Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Down Syndrome vs. Retardation Explained

After watching all the recent coverage of Sarah Palin and the public and private use of the word "retard" as a pejorative, I decided to go to the top for an answer: I asked God to explain the difference between Down Syndrome and Mental Retardation. God was kind enough to send me an email in response to my query, about 1/20th of a second after I asked for it. If God ever opened up a restaurant you wouldn't be sitting around, wondering where your food is. It would be in front of you before you could say jumping jehosaphat. That is one fast deity, no doubt about it. Here is God's response:

Dear Child Born of Sin: Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. Trig Palin, the son of Sarah Palin, has Down Syndrome.

Sarah Palin differs from her son in that she suffers from Mental Retardation which for her is a plus. She is able to condemn the usage of the word "retard" if the person using it has different politics than she does, but can actually defend its usage if the person uttering the word is important on her side of the aisle.

To sum up: Sarah Palin's son Trig has Down Syndrome. Sarah Palin herself has gone Full Retard. Rahm Emanuel should be fired for using the word "retarded" and Rush Limbaugh is just okey-dokey-peachy-keen, no matter what he does. Rush is that good.

Glad I could clear that up for you.



p.s. Sorry about the chromosome problem vis a vis Down Syndrom--I mostly do it to the fetuses of older women anyway. Who would have thought people would be living so long? When I created...oh, shit, here come the wife. Gotta go.


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At 4:59 PM, Blogger Tara said...

Regarding the terms “retarded” and “retard”:

“Retarded” does have a clinical context. It originated as a medical diagnosis, and “mentally retarded” is still appropriately used in that manner, although it is falling out of favor, simply because over the years it has evolved into a general insult used willy-nilly. It’s sort of lost its original clinical meaning and is now widely used to disparage people. These days, the terms “developmentally delayed,” “intellectual disability,” and “cognitive impairment” are more appreciated by family members and loved ones of persons who have such diagnoses. However, the terms “retarded” and “mentally retarded” technically still have their appropriate places in a clinical context.

“Retard” as a noun – as in, referring to a person as “a retard” - has never had an appropriate context. It originated as a slur, and it remains a slur. It’s a hate word. Just like “nigger,” “dyke,” “faggot,” “spic,” and the like, it is a word that disparages, demoralizes, dehumanizes, marginalizes, and just plain hurts. There is no proper way to use it.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Tara said...

The above quote is from my friend, Lisa of "Finnian's Journey". She is a fellow mother of a beautiful little boy with Down syndrome. I'm not a Palin fan, but I agree the words hurt. Thinking people do not need to resort to such drivel.

At 6:25 AM, Anonymous E Mehaffey said...

Thank you. You explained it well.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger mjs said...

Thank you Tara. I felt compelled to address Palin's double-standard use of the word, which I believe was cynical, manipulative and graceless. The word (retard) employed by Rahm and Rush (and used in the movie Tropic Thunder) is out there and still touches nerves. Truly, I approach most serious subjects with satire, and don't always pull off what I'm going for, or I end up annoying or hurting an unintended target.

I am retiring my use of the word "retard" as I have made my point (Palin is a manipulating hypocrite) and have no wish to alienate or hurt the feelings of those who love and care for those with developmental disabilities, or to marginalize or hurt those who may sense that such a word is or was directed at them. It's now in a mental drawer with other harsh and bullying pejoratives, where it shall remain.



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