Not Acceptable

May 25, 2011

Last night the season finale of Glee aired on Fox, and nestled between segments of the program was a unique Public Service Announcement. This video clip is now going viral online with more than 100 000 hits since last night. Some may find it quite shocking as a number of offensive slurs are used in order to stress the point that the “r-word” is just as unacceptable as any of the others. The clip closes with Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter asking people not use this derogatory term.

As a librarian, I am not particularly inclined to censor what others do, say, or read. However, as a mother of a child with an intellectual disability, I completely agree with Jane Lynch’s words in this video. I am not sure the video will do much to change the minds or language of those who do not care, but I hope it will start to impress upon those who may be using the word in ignorance of its connotation–but without any malicious intent–that the “r-word” is disrespectful and hurtful, with as much of a history of hatred and marginalization as any of the other words mentioned in the clip.

If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, search for the video on You Tube and read the comments below it. There is clearly work to be done. I truly admire the actors from Glee for taking such a stand as well as the creators of the show for putting individuals with disabilities in the spotlight. Portraying characters with disabilities who live full, enriching lives is a wonderful, positive way to change attitudes–something that unfortunately is still very much needed.

r-word.org
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