Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Excuse me?

"I don't care if you lick windows, take the short bus, or occasionally pee on yourself... You hang in there, Sunshine, 'cause you're friggin' special!"

This quote showed up in a Facebook friend's status feed a few hours ago.  I had never seen/heard it before and was curious about its origins, so, of course, I googled it.  The only thing I could find (without putting too much time into searching) was a bunch of Facebook statuses with various versions of the above, sometimes with swear words or references to being retarded.  And Urban Dictionary has several derogatory definitions of the term "window licker."

Based on those results, I can only assume that it's not an "in-group" reference.  (I hadn't really thought it was, but I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt.)

I respect people's right to post whatever they want as their FB status.  Because of that, each of the four times I wrote a comment under this status ("Not sure what this means as I know children who do this."/" ... including one of my children."/"... including my dear friend's child."/ etc.), I deleted it without sharing it.  I thought about sending a direct message with a gentle statement of my distress, but again, Facebook is one's own, and if I don't like it, I have several options I can choose (Hide and Unfriend being just two of them).  But it's wrong to do nothing.  Doing nothing perpetuates the stereotypes and prejudices.

Can I tell you how distressing this is?
  • Nice person writing something offensive.
  • Nice person's friends LOL-ing.
  • Belief that Facebook is one's own place.
  • Need to stand up against stereotypes/prejudices.
  • Need to dispel myths about people with certain types of challenges.
  • Belief that my child deserves better than to be made fun of, no matter how indirectly.
To do what's right:
  • Need for me to move very far outside my comfort zone. 
In the end, I asked where the quote is from.  I thought if I track it to its source, maybe I can combat it better.  So far, no reply.   I'll give it a little longer, but I think I'm going to have to address it somehow.  I don't think I can do nothing for longer than a self-imposed cool-down period.

If you're the praying sort, I wouldn't mind a little help with this one: wisdom, word choices, perspective, open hearts and minds all around, etc.

Update 7/6/2010 -- Sent a three-sentence private message, the gist of which was that this was probably one of those areas that unless it affects you personally, you probably don’t think about it.  The generally lovely person graciously apologized and removed the status, which I had no right to expect, and we seem to be OK.  Would that all such statements were unintentional, and a little knowledge could eradicate them.  Thanks for the prayers.

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