted to change the name back to use the word, "retarded."  Of course, people who have been labeled, "retarded" want nothing to do with that word.  They call it the "r" word.  It has been used against them as a label that means a worthless person good only for being made fun of.  The board of directors thought that by changing the name back, potential donors would better understand what the organization was about and it would be easier to raise money. 

My reaction was, "Okay.  We are an organization that represents people with developmental disabilities.  They hate the word, "retarded" and would rather die than be associated with a group that is called by that word.  But we're going to do it anyway like we don't care what the people we represent feel.  Hmmm.  I think that's wrong."  But the board still put it to a vote of the members of the organization.  A bunch of people with developmental disabilities joined the organization so they could vote and voted the proposition down.  Thank God.  I resigned from the board shortly thereafter. 

I think it's important to care about our own attitudes, words and behaviors.  We're all just one car wreck away from being disabled ourselves.  Even if that weren't the case, I wonder what kind of life it is to go through the world basically just not giving a shit how we hurt people and "putting down" people who do care.

1 comment:

Liz said...


Blog Archive