Hate Speech and ‘Tropic Thunder’

August 9, 2008 Kyron 2 Comments

Oh it’s being covered everywhere but honestly my head has been buried in the sand dealing with the first week of school here. (yea – we end early too) so I’ve just been reading along and if you haven’t catch up by clicking on these links here:

As of this writing my understanding is that the viewing Dreamworks promised isn’t going to happen until the 11th hour on Monday just before this movie premieres. I think Patricia Bauer has done an amazing job of covering this issue so I’m not going to add much more except that the statement below pretty well says what I’d like Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr to know. I want to believe these are good although misguided individuals who don’t get the greater harm they are doing to our loved ones. Hopefully they will read the following and reach out to learn more

THE R-WORD ISN’T JUST HURTFUL,
IT’S HATE SPEECH.

WHAT IS HATE SPEECH?

Hate speech occurs when a majority group freely makes jokes about a minority group including negative stereotypes and negative images, not just language. It is commonly seen as harmless by the majority, but it sets the stage for more severe outlets for prejudice, harm and abuse.

PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL AND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES ARE AT GREATER RISK OF VIOLENCE.

- 1 in 3 children with disabilities are victims of some form of abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. (Sullivan & Knutson, 2000).

- Individuals with developmental disabilities are 4 to 10 more times more likely to be victims of a crime than people without disabilities (Sobsey, et al., 1995).

- Children with developmental disabilities are at twice the risk of physical and sexual abuse compared to children without disabilities (Crosse et. al., 1993).

PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL AND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES ARE DISENFRANCHISED FROM JUSTICE.

- Many people with intellectual disabilities are not able to articulate the abuse they’ve sustained.

- Many victims with intellectual disabilities are not perceived as credible witnesses.

- Abuse often occurs as part of name calling, bullying, hazing, or other targeted attacks based on disability status. THIS IS A HATE CRIME.

ENDING THE USE OF THE R-WORD IS MORE THAN A “POLITICALLY CORRECT” NOTION.

- “Retard” and “retarded” are derogatory and dehumanizing terms– on par with the N-word when used to describe African Americans, and various hateful terms used to describe members of the Jewish, gay and lesbian and other minority communities.

- Self-advocates with intellectual disability have clearly stated that negative language leads to harmful action, discrimination, abuse, negative stereotypes, disenfranchisement, and violence.

SHOULDN’T PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY JUST LIGHTEN UP? IT’S A JOKE!

- NO! People with intellectual disabilities have a history of institutionalization, genocide, forced sterilization, segregation, and being regarded as ‘less than human.’

- More than any other group, they experience record unemployment, significant physical, mental and sexual abuse, and limited rights.

- This discrimination and victimization continues, in large part, due to antiquated, discriminatory portrayals in the media and pervasive prejudice.

WHAT’S FUNNY ABOUT THAT?

As my mom used to say – WORDS HAVE MEANING – BE SURE YOU MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Jenny says:

    I guess I’ve had my head in the sand, b/c I’d heard nothing about this movie. I just clicked the links you referenced and read about it. Wow – I find it very troubling to say the least. Thank you for raising awareness of this. I’ll be following this story.

  2. Stacey says:

    May I just second the words of your mother…

    ” WORDS HAVE MEANING – BE SURE YOU MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.”

    Wake up people,
    — the words you say matter, make a better choice!

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