Sunday, August 17, 2008

Political Correctness Gone Stupid

I know my buddy, The Offended Blogger, usually handles all the offended posts, but she's busy and may miss this latest group of offended folks.

The "N" word. Oh my friggin gawd, don't say it unless you are a certain color, or else someone will feel terrible, and be highly offended.

But, of course, rappers can say it every other word, and it makes them millions. If it makes people feel badly, why should anyone say it? Furthermore, the word is rooted in hatred. Ok, I'm down with not saying it.

For that matter, it seems everyone takes license to poke fun at any group, if they are a member of that group. I mean, is it right to chuckle at one testicled men with pus oozing from their leg even if a member of that elite group? Just sayin'

Never refer to someone as handicapped or crippled, because it will offend them to no end.

Photobucket

Yeah, I'm sure the disabled feel so much better when you descrbe them as a person with a disability rather than refering to them as "those crippled guys." Yeah, makes them want to friggin dance. Oops, sorry about that. You know what I mean.

What's the newest term?

The "R" word.

Oh, yeah. The new movie Tropic Thunder has received protests, both in letter and actual marchers who are urging boycotts because the movie refers to people as retards.

Ok, this is my line in the sand. Photobucket

No, not because I think we should bandy about the word retard, but because of the stupidity of getting offended by this word.

First, where did the word come from? It was a replacement for clinically issued words that were used early in the 20th century.

Get yourself some psychology diagnosis terminology books from the last century and prepare to be surprised. I worked in the mental health field (hard to believe, huh?) and a typical diagnosis would read, and I'm not making this up "Sally is an idiot, but with proper training may one day become a moron."

Obviously, the words changed in meaning as they entered the lexicon of the average American.

So has the word retard. In fact, most mental health agencies use a different terminology when describing their clients. It ranges from cognitively disabled to people with intellectual disabilities to mentally challenged, and numerous names in between.

So, in essence, my question is this: If it's a word they don't use, then why do they protest?

It just looks to me like they are seeking to be offended. And that, to me, is plain retarded.

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44 comments:

Drowsey Monkey said...

I dunno. I was surprised to hear so many young people using the word retard. It's quite fashionable now, which I find sad. I thought we had pretty much removed it from our collective vocabulary. I was on a blog the other day and his icon was a person with down syndrome who was wearing a superman costume and his name was super retard or something. Is that funny? People visiting his blog thought so. I just left. Sad. It was too sad to be offensive.

Ah well, the wonderful thing about free speech is we also get to complain freely ;)

This Brazen Teacher said...

he he.

If I blame the WORD "retard" then the problem lies within the semantics.

You know- rather than lying with the people who place meaning onto it.

Just a thought.

Da Old Man said...

@ Drowsey: Putting a picture of a person in a cape like that is wrong, not for the word, but the sentiment. He was intentionally using it to belittle the person. If he labeled it "Super Cognitively Disabled Person" it would have been PC? It was insulting, and meant to be, no matter what the label.

@ Brazen: We choose to give power to words. If someone is convinced of the truth-- that the word is silly, and meaningless, then they will think it's silly. If they are told to be offended, then guess what happens?

TheFLy said...

I think whomever uses the word retard sounds retarded.

That words seriously drops the IQ level of any person. I dont care how rich or smart you have become in society, once you use the word retard, you just sound like an idiot.

That being said, sometimes that words slips out of my mouth only because of my inability to just use the word idiot or moron. Sometimes it just fits the situation a little bit more lighthearted than any other word. So, yes, I will take the criticism I dealt out on to myself and will reinforce it again. Using that word makes the people that use it look like an idiot, me included.

buzz buzz

Da Old Man said...

@ The Fly: It's a word I rarely use, except in a clinical sense. How would I describe some of my extended family? If a friend were to ask about why some of them do as they do, I would explain they are retarded. Technically, they are cognitively impaired, but that leads to so many other questions that I'd rather not deal with.

Adullamite said...

Well said that man!
Folks change the words to make themselves sound more intellectually superior, not because the care!
Touchy women are always complaining about misuse of words or phrases when used re someone they care for, but are less interested if it concerns other folk. It is a type of selfishness, not love.

The PC world gets my goat (or should that be Capra aegagrus hircus?

lot 2 learn said...

Lately, I have heard my older kids say " tarded " Does that count as offensive ?

Lauren said...

re·tard /rɪˈtɑrd, –verb (used with object) 1. to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
–verb (used without object) 2. to be delayed.
–noun 3. a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.

That is the proper definition of the word.

The SLANG is:
a. a mentally retarded person.
b. a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard


Those who choose to be offended when this word is used are themselves being judgmental and ignorant. I have ALWAYS used this word and always used it by the definition not the slang. I have almost always used it when referring to my own actions, to mean that I was slow at something.

Most people choose to be offended because they are ignorant and lazy and don't want to learn what things really mean.

As for the "n" word...it should never be used for the same reason retard has no real offensive meaning, unless the user is ignorantly using it wrong and in a slang way. And why should I the intelligent person pay the price and adjust the way I speak because of someone else's ignorant actions.

I am tired of hearing the "n" word on the busses and trains in NYC. At some point I am going to yell the word back and when everyone gets offended I am going to plead that it has become the common use of the word and therefore I should not be the target of their angering wrath.

People today want it both ways.

Great post!

JD from Hoeno said...

I'm like George Carlin on words like retard and cripple. I don't see any shame attached to either of these words. Therefore, I don't use them as insults because they don't carry that connotation for me.

I think people do just get something out of being offended. It gives them a distraction or a cause or meaning to their little lives. Let them be offended all the time and get their arses clinched shut so tight they need a crowbar to pass a stool. They obviously need that. Right?

shyne said...

I get so tired of having to choose words/comments carefully because someone might be offended by my choice.
I think those who become outraged are self absorbed and egocentric.

It's not the words that are a problem........we all attach different meanings to them....but rather the intent behind their usage that's important.

Da Old Man said...

@ adullamite, lauren, Shyne: Exactly.

@ jd: I was thinking of Carlin when I wrote this. That particular rant of his was the most powerful thing he ever did.

@ lot2learn: Nah. But you know someone, somewhere will be highly offended.

FlowerGirl said...

I think people are just looking to be offended... It doesn't matter what race your with, if you do or do not have a disability, or hell, what time you get up in the morning. I get sooooo tired of hearing about who's offended who... How a person choses to use or not to use a word is their perogative, and sometime that's unfortunate. I personally don't see the kicks out of calling someone a "retard" or using the N word. I think it's insecurities that drives this type of behavior.

Chica said...

Miraculously, if you take the "er" off the N word, replace it with an a, it's less offensive. Same as taking the "re" off the R word, and for some unknown reason tard is less offensive.

I don't like people taking offense to words that aren't considered sware words, even though one should have enough manners to not use the words in certain situations anyways.

Da Old Man said...

@ Flowergirl: True, we can find offense in anything if we look hard enough.

@ Chica: Much of it is simply common sense, too. But, if I'm unsure how something could be taken, I'd choose not to use certain words.

Chat Blanc said...

I just hope to be a moron one day. :)

MA Fat Woman said...

Living in the South, I hear those words around and directed towards me all the time, with one exception: It is always accompanied by, "Bless his heart" or Bless her heart to be gender correct.

Example:
Jimmy Ray sure is acting like a retard, Bless his heart.

Bessy Anna sure is getting fat and has been acting a little retarded lately, Bless her heart.

There are many other derogative terms that I have been called, whiling receiving these blessings. Please do everyone a favor, and just call me by my name. :)

Da Old Man said...

@ chat blanc: Sandy, that is the best comment ever. I can't answer it. If I say, you're already a moron, it sounds wrong. If I say you don't have it in you to be a moron, again, that just comes across wrong.
True genious. :)

@ Ma fat woman: I know what you mean. Up north, we usually say, no offense intended to the most offensive remarks ever uttered. But that makes it all better. :)

The Natural State Hawg said...

You said it! You said it! You said it, said it, said it!

Just get ready for the anti-"R" word contingent (it's so terrible I can't even bring myself to say it) to start a massive protest against your blog.

And your hits will go through the roof as the curious stop in.

Hey, that's not a bad setup at all...

Visit the Natural State Hawg!

Da Old Man said...

@ The Hawg: Let 'em come. I've been yelled at before. I had a starter wife.
:)

Meg said...

You mean I shouldn't use the word retard?

Dang. It's so convenient when I'm describing the spouse the kids.

Jay said...

The bottom line is that words are just words and it all depends on context whether they're offensive or not. Talk about political correctness gone mad - I can't remember who it was now, but somewhere in my blog travels I came across a teacher who'd been forbidden to use red ink to correct spellings because it had negative connotations. She was told to use green instead. Surely it isn't beyond the intelligence of the idiots making these rules to realise that in a very short time green ink will be seen as negative! So what are you gonna do? Change the colour every day? No, the judgemental thing (in a good way, actually) is that the marks are made at all. Colour is irrelevant.

And yes, I said 'idiot'. So sue me. ;)

Da Old Man said...

@ meg: I'm sure someone will be offended

@ jay: unbelievable, no red ink. What are these kids going to do in the real world?

papercages said...

Great post! Sad that so many actually get paid to come up with some of these "retarded" guidelines (red ink-green ink). Love some of the comments.

Da Old Man said...

@ papercages: true, some almost seek out stupid things to justify their positions

Jack Payne said...

This whole thing about political correctness carries the plastic facade of hollow redundance.

Who cares?

Da Old Man said...

@ Jack: Political Correctness is the greatest source of useless jobs in our economy today. How would we know people are being offended if the PC police didn't let everyone know?

Dr. Rob said...

It's become fashionable to be offended. BTW: I'm offended by crotchety because it has the word crotch in it. Perhapsy you could change your title to inseam old man

Da Old Man said...

@ Dr Rob : I'll take that under full consideration.

Jenn Thorson said...

I'm unclear just why "retard" seems to be having a comeback.

The thing about these sorts of words is, no matter what a word is, when said with derision, the context will eventually corrupt the word.

Da Old Man said...

@ Jenn: I guess it's coming back, sort of like fashion keeps repeating itself. When leisure suits come back, I'll be stylin'

Mike said...

Rock on, you old tard!

Da Old Man said...

@ mike: Uhhm, thanks? :)

Greg said...

Can we lay blame for this "retard renaissance" on OutKast for using it in their lyrics...? And then also the Democrats for using the edited version of that song at the last convention? There MUST be someone we can blame for this.

I say let 'em go...the more a word is used, the less power it has, no? But you're right: there's always someone who'll want to be offended by whatever you say...and that, to me, is offensive.

Da Old Man said...

@ greg: You're so right. We need to blame someone. I will begin a search for a proper scapegoat, post haste.

harleyblues said...

Damn yuo have lotta comments COM one sould have such luck....in everyday slang friends call friends retards .. when making foolish mistakes..ots with LOVE as in Nigga-what up my nigga-see same diff~ ' I'm just saying~
ta
hb~

Da Old Man said...

@ Harley: True. That's why I just don't get the selective outrage.

harleyblues said...

Someone justs wants to bitch using the race card...heave ho~lol
hb

Da Old Man said...

HB: You got it. :)

Major Undeclared said...

So i'm simple and like the words "gay" and "retarded" to mean a numerous amount of definitions. though lately at work i have been chided by someone who has not yet come out of the closet and some girl whose little brother has down syndrome. (i hate when that happens) so i've decided to combine the two to make "gaytarded." Homosexual crippled people have yet to politically correct this use.

Da Old Man said...

@ Major: They just haven't gotten around to you yet.

Buck - Susie's Better Half said...

Just alter it and we can all get on the boat.. go sailing and say...

wee-todd

political..schmolitial correctness schmetcness.. it's just a bit to unsettling that we can and can't say something without offending someone..

As Ron White said.. what's next.. can we claim that someone raped our ear with their vulgarity?

The Times Observer said...

Da Old Man, it amazes me that Don Imus got fired for saying, "Nappy Headed-Ho's," but when Jesse Jackson says the N-word, no one is screaming bloody murder for him to step down from his holy position. Great column and I certainly enjoyed it. I even Digged it.

(Oh, and I call the handicapped parking spot, cripple parking. I know it would make my wheel-chaired bound uncle laugh to hear that.)

Da Old Man said...

@ Buck: LOL @ Ear rape.

@ Times: It's a double standard, which makes it stupid. Either a term is offensive or it's not.

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