I am an absolute sucker for celebrity gossip. Listen, I know it’s ridiculous, and I understand. A lot of the stories are untrue. However, every once in a while there is an actual real story mixed into the tabloid fodder.
As I was perusing around one of my favorite sites US Magazine, a headline grabbed my eyes
My stomach hit my knees, and I felt sick to my stomach. I wasn’t upset because I liked Khloe Kardashian and bummed she said the word.
No, I was mad because this is an example of another celebrity using their social media platform to use a word that has no purpose in the English Vocabulary.
Khloe was doing an Instagram live video. In the background, her sister Kourtney is heard saying, “Yes, you can you F’ing retard.” Later in the video, Khloe responded to her sister, “Are you f’ing retarded.”
Quickly, Khloe’s followers were quick to point out their distaste in her use of the word, and later Khloe issued an apology via Twitter and said,
“Ugh, I hate that word! Why did I even say that? You are a million percent right, and I greatly dislike when people use that word! I will do better! I am sorry! much love today.”
Ok, well at least she apologized. However, it is 2018 individuals with her platform and position should know better than to use such hateful words.
Additionally, her sister is heard saying the same word. Yet, I have seen nothing to date of an apology by her sister Kourtney,
Until recently, mental retardation was a medical term used to describe any individual that with a cognitive or intellectual disability.
Over the decades it was used as a medical term, the word itself became a slur to insult anyone if their behavior was deemed less than intelligent.
All of that changed in 2010 when the Obama Administration signed into law a bill that required the Federal Government to replace “mental retardation” to “intellectually disabled” across all government agencies.
The changes didn’t happen overnight, but over the course of several years the words “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” were stripped from all federal health, education, and labor policy.
By 2018, most decent humans know that using the word “retarded” is derogatory, offensive, and outdated. As a population, most of us know we need to completely retire this word and stop mocking individuals that have intellectual disabilities.
In fact, there is an organization dedicated to stopping the use of this word through the Special Olympics. You can pledge to stop using the “R” word, and families and individuals can share how this word effects them.
As a mother of a child that is developmentally disabled, I can tell you absolutely nothing stings more than when someone uses this word. My son works so hard to be loved and accepted. However, his disability is ever present to people that meet him.
Anyone that knows my son knows that he is incredibly smart. Most also know it also takes him longer to learn than neuro-typical children. He has delayed processing times. Often he has trouble communicating at the quick pace a child his age speaks.
My son has no friends. I have witnessed first-hand other children’s reactions to my son, and they aren’t always nice.
Anytime I hear anyone use the “R” word, I immediately think of my son and how he would feel hearing that word. He cannot help his brain developed differently, and he has no control over brain damage he sustained as an infant.
All my son and children like my son want are to be loved and to have friends. They want people to take extra time and be patient with them, and they want you to see them beyond their intellectual capability.
So flippant remarks made in jest on camera may seem like no big deal to many. However, to the millions of us that have a child with disabilities or for individuals with disabilities, this word hurts.
Millions of people follow Khloe Kardashian, and while a few brave people called her out, there were likely more that remained silent. We repeat what we hear. Children that follow her will listen to that word, remember that word, and use that word.
If I could say anything to Khloe Kardashian it would be:
“I know you apologized and promised to do better. However, you need to take the time to understand and educate yourself why this word is terrible to use. Talk with your sister about her use of these words around her children, and ask her to apologize to her fans and her children.
Children repeat what they hear. You are all raising children that will have incredible positions in this society. Your kids need role models that respect all humans no matter their ability. Please don’t be sorry, change your thinking, change your behavior, and pledge to no longer use the R-Word.”