Nickelpicklemama's Blog

November 23, 2009

Savage Hate

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 8:25 am

Dan Savage is a nationally syndicated sex advice columnist and author of several books. His readership is enormous. He is also a hypocrite.

On a recent blog post, Savage published a painting by Russian artist Raoef Mamedov. The painting, a recreation of the Last Supper, uses men with Down syndrome in replacement of Jesus anhd his disciples. The problem with Dan Savage’s blog post lies not in the artwork, which is, in it’s own way, beautiful; the problem is in the title Savage chose. His choice? “The Tard Supper”

For those of you not familiar with Dan Savage, I’ll take this opportunity to tell you that he is an openly gay man. He has written repeatedly on gay rights, and against the use of hateful language. That alone should have given him enough knowledge to stop him from using such a hateful word in his title, but hey; maybe he wasn’t aware. People make mistakes, perhaps all he needed was a gentle nudge. A reminder that the words “retard” and “tard” are offensive to some people, especially those with mental handicaps.

I am part of a group called the Oz Squad. This group works as an Internet watch dog, and when it finds information that is incorrect and/or offensive to people with Down syndrome, we make it our mission to correct the wrong. We don’t seek to be bullies; we peacefully appeal to the authors, explain the offence, and move on when the offensive material has been removed and/or apologized for.

Our group leader brought this post to our attention. He also very elequently and respectfully approached Dan Savage and told him that his word choice was offensive. When our leader was ignored, he asked us to help. Many in our group wrote Savage, and explained how offended we were by his title. Has Mr. Savage apologized? Changed the title to his post? The answer sadly, is no.

Why does this make me so angry? I’m angry because this is something that is so simple, so easy to remedy. Let’s say I give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume he wrote the word “tard” not realizing how offensive others might find it. Fine, I can do that. But as I’ve said before, “when we know better, we do better”. This man has been told repeatedly that his words cause us pain. We’ve written heartfelt letters pleading our case, and told him about our beautiful loved ones with mental handicaps. We’ve opened our hearts to this man, and he just doesn’t seem to care. I’m mad because we are merely asking for an apology, and we are being refused.

To add insult to injury, shortly after this occurance regarding the use of the word “tard”, Savage wrote a response to reader who was shocked by a coworkers use of different hate words. The words discussed were “n*gg*r” and “f*gg*t”. Savage’s response: the person should log a complaint with his HR department, as these two words are unacceptable. Wow! I couldn’t agree more! Those hateful words are unacceptable, but Savage’s hypocricy astounds me. Why is bigotry towards African Americans and homosexuals unacceptable, if it’s acceptable towards those with mental handicaps?

This whole situation makes me sad. When will people realize that hate is never funny?

November 20, 2009

Crabby

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 12:09 pm

So… I’m feeling rather whiny today. My birthday was yesterday, and I awoke this morning with a sore back. There is absolutely no reason my back should hurt. I feel like Father Time is just kinda taunting me. “Niener, niener; you are OLD.”
Meh!

November 8, 2009

The Little Reader

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 7:47 am

Peter loves books! They are by far his favorite “toy”.

November 4, 2009

More than Worthy

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 7:30 am

So. I did it. I posted something every single day in October. Now, I’ll admit; due to having the flu and other distractions, some posts were rather dull. But… I did manage to fulfill the requirement. I’m proud of myself, bc I was determined to honor my nephew Peter, and the 31 for 21 challenge.

I read yesterday that due to the wide availability of prenatal testing and abortion, the number of children born with Down syndrome is dwindling every day. It’s estimated that 90% of pregnancies are terminated if the parents are given a prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome.

Imagine. 90%! This statistic absolutely breaks my heart. I look at Peter and I see a child who is more than deserving of life. He is a valuable and essential part of our family. He is a person, regardless of how many chromosomes he has. As he bounds through life, bringing joy to everyone he meets, I can’t imagine a world that existed without his presence.

I know that regardless of all of the incredible things he brings to this world, there will always be those that view him as a tragic mistake. They’ll consider him as less than human, or as a drain on society The fact that there are people who won’t be able to look past his genetic makeup, and see the incredible person that he is, makes me immeasurably sad.

Peter is my nephew, and he has Down syndrome. I love him because of who he is, not in spite of it. He is bright, joyous, spunky, and full of life. He enriches our lives. He is not a birth defect, nor a tragic genetic fluke. He is Peter, and he is no mistake.

October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 4:33 pm

There once was a pumpkin named Fright
Who went out on Halloween night
He liked trick-or-treating
Because of the eating
Which to him was quite a delight

October 30, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 3:06 pm

It has been raining nonstop and I just may lose my mind if it doesn’t stop soon! I usually love the rain, but enough is enough! My hair is all frizzy. The leaves aren’t crunchy. My kid is CRABBY! And Halloween is going to be a slippery, muddy mess!

October 29, 2009

My Little Banana

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 4:53 pm

October 28, 2009

Meet the Pig Who Doesn’t Like Mud

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 3:30 pm

October 27, 2009

A Whole New World

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 10:42 am

After Peter was born, I suddenly saw people with Down syndrome everywhere I went. At church, at the grocery store, at my son’s school… Not only that, but I was also seeing references to Down syndrome everywhere I looked; the newspaper, the books I was reading… Even when I was driving I’d notice other cars with bumper stickers from our local Down syndrome association.

As strange as my sudden awareness seemed; what was happening to me, and the cause for it, actually has a name. It’s called the “Reticular Activation System” or RAS. It is the part of your brain that automatically filters out what is not important to you and brings your attention to things that are important to you.

It’s a common phenomenon. Almost everyone can relate. You start looking for a new car, something special, something not like anyone else’s, something unusual. You pick out what seems to be a unique, unusual choice of a special red car and all of a sudden, there it is– your red car, the one you thought was only yours. It’s on every street corner. It is at every stoplight. You see three of these red cars just driving down the freeway. You never saw these cars before. What happened? How did all of these people get your unique red car at the same time?

Well the fact of the matter is that your brain is seeing the red cars that were always there. Since you picked out this car for yourself, that car has become special for you and now you are noticing what was really there all along.

It’s pretty amazing: the human brain. If you understand how the reticular filter works, it makes it pretty clear that we ourselves create the world we live in.

Pretty heavy stuff. 😉

October 26, 2009

The Unimaginable

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 4:47 am

My home town was recently rocked by a horrific and unimaginable crime. A young girl, just 9 years old, was found dead in the woods near her home. Her killer? A 15 year old boy.

Stories such as these make my heart literally ache. I can’t fathom the pain this child’s parents must feel. It terrifies me down to my core. The thought of something happening to take my son away from me; I just can’t even let my mind go there.

These kinds of things make me want to gather my loved ones, find a hidden and remote cave somewhere, and hide out the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, not even that could guarantee their safety. We are always just one step away from heartache and tragedy. We have to just do our very best. We have to love our children, and do whatever it takes to try to protect them from the evil that lurks in this world.

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~Elizabeth Stone

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