So Tropic Thunder opens today. It is unchanged, the R word will be rampantly used, the phrase 'don't go full retard' will enter popular lexicon. So we lost right?
I dizzy with excitement at our success. For a long time I have moaned about the lack of courage and the lack of leadership in the world of intellectual disability. Our collective fear of anger seemed like folly to me. Why minority hasn't allowed anger to motivate social change? We all just seemed so damned polite.
Somethings happened to us. A coalition of 22 groups worked together in protest. Along with them were the voices of disability bloggers across the blogosphere. Along with them were the voices of families, of care providers, of agency staff. Along with them all, most importantly, were the voices of self advocates speaking up and being heard. It seemed like we all glanced at one another and said, "Enough".
And we discovered power.
The outcome of a war is not determined by the battle but by the spirit in which the fight was waged. Look at what happened. Dreamworks blinked. The Simple Jack website was pulled. The trailors were changed. The 'Don't Go Full Retard' clip was removed from You Tube. The tee shirt was taken off the market. Our protests were heard all over the media. Ben Stiller had to address the controversy and found himself explaining his 'humour'. Our voices were heard, in unison, around the world.
My boss is on holiday up in hinterland Ontario, she sent me an email that the local radio station, The Moose, actually editorialized against the movie suggesting it is not appropriate for teens and advising parents of the hateful language. Everywhere I have gone this week, people were talking about the issue. Not just the movie, the issue of hate speech regarding disability. Well my oh my.
I just hope and pray that now that we have discovered each other, that we have seen that united we can be a powerful voice, that we do not slide back into obscurity and petty wrangling. I hope that we unite again and again. That what started as a coalition becomes a movement.
There is much we can acheive together.
Shoulder to shoulder.