Friday, March 12, 2010

Offensive Words

I recently tried to express why I found the words "short bus" and "retard" offensive when they were used as synonyms for stupid, dumbass, etc. This spawned a rather heated argument that then turned into threats. (all on Facebook-fun social networking!)
Anyway, this eventually led me to find the group, "I am Insulted by How Much of a Retard You Are". It's only for fun! If you don't have a sense of humor don't look at it!
This led me to wonder, if, you know, just for fun, I created a group called "I am Insulted by How Much of a N*gger You Are" or "I am Insulted by How Much of a F*ggot You Are", would Facebook allow it to remain on the site?
It is precisely the same thing. If I put pictures of stereotypically "gay" or "urban" looking people doing dumbass stuff and said, "Oh, it's just for fun! Don't be such a PC asshole!". All of these examples and the actual group have lots in common: they are all people who are used as fodder for low-brow comedy and jokes; they all are stereotyped as behaving/acting/dressing certain ways; none deserve the ridicule and harassment they receive; and on an on.
It's not okay to marginalize any group and treat them as inferior, second class citizens. It irks me that people seem to think hateful speech is okay when it is paraded as parody or comedy. I do think their are some writers and performers who can pull off great parodies including race, disability, sexuality, and other sensitive issues. Their work generally highlights the inequalities in a way that the bigots being prejudiced are the main objects of ridicule, though they don't seem to realize it.
I'm not a prude and I'm not overly politically correct. I merely wish that people with cognitive disabilities weren't viewed as stupid and dumb. I wish they weren't easy prey for morally bankrupt individuals. I wish they weren't the unknowing and unwitting butt of jokes for people who look for the easiest targets to lampoon. I guess I'm saying that I wish they were treated like feeling, thinking human beings.

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