Glee Stars lend their voice to End the Word!

May 24, 2011 Kyron No Comments

Glee…YES, I absolutely consider myself a GLEEK! Proudly, I hold up my fingers in the glorious *L* and count myself among they loyal losers icon wink Glee Stars lend their voice to End the Word!

People who haven’t watched Glee may think it’s about a bunch of teenagers in show choir at their local high school who just get slushies thrown in their face because like pretty much every kid who has gone thru their respective high school music program – they are at the bottom of the social ladder.  That description would not be wrong, but it would only be the surface of the show’s premise. The underlying message is acceptance of people – all people – regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation or disability. That each person has something to contribute to the greater good in their own way. Not that each is perfection but rather in their imperfection, together they make a greater whole. Even the most hated character, “Sue Sylvester” (played by Jane Lynch), who is evil, sinister and perpetually plotting against the “Glee Club” is shown to have a loving and compassionate side. Her sister, Jean, has Down Syndrome and Sue is a kind, doting sister to the elder Sylvester who lives in a group home.

Glee has several characters who have disabilities. Of course Sue’s sister (who was only a recurring character, ancillary to the storyline and passed away in the penultimate episode of season 2) is one, there was an episode in season 1 featuring a football player who was paraplegic because of a football accident. Those two are really only supporting characters although both used brilliantly. Two of the characters encompassed within the ensemble cast either have a disability, or portray someone who does. Artie Abrams (played by Kevin McHale), is a paraplegic who is in a wheelchair and he has been the focus of several amazing stories of acceptance, tolerance, growth and learning.

Last, but certainly not least, is Becky Jackson so wonderfully portrayed by Lauren Potter. Becky is an amazing character. When Becky tries out and wins a coveted place as a member of the cheerleading squad, the Glee Club teacher, Will Schuester, is concerned that Sue Sylvester is just up to some cruel joke at Becky’s expense. Will Schuester is even more incensed at how harsh Sue is being with Becky. It’s critical to understand Sue is harsh and awful to everyone, except her sister, Jean. One of my favorite sentiments ever conveyed has to be when Sue tells Will that all Becky wants is to be treated like everyone else and that is exactly what she’s doing. It may sound rough, but you can tell Sue really has taken this young girl under her wing. Becky has become Sue’s second in command.

Tonight, a new Public Service Announcment (which should be required viewing for anyone playing in the NBA these days) will air on FOX during Glee. I believe from what I’ve read it will air in the last 15 minutes or so of the show. It stars the sublime Lauren Potter and the divine Jane Lynch. I advise you however it is not for the youngest among us. At this point I won’t be sharing it with my son.

r word org 300x130 Glee Stars lend their voice to End the Word!In this PSA, a variety of people remind us of slurs that have been used throughout time to stereotype someone and degrade them and how each and every one of them have reached a point where they are largely not longer considered acceptable….with the exception of the R-word.

I hope that you’ll take a moment to share this. Whether or not your a fan of Glee, the message is no less powerful – Lauren and Jane are just that great. It’s one I’ve already shared with my eldest who cried when she related how someone had called her and her friend David that word and how she just KNEW it had been a bad word.

Damn.  The fact that the R-word had been used in that way against my kid when I wasn’t there to slap their faces educate them hurts me twice as much because of the venom it must have taken to make my sunny kid know that she was being degraded….unreal. Now she knows (and shame on me for not addressing it sooner) that this is a word it is NEVER ok to use or have used at you.

The PSA is supported by several national advocacy organization including the Anti-Defamation League, Special Olympics, Best Buddies, GLAAD, The National Action Network, The Hispanic Federation, National Puerto Rican Coalition, The Asian-American Foundation, AbilityPath.org and the NAACP.

Maybe you know someone who could use a refresher. I hope you’ll do me a favor and share this with them. The sooner you do, maybe the sooner none of us have to worry about another slur that’s only purpose is to degrade a population.

 

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