A Brief Discussion Of Casual -isms

I had an idea I was working on for a post, and I will revisit it shortly (as it has been demanded of me), but something happened last week that derailed that for now, because I just have to bring it up to you all.

I heard about a patient who came in with an eye problem (as they do). Usual stuff, but at one point in her description of her problem, she dropped this bomb:

“And then my eye starts swelling up, and I look like those retarded children….”

OK. Hold on. Full stop.

Now, I’m thinking she was referring to someone with Down’s syndrome, which I know is not strictly the same thing. But crazy old cranks don’t split enough hairs about these sorts of things.

Here’s what’s really troubling about this statement, other than its very existence: the casualness of it. It wasn’t a statement made loudly to incite or anger; it was said very matter-of-fact. “You know, like those retarded children. You’ve seen them everywhere,” and I’m supposed to reply back, “Oh yes, those children. With their swollen eyes.”

This is the kind of stuff that would lead me to block someone on Facebook. This is the kind of stuff that has led me to block someone on Facebook, mainly because I don’t want to put up the fight required to argue or even kindly discuss the pigheadedness of the statement before me. This is every “OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST BENT ON KILLING AMERICA” or “IF EVERYONE WERE ARMED IN AURORA THAT GUY WOULDN’T HAVE KILLED ANYONE” that makes me bristle with rage, precisely because it’s said with such expectation of agreement.

“Yes, certainly, if elementary school teachers were packing Glocks, there wouldn’t have been so many funerals in Newtown.”

I don’t know which is worse: the angry rhetoric of the loudmouth bigot, or the sly bomb-drop of the casual bigot. The casual bigot has his hatred so self-ingrained, he wonders why people don’t just agree with him, and that’s a bit creepier to me.

Of course, the loudmouth is probably rallying together something scary, so maybe keep an eye out for him too. In fact, let’s just all keep a lookout for bigotry and ignorance in all forms. Better that way.

The only time Rush has been in the center on anything.


About Louis

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2 Responses to A Brief Discussion Of Casual -isms

  1. Michael Zier says:

    Growing up with both a gay uncle and a retarded uncle, I was raised to respect those words and know what they really mean. I also have to hold in, daily, from yelling at people who misuse them. And amazingly, it’s not just kids… it’s our generation that really started misusing the g-word and still does to this day.

  2. redqueenar says:

    As much as I love my parents, their generation will take a lot of this foolishness out of the world when they die out. They just don’t think it’s wrong, and they’re too old, stubborn and established in the world to change their habits completely. At the same time, I think our generation faces something even worse – because we can’t say the words, we can’t have the discussion. In my mind, covert racism is so much worse. I’m working on an essay about Regina, the main villain and only regular cast member of Once Upon A Time to not be white, so this is on my mind. I had to write an essay because merely bringing it up on a board caused an explosion of horrifying ignorance.

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