I know you’ve been getting hassled a lot lately for your use of “retarded” and “retard” in your political rants on Twitter. Everyone seems to have their panties all in a bunch over it. People are so sensitive!
Anyway, I’m actually writing to thank you – not only for using the words in the first place, but for using them repeatedly, and for refusing to apologize for it while looking America straight in the eyes. See, if you had just said it the one time, and then copped to how offensive it was and apologized for it like people were harassing you to do, the whole thing would have died a quick death. It wouldn’t have been anything more than a blip on the radar, soon forgotten. The way you handled it, though – refusing to apologize, using the same words again, and then defending your use of the words? Fucking brilliant. Because by doing so, you’ve actually done all of us in the disabilities community – people with disabilities themselves, parents of children with disabilities, and advocates – a giant favor. What you’ve done is lent your
notoriety celebrity to our cause, putting it on a national stage. People all over the country are talking about it, whether left- or right-leaning. It’s all over Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and news sources big and small. The conversation we’ve been trying to have for so long about respect and compassion has expanded exponentially thanks to your mouth you.
It doesn’t even matter that you don’t agree with what we have to say; the point is that you have almost effortlessly raised awareness to a level it’s never reached before. Free advertising of a worthy cause on a huge scale! The vast majority of people finally get it – they get how words can hurt, demean, demoralize, marginalize, and oppress. And most people, once they become aware, don’t want to be vehicles of that kind of divisiveness and unkindness. So, seriously, it’s totally okay if you want to stick to your principles – that’s cool. You’ve managed to educate an entire population, though – that’s the main thing.