On Being Politically Correct....or Not - Page 2
While I feel a small relief that the term mentally retarded will finally be struck from government documents, including, I hope, those that our Los Angeles Unified School District uses, my concerns lie less with the words and more with the utter lack of attention that the disabled, the mentally retarded actually receive in regard to their well-being in this political climate. In Los Angeles alone, the services for disabled adults, seniors and children have been drastically cut, including respite for their families, much-needed day programs and therapies that are literally life altering for many of these people.
Instead of wasting our time and discussion and words on, well, WORDS, I'd like to see some ACTION, some recognition of the terrible toll that disability takes on those who experience it without help. I'd like to see our lawmakers and talking heads make a brouhaha of another kind, that slashing benefits and services for the disabled is unacceptable, that denying people healthcare coverage for preexisting conditions is unacceptable, that having to go bankrupt because of your child's disability is unacceptable. That, to me, is what should be under discussion and, ironically, what the words mentally retarded currently signify. Not to mention politically correct.
And now I'm going to gather up the fifty or so "violent" drawings of my son and turn them into one of those online books. And then I'll finish reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder to him while he sucks his thumb and dreams about being a farmer.
As for my daughter, her deep, understanding brown eyes completely defy the label mentally retarded. We've always known that.
Elizabeth Aquino blogs regularly at a moon, worn as if it had been a shell. She was a French major in college and therefore knows what retard really means.