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This blog was inspired by 31 for 21 & is about my wonderful family.

"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible & trust God with the impossible." ~Ruth Bell Graham

"Never look down on someone, unless you're helping them up!"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Take a stand!

     As I am sure you all know, the movie The Change Up starring Ryan Reynolds & Jason Bateman, has a scene that has the DS community flustered.  Here's what happens, to the best of my knowledge:  Reynolds sees Bateman's twins & says "why are they not talking yet...are they retarded?"  Then goes on to say, "this one looks a little Downsy."  I was completely appalled when I heard about this.  Anyway, one person created an event that is titled "Boycott the movie The Change Up" & of course I joined it.  I read the comments & was frustrated at some of the comments by some people.  First of all, this is an event, you either agree to boycott the movie by not paying your hard earned money to see a discriminatory, derogatory film by clicking "I'm attending" or you click "maybe" or you click "no", it's that simple.  Some people are writing horrible things on the event's page, which is just adding fuel to the fire & making themselves look ignorant.  One person said that we shouldn't be allowing our kids to watch R rated movies & that if the people with DS are offended, they should be the ones speaking up...one said that "next you'll be boycotting Snow White because Dopey is a Downs & stupid."  What?  My son is only 2 & a half, I will do everything in my power to shield him from this type of ignorance.  I know that he'll be all grown up one day & he'll have to defend himself, but until that day comes, it's MY JOB to defend him & take a stand for him & all of the other people that I love with DS or who have kids with DS.  As the mother of a child with DS, I am offended.  No one has the right to judge my son, look down upon him, or make fun of him.  God made him the way he is for a reason, & He's the one that will judge him & will judge us all.  If I don't take a stand for my son, who will?  Who will know that the "R" word is offensive & that the term "Downsy" is inappropriate?  I don't address someone that I believe is uneducated & misinformed as "Ignorant", so my son or anyone with DS doesn't deserve to be addressed as a "Downsy."  He was born with an extra chromosome, that's it.  Just a little something extra, not something missing!  Yes, he has some delays.  But he's also endured more in his 2 & a half years than most people endure in a lifetime.  You go through all of what he has & see if you aren't delayed a little.  But that doesn't give anyone the right to label him.  He walks, talks, shows more love than I've ever seen.  He's happy, intelligent, has likes & dislikes just like everyone else....it just took him a few more months to reach his milestones, so what?  Does that make him stupid?  Nope, I think it makes him brilliant for overcoming each & every obstacle to achieve his goals & milestones! 
     Second of all, if you are that ignorant, you need to be educated on DS, respect, & discrimination.  If this was a Caucasian couple that had a African-American twins & the guy says, "this one looks like a n*****," the African-American people would be upset, & rightly so, just as I am.  It's wrong to discriminate, PERIOD.  All I can do is try to educate the ignorant & stand up for what I believe in.  In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr:  "Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.  And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.  I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...I have a dream today!  I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."  That too, is my dream.  For my kids to be treated equally by each & every one.
     On another note, I am reminded of a conversation that my husband & I had on the way home from the gym a few weeks ago.  He was telling me that he heard on the radio, on the way to work, a snippet from Ryan Reynold's interview on The Tonight Show.  Ryan told Jay Leno, "Atlanta was trying to kill me....no offense to Atlanta, it's a fantastic place, but it really wants my blood."  While he was here filming The Change Up, his trailer caught fire, his replacement trailer flooded, his hotel room flooded, his dog became ill, his divorce process began, & he broke his pinky finger.  Well, Ryan, I'd say that sounds a lot like KARMA to me!
     I realize that this movie is now out in theaters & the scene can not be deleted...but they can remove that scene before it hits video.  I will not pay to see it, will not see it if it's free, or if someone paid me to.  I'm not going to pay these people's salary to demean my son & the others that I love.  That's one more thing you experience when you have a child with DS, your DS community becomes your family, too.  I've met some AWESOME people, that I never would've had the pleasure knowing, because of Troy's something extra.  So, please, join me in saying that you'll take a stand by NOT watching this movie.  Please don't let your teenagers or kids see this movie, either.  When we allow them to watch movies like this, or even turn a blind eye, we're promoting this type of behavior.  You wouldn't believe how many of Chancey's peers use the "R" word to describe something they view as dumb & how many of them think someone with DS is contagious or freakish.  If we educate ourselves & our children, our future will be so much brighter & we can rid the world of these awful stereotypes.  Help me educate the ignorant & help change the lives of every one with a "diff"ability.  You can also take the pledge to never use the "R" word at www.r-word.org

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