Fall 2012

Fall 2012
[learning to live a perfectly imperfect life]

You're Allowed... and I'm Allowed

Thanks to the Special Olympics Facebook announcement, I learned this week that Tim Shriver, the Chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics, would be a guest on the Colbert Report. I was interested, especially after hearing he was going to tackle the use of the "R" word.

I've never watched the show.... even would have pronounced "Colbert" wrong until I heard it said. (So, thanks to the Special Olympics "person-in-charge-of-Facebook-updates" for the announcement!) After spending 20 minutes trying to find it on my channel guide, I set my DVR to record the show. You can watch the clip here.... (and you're welcome for saving you 20 minutes of searching your TV guide.)

A day later, Jeremy and I sat down to watch it.

Though there were a few things I wasn't thrilled by (mostly on Colbert's part), I was impressed.

Tim not only talked about People-First Language (which we appreciated)...

but it was the dialogue about the "R" word that got us.

In fact, after we heard it, we rewound it and listened again.

Then we rewound it again.

We looked at each other and smiled.

Have you experienced a time when you hear something and wish it had been you that said it? A time when you feel like holding your picket sign a little higher? A time when you feel like throwing out some "that's-what-I'm-talkin'-'bout" attitude? A time when you think that, if you were standing among friends with the same beliefs, you'd hear a loud "AMEN!" from the back of the crowd?

That's what I felt.

And every other word, I paused it... then rewound a little... then paused it again...

You guessed it.

I wrote it down.

* * * * *

Colbert: "You say that you cannot use the word... even as a character you cannot use the word."

Shriver: "I didn't say you cannot..." (interrupted by Colbert)

Colbert: "Isn't that 'thought police'? That's 'thought police.'"

Shriver: "I don't want to be a cop; I want to be a teacher. You're allowed to be humiliating, degrading, and hurtful. I'm allowed to petition you to at least recognize what you say and be aware of the option you have to stop."

* * * * *

Well said.

Okay, and I've gotta say it....

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.


Monica said...

Yup, it was brilliant. I LOVE the "I don't want to be a cop; I want to be a teacher."

Amy Kosmalski said...

Very powerful words. I didn't catch the show so thanks for the re-cap. Love your blog! :)

Anonymous said...

Yesterday it was staff development day and 2 other teachers were in my room talking. I don't remember what it was about now, but one teacher said "It's retarded". I said "You really shouldn't use that word. Use the word sily or stupid instead." Both teachers looked at me and looked shocked for a second, but then said- You're right. I shouldn't use that word.
(I was surprised she used the word, she had a child with Down syndrome last year and really appreciates kids with special needs)
Stephanie Klein

Anonymous said...

I hope you have been made aware that Stephen Colbert plays a character on that show and that he was not being insulting or degrading to anyone. He says the things he says as a funnier way to get his interviewees to make their points while staying true to his "conservative" character. Just wanted to make sure that you consider continuing to watch Stephen as he stands up for numerical minority groups (his particular favorite is immigrants) who are oppressed in any way in America which he does nearly daily on his show.

Joe Tanner