Saturday, February 06, 2010

The "R" Word

I've been thinking about the tempest in a teapot, as I view it, over Rahm Emmanuelle's use of the word "retarded" in a tirade he launched against far-left elements in Barack Obama's administration. Emmanuelle's use of that word got him into hot water with many people, particularly Sarah Palin. Now, I'm a Palinista; I like the woman, but I think her reaction to what Rahm Emmanuelle said was as uncalled for as her reaction to her cover photo on Newsweek magazine. Sarah Palin called for Rahm Emmanuelle to be fired. Fired? Please! Whatever trouble Emmanuelle should get for his remark, he doesn't deserve to be fired.

I understand Palin's reaction. She's the mother of a Down's Syndrome child and obviously took Rahm's remark very personally, but come on. I'm sure Rahm Emmanuelle didn't have Trig Palin, or any other "special needs" child, in mind when he called those far-left people "f---ing retarded". He was just expressing his anger at and contempt for the left-wingers he was talking about at that time. Yes, he used a poor choice of words, but who hasn't in the heat of the moment? And if we're going to chastise Emmanuelle for his language, shouldn't we chastise him for using the "F" word, which is real profanity? I mean, what are our priorities here?

We are getting too thin skinned in this country. The effort to turn every word in the dictionary into a slur is utterly ridiculous. It's getting to the point where people can't say two words to each other without someone getting sanctimoniously and gravely offended. And it's disheartening to see conservatives joining in this sorry pc game instead of challenging it. It's time to challenge it.

Retarded is not a slur. It simply means slow or backward. "Mentally retarded" means mentally slow or mentally backward. It's not a smear; it's an accurate description of an unfortunate condition affecting some people. And that condition won't change just because you change the name of it. Thinking you can change reality by changing names is just plain stupid--oops!--I mean logically challenged.

With all due respect to Sarah Palin, she needs to calm down and maybe even apologize. We don't need to make profanity out of perfectly acceptable words while ignoring real profanity. When people say things that are truly hateful or demeaning, they should be held to account. No one, though, should be skewered for violating some rule set by the pc language police.

The Scriptures say, "Come, let us reason together." How can we do that if we can't agree on the meaning of the words we say to each other? How can we "reason together" if we're itching to be offended? Answer: we can't. And maybe that's the goal of the language police. If so, that's all the more reason not to cooperate with the linguistic cops. Let's save our outrage for words that are really offensive, mean-spirited, and intended to harm. Verbal gaffes made in the heat of the moment don't fit the bill. Let's use some common sense here, people. Let us truly reason together.

9 comments:

Skunkfeathers said...

I like Sarah, but I would really hate to lose use of a term that so fits-like-a-glove regressives like Janeycakes: libTARD.

As for Rahm...plenty of reasons to fire that douchebag. Sarah's going a little over the top to demand that for something like this; then again, is she applying a Rush Limbaugh standard of "make fun of libTARD absurdity by BEING absurd"? Yeah, probably not...

elwoodin said...

It is like Skunkfeathers said, I like Sarah, but she went a little over the top demanding Rahm to be fired for using those words. There are plenty of other reasons to fire the idiot.

But it is like it was also stated, We are getting way to thin skinned for this. After all, retarded is an actual description of a condition that really exists. Lets stop making mountains out of nothing, as this administration so loves to make us do.

Great post my friend. This is my third try to get this comment posted.

Edisto Joe said...

I can see both sides to this and your right, "thin skin" is an issue and Palin as well as anyone should understand that. On the other hand there are a lot of people who agree with what she said. Me...I think Rahm is a jerk anyway, just like his boss. So if someone wants to fire him, great!
A better idea is to fire his boss in 2012.

By the way, great blog site!

Janelle said...

Rahm Emmanuel is like a young bull who carries his own china shop around with him.
Linked to this blog from Maria's and it's great fun!

晚餐 said...

感謝是愛心的第一步..............................

Skunkfeathers said...

I think your last commenter sez "I rike Seane-Anna's brog"...

virgomonkey said...

You know we rarely agree, but here I TOTALLY agree with you. :) I LOATHE political correctness. It's getting out of control.

virgomonkey said...

I even published your post to my Facebook page. :)

jaysays.com said...

The problem, as I see it, is that many folks use hurtful language, but few offer a gentle correction upon overhearing such remarks... let alone demand someone be fired for the remark. That is, until the hurtful language is directed at you or your loved ones - then it suddenly matters.

It's very easy to be hypocritical, which Palin is doing. Where is that outrage when her fellow republicans say "fa--ot" or other undesirable remarks?