Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tropic Thunder

How does the saying go? Two steps forward, three steps back? I went on my friends blog today and read about the new Ben Stiller movie, Tropic Thunder. To read an article about it go to On Amy's blog, as well as many others, they are asking for a boycott of this film. In the movie they refer to a "full on retard" many times. I can just see all the kids now who go see the movie and will think this is hilarious (since it is being portrayed that way AND it's a huge movie, so it must be ok, right?) and the phrase will become the new insult in school. I hope that every teacher/principal/PARENT will tell their children this is NOT ok. I cringe at the sound of that word. I remember being a kid and my best friend Jean's sister had and has Down Syndrome. Kids would sometimes call her "the r word" and tease her. It still brings an anger up in me when I hear it. It is simply not ok to be mean to other people. Period. Why is this funny? Does anyone have an answer? Because I would love to hear it.

Unfortunately, it's not just kids. One day last year in school I heard a MOM, yes a mom, say about her son, "he's such a retard". WHAT? It took every ounce of my being not to shake her and tell her that she is spreading ignorance. But I didn't. I probably should have, but I didn't. When I hear things like that it brings me back to reality and makes me realize we have a long way to go. You can really live a bubble here in East Lansing. Most people are very p.c., everyone plays with everyone. Most of the time there doesn't seem to be any of the racism that you see other places. But every so often it sneaks in. Zachary gets so morally outraged about social issues. He's 8. He goes on rants about racism, smoking and using "bad words" (like stupid!) When he was 6 a kid at school asked him, (I know this because a teacher overheard this and shared it with me later) "what's wrong with your brother?" He said, "nothings wrong with him, he's just Daniel". Amen. We could all learn from that.

I just saw Ben Stiller on Regis and Kelly yesterday. I know he has children. Does he allow them to call other kids a retard? My guess is no. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't imagine Mr. Stiller and his wife Christine letting their kids use such a hurtful word. Why then does he use it over and over in his movie? From the description of the movie that I heard, it sounds like a funny concept. Why he "went there" and decided to make fun of people with disabilities is a wonder.

You can sign a pledge by going to Stop and Think, the r word campaign.

I also will not be going to see Tropic Thunder. I hope you will join me and not endorse the movie.


Amy said...

Way to go, Michelle!!!!! Thank you! I am linking your blog to my post.

Want to get the kids together before school starts?

aem said...

You said it, sister! Right on. And what a great quote from Zach.