So, I’m currently watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the newer one). I love this movie. Johnny Depp is a genius as Willy Wonka.
When they were showing the one of the kids who won one of the Golden Tickets, he said and I quote “A retard could figure it out”. I had never noticed that before. See, this is an offensive word to those of us who might be referred to using that word. Those of us with physical differences. I am not going to lie, I am guilty of using the word. I am. But I would NEVER use it in reference to anyone. I am guilty of saying “that’s retarded”, meaning that something is stupid. I know it’s wrong and it kind of makes me a hypocrite. But when I hear the word being used to reference someone who has physical or mental differences, that is when it offends me. The context in which it was used in the movie offends me. It’s wrong and not OK to refer to ANYONE as retarded or as a retard. The word is becoming mainstream, just like the word gay. These two words are being used to describe things that a person doesn’t like or thinks is stupid. The thing is, people are forgetting the real, true meaning behind these words. We need to raise awareness of not only how offensive the word is to those of us who it may affect, but also raise awareness of Moebius so that we will not be referred to that way because of the way we look. Because my Moebius family, you guys are anything but mentally impaired. You’re some of the most brilliant, strong, resilient people that I have the honour of knowing.
So, if you hear someone using the word “retarded” in reference to something that they don’t like, take a moment to explain to them that the word may be offensive to some and why. There is a meaning behind the word and a stigma and people need to know that it’s not OK to use.
And I promise to curb my use of the word.