'Hannahj' responded to my post titled "Retard-Gate". Since my response to her was getting rather long and my spelling stinks, I thought I'd post it here.
First, I appreciate your comment.
Second, while I don't have a child with special needs, I have a younger brother who does and I spent weekends & summers during college working at Keystone City Residence (a residence for mentally retarded children and adults in Scranton...see my FaceBook profile...it is listed there). Why mention these things? To make the point that I do in fact know something about mental retardation.
Do I think the word "retard" is offensive? To paraphrase the late George Carlin, "there are no bad words...there are bad thoughts, bad intentions...". In fact, I've heard the word "retard" coupled with bad thoughts & bad intentions directed towards those with mental retardation many, many times. I've also heard it used in juvenile, silly ways as well, which is what I think Rahm Emanual is guilty of (and so is Limbaugh for that matter).
By far and away though, the worst use of the word "retard" is when someone uses it for a self-serving, tawdry purpose, such attempting to score cheap political points. That's where I'd place former Governor Palin's use of the word. How do I know this is true? Simple: Ms Palin has no doubt heard others using the term time and time again; in fact, if she is a regular listener of Limbaugh she has no doubt heard him say it long before she ever heard Rahm Emanual utter it. Where was the offense during those instances? Oh, wait, it was "satire". I guess for me I can forgive the juvenile and the silly, but I have a much tougher time with hypocrisy, especially when practiced by self-serving politicians.
In closing, please do accept my apology if my use of the word "retard" in these postings have offended you. While I used it prominently in these postings to make a point, if you have read much else of what I've written you will find that I have tried to not use the word in other instances.
Thanks again for reading...Steve Albert, Scranton Pennsylvania