Even though I just posted this about needing a personal growth vacation, it didn’t seem right to let this go…
“The hardest thing about having an intellectual disability is the loneliness […] We are aware when all the rest of you stop and just look at us. We are aware when you look at us and just say, ‘unh huh,’ and then move on, talking to each other. You mean no harm, but you have no idea how alone we feel even when we are with you.” “So, what’s wrong with ‘retard’?,” he asked. “I can only tell you what it means to me and people like me when we hear it. It means that the rest of you are excluding us from your group. We are something that is not like you and something that none of you would ever want to be. We are something outside the ‘in’ group. We are someone that is not your kind.”
This is a part of an opinion piece in the NYTimes about the word “retard”. The quote is from a man named John Franklin Stephens. He has Down Syndrome. Maybe LP will grow up one day and speak out as eloquently as this man did.
He shouldn’t have to though.