So lemme get this straight: When the word R-E-T-A-R-D-E-D is used in satire as Rush Limbaugh and funny guys like me use it, it's acceptable? But when the show 'Family Guy' - who just so happens to be aired on Fox by the way - uses it, or the depiction of a "Neurologically Atypical" character it's just so much like wrong, right? Damn, if everybody had a sense of humor they'd be better served at pushing their agendas. Speaking of which, checkout what the actual actor whose voice was used for that 'Family Guy' bit had to say about all of this via The New York Times. Her name is Andrea Fay Friedman, she's 39yrs old, and is an actor and public speaker who happens to have Downs Syndrome:
I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska” was very funny. I think the word is “sarcasm.” In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life.Wow, it's just too bad that some folks are unable to live normal and happy lives as a result of not having a sense of humor. You know, people who feel the need to carry their own disability as a cross? I mean, if a person with Downs Syndrome can identify "sarcasm" and humor. Surely Sarah Palin and, well, the people who were offended by my post are able to discern sarcasm from hate, no? I'm just sayin', Palin was able to detect Limbaugh's use of the word retarded as satirical and defend it as such. But hey, I think there's a word in the dictionary or a term we can use to explain her behavior; and no, it is not Neurologically Atypical, but I'll let you figure it out.
If you follow this link to The New York Times story and interview with Ms. Friedman, you might be surprised to know that she has also worked for a law firm for the last 20yrs and that she doesn't see the episode as an insult to people with Downs Syndrome and or other people with mental challenges. In my opinion, that's the problem; treating people like her as different and incapable of leading normal lives. Something I happen to know a little bit about considering that my ex-wife has a son who is autistic. He just so happened to graduate High School last year with honors last year, and is currently attending college in Kentucky.
Which is funny because when we first found out he was autistic he was 3yrs old and we had been married for a year and a half. We were married 10yrs before our divorce, and sometimes when I think about how far he has come, one would think that I would be amazed. But to tell you the truth, we gave him love and treated him no different than any other normal human being. So that said, I don't see the word retarded as an insult or a pejorative. In truth, the funny thing about the word is that it is used to describe a person with certain limits mentally, but yet we all know many of them who have not lived up to that hype or stereotype - except for Sarah Palin and the Neurologically Asstistical who comment on this blog, of course