Why are people with Downs Syndrome so determined to make everyone think of them as retards?

26 Oct

So Ann Coulter tweeted after the American presidential debates “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard”Leaving aside the fact that Ann is an asshole on the of best days (sometimes a really funny asshole, like Tucker Max, but an asshole nevertheless), I’m confused by the response her use of the word “retard” elicited.  In particular, she received a letter from a Special Olympian who happens to have Downs Syndrome, wondering if she was referring to him, specifically.  It’s quite a nice letter, but the short answer to the question is NO SHE WASN’T REFERRING TO YOU WHY DO YOU WANT HER TO THINK OF YOU AS A RETARD?


The meanings and usages of words CHANGE over time.  If you told a man in the 1920s that he looked very gay, he would say “why yes, thank you, I am feeling effervescently happy today” and he would carry on.  If you tell a man in 2012 that he looks very gay, he will assume you think he looks like a homosexual and wonder what kind of retard thinks you can tell who is homosexual by looking at them.

One of these men is gay (hint: it’s not the one dressed as a pirate).

Disinterest used to mean that you were objective.  You had no stake in the outcome of any given thing.  You had no investment, no interest, and were therefore presumably an objective arbiter of whatever.  Now, disinterested means “not interested” as in bored.  Uninterested means the same thing, but too many retards failed to grasp the difference and now disinterested is an acceptable way to say uninterested.

See?  Language changes.  I don’t believe anyone under the age of 40 would refer to someone with Downs Syndrome as retarded.  THAT’S NOT WHAT IT MEANS.  It means a level of stupid that makes a bag of hammers look smart.  It means dumber than dirt.  It means clueless moron.  It has no relationship to people with Downs Syndrome at all.

So why are people with Downs Syndrome so adamant that they want to keep the word retard all for themselves?  Let it go.  No one thinks of people who, to quote John Franklin Stephens, “… overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much” as retarded.  Well, not automatically.  If you do something phenomenally brainless, then it doesn’t matter if you have Down’s Syndrome or not.

You’re a retard.

2 Responses to “Why are people with Downs Syndrome so determined to make everyone think of them as retards?”

  1. judgybitch October 26, 2012 at 09:55 #

    I get it. I totally get it now. urg. Idiot.


  2. Chromesthesia August 23, 2013 at 17:11 #

    It’s just… kind of a mean word. There’s no need to be mean and harsh. I like getting creative with language that way no one gets hurt so I use the phrase nutwit instead of retard because retard is interpreted as mean. And folks already look down on people of my neurology which is not hip.


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