I remember, quite awhile back, reading Rick Mercer's blog where he used the word 'Torontarded' and feeling devastated. I thought Mr. Mercer was so much cooler than that. From watching him over the years, I had come to believe that he was someone who just got it, whatever 'it' was. That he chose to use 'retarded' as part of a compound word really let me down. But I didn't know what to do, didn't know how to let him know how much he had disappointed me, hurt me. All I did was drop him from my radar - but he'll never know that I no longer watch him and I mute his commercials. I'm sorry, many will say I'm over reacting but I don't care. The issue is important to me. I hate that word.
Then watching a YouTube clip of Bill Maher talking about George Bush, Dubya, I was astonished to hear him refer to President Bush as a 'retard'. Again, I didn't know what to do. I was a huge fan of Bill Maher and watched Politically Correct with Bill Maher whenever I could. I stopped watching. I'm guessing that Mr. Maher, when viewing his ratings, didn't say, 'Hey the demographics for aging, chubby, gay, wheelchair users has taken a hit - what happened?' No, I'm guessing he didn't even notice my absence. I noticed, but that's not what matters.
A few days ago I posted three questions for my readers (I'll have a surprise for all of you as a result of your information - but not for a few weeks) and in it I mentioned the Words Hit cards and the campaign that Vita is undertaking against 'that' word. In the comments Cynthia F asked to be kept up to date about the campaign and mentioned the fact that Dan Savage, a sex columnist in the United States, used the word recently. She said that she believed that he would respond well to education. Well, I'm not sure that I believe that 'education' does all we think it does, but I do believe in confrontation. And from reading Cynthia's comment I got an idea.
So I wrote an email to Manuela, Vita's Executive Director, and asked her what she thougt of us adding 'Card The Stars' to the campaign. What we would do is ask readers of this blog to get the word out about the campaign and anytime you hear a celebrity use the word 'Ret@rd' or 'Ret@rded', indeed any version of 'that' word - email us the context of their remarks along with a snail mail contact address and we'll send a letter and a card to the celeb. Manuela felt that even if it never reaches the 'star' it will get to their people. Maybe someone will notice and maybe someone will care. It's worth a shot. It's a heck of a lot better than the silent protest of simply turning away.
So, should you see any of these kinds of situations please send me an email at work firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure that a response goes out quickly. I thank Cynthia for the idea.
CARD THE STARS HAS BEGUN.