Don Imus, Slurs and LameMay 31 06:02
Shock-jock Don Imus was recently fired for calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hoes,” thus setting off a long-overdue national discussion on racist and sexist speech. Finally, too, a hard look is being taken at the music industry, especially rap music, which has no problem at all calling women all kinds of nasty words. And so like good people everywhere I’ve been thinking about how we describe each other. Specifically I looked at terms used to describe those of us with disabilities.
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1. flicka | May 31 01:50
About 10 years ago, I filed for an employer identification number and was rejected. After contacting IRS to find out why, I was told that a cross-check on my social security number indicated it was invalid. "Impossible", I said, "I've been drawing SSDI under that number for years." I was told to contact the SSA and find out what was wrong with my number. You guessed it. The notation on my record did not mean my number was invalid. It meant I was an invalid. Ugh.
2. Michele | May 31 03:04
I have no problem being called: crip, cripple, lame, gimp. gimpy, hobbled, hot, sexy, lucsious, f*ckable...oh wait...I got off topic, sorry.
3. Jon(IOM) | May 31 06:22
Semantics. What is it you want? Do you want to take the stigma of disability out of the equasion, or do you want to keep the AB population pussy-footing around, afraid what terms to use so as not to offend? You can't have it both ways.
4. ParaDude | May 31 06:59
I personally choose freedom of expression. I mean come on, "I was blind but now I see"? That's a perfectly logical statement. I'm not a religious person but even I can see what that song is trying to say and it certainly is NOT a slap in the face to blind people. We take political correctness to such extremes that no one will ever take us seriously in regards to the truly important issues. We are retarding ourselves if we think otherwise.
5. ParaDude | May 31 07:54
Some times you want to sneak up behind them and yell "Disability"? You want to nitpick to death the English language? Have at it, but while you are at it nitpick about the word "Disabled" as well. The prefix DIS means NOT. What is the difference between being called "lame", "crippled", or "retarded" and being called "NOT-Abled"?
6. Kikita | Sep 03 12:24
As an able-bodied person, I absolutely want to respect any identity or marginalized group's consensus about language, and change how I speak to reflect that. The 1 word I have difficulty with is "lame" - in avoiding it, I'm finding there's not many words with the same meaning. "Dumb" or "stupid" is the closest, but "lame" (as currently used) doesn't imply stupidity (an unchangeable condition) but rather behaviors & styles I disdain. At the same time, I don't know of anywhere that "lame" is actually used to mean mobility-impaired -- in the last 50 years anyway. Are there people who self-identify as "lame"? Is it used clinically anywhere?