Friday, March 20, 2009

Missing the point

I don't often like to reply to comments in another post, but sometimes it seems the way to go. No, I'm not going to rant, so if you're looking for drama, sorry to disappoint.

I'm in a bit of rush...ya know, new baby, toddler, and all...so this will be relatively short.

I'm not all that sensitive about this kind of thing--questionable jokes, using the wrong words, or words in the "wrong" order--related to the disability community. I'm in the minority in many circles that I travel in due to this. I understand the outrage at the "r-word" and I know the PC way to say things, but I admit I don't really react with the fervor that many do. That's just the honest truth. So this is not me flipping out about his comment about the Special Olympics. It's more about what it may indicate. And one thing I do agree with many of my friends and acquaintances in the world of developmental disabilities... it's not just a joke. And if it hurts someone, it's worth not saying. Check out Sarah's letter and see how she feels about it. She understands more than any of us can, and she has a great perspective.

To the anonymous poster(s): Yes, we all say things we shouldn't. I have loads of things I've said and joked about that aren't very nice. I'm not at all afraid of karma. I'm a Christian and I'm a Republican (barely) and I'm FAR from perfect. If you know anyone who is either of those, or Democrat, or agnostic, or whatever, and is perfect, please let's name them and celebrate them. That is not my point. And it has nothing to do with judging or forgiveness or anything so drastic... As I said in a comment on my friend Michelle's blog today, "It's amazing to me mostly because things said in jokes with our guards down usually indicate our inner thoughts. That's the part that concerns me. Only time will tell, in this situation." My issue is that it indicates more than the surface. Mr. President is know for his communication, "openness," and has more dyed-in-the-wool followers than I've ever seen. Yet when he is kicking back and chatting about something as insignificant as bowling, this is where it goes. No, it's not the end of the world. But I fear it may be a peek at something inside, possibly subconscious. I hope I'm wrong.

To Heidi: Hey girl! You're right. Anonymous comments are allowed on the blog because many don't have logins to Blogger or the other options. And I don't mind an occasional unsigned comment, but if a person feels strongly enough to carry on a conversation and make generalizations, it does seem right to be willing to identify yourself. I think I've proven in the past that we can agree to disagree and still maintain bloggy civility.

To Jason: Dude, you rock. I'm always glad you've got our backs, especially since you guys are unconditionally adoring fans of our Braska girl. That means alot, my friend. And your second comment... right on. You GET it. Thanks!!

To the rest of you, commenters here and via email: Thanks for getting it. Thanks for knowing me well enough to know that I'm not lynching the guy, just making an observation and hoping for better things with the knowledge gained from today.

25 comments:

  1. I hadn't heard SHO's comment, since I don't watch those shows. No surprise. I actually just read today that he has a teleprompter for EVERY speech he has made. He won't even talk to reporters without one. So much for his being a good communicator...
    Glad you are willing to speak up about it.

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  2. You know I have no love-loss for the current person holding the office of the president of this great country, so I'm not even going to comment on what he said. It was pretty stinkin' ignorant, but I am not at all surprised due to what's been coming from Washington lately. It seems like this country is being ran by a bunch of crazy people....ok....maybe I will comment just a little:)

    What I DO want to say is that your lovely family has taught me so much in the last few years. Braska is such a beautiful girl, and I feel so blessed to be able to be taught by such a small but mighty little creature. I catch my self "correcting" people when they are referring to a child who has special needs. I never even thought about how re-arranging a couple of words could cause so much hurt to someone, especially when it places a label on their kid. I find that I am constantly thinking about how my words could affect someone in a negative way, no matter how "innocent" a comment was meant to be.....I just wish others who hold high offices would have the same respect....ok...I went there again:)

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  3. Thanks for sharing this issue. I think it's an important reminder to everyone to think a bit before they speak.

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  4. OMGosh! Has it really been this long since I have been here????
    WOW!
    I have to say, I completely agree with everything you just wrote. I am not by any means, the queen of poltical correctness, but I was floored by Pres. Obama's remarks.
    I have had people RIPPING me apart on my Facebook page because I wrote about it and what is sad is that these are my friends doing it.
    There are so many people making excuses and the problem is, like you said, when you are off the cuff and relaxed and joking and this is what comes from your mout... it is usually insight :(
    Sad.

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  5. I don't agree, ok so knowing you RK, I know for a fact that you have made racial remarks, and as you sit back and think about it, yes you have, and I have people that have heard it, so just because you child has DS doesn't mean you have the right yourself to make racial comments, so you are in no place to judge, none at all or even comment about his mistake until you look at yours.

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  6. Anon--I get the distinct feeling you don't know me nearly as well as you would like some to think. I would never claim that I've not said things I shouldn't...I'm quite human and not very good at that sometimes...but if you were someone I actually know, you would have also known that in those situations I would prefer to be called out at the moment of offense, not have it brought up in a way that has no merit seeing as you cannot speak honestly and with your name attached.

    If I offended you at some point in a conversation, I would expect you to let me know at that time, as my friends do and have done at several occasions. Those who know me well, or really even a little, know that I am constantly trying to be better and welcome honest, open, and respectful constructive input that is meant to edify.

    Since your comments are not serving any of those purposes, unless you would like to sign them, they will be deleted from this point forward. If you want to discuss this openly and straightforward, feel free to do so.

    And please know that "anonymous" doesn't always mean anonymous in our internet world, what with IP addresses, and blog traffic trackers and all. I'll just say that and leave it there.

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  7. Hmmm.....well where to start? First RK wasn't talking about not forgiving our President. Second she pointed out a gaffe and that was it. Third Anonymous you seem bent on beating RK over the head with your own grudge stick. No one made any comments about race so I have no idea why (other then you have your own agenda) you would bring it up.

    While I realized that Obama didn't think before speaking, it did show his true inner voice. The joke he has made in the past, present, and hopefully won't make in the future.

    I forgive because I have Grace and I work at having it.

    Parents 40 years ago FOUGHT my child to have the right to sit in a classroom. Today I fight for my child and those coming behind her to have RESPECT and DIGNITY.

    Obama slipped. We all do it. However my President should NEVER and I repeat NEVER have been on a late night talk show. He was a glaring reason WHY a sitting President has NEVER done it. He has better things to do with his time and my money.

    Anonymous might I suggest you rent a wood chipper for your grudge stick and the chip on your shoulder with RK. Have some guts if you are going to take a stand. Sign your name.

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  8. For the record, the anonymous poster has commented that their name is Sam. I deleted the rest of the comments because of the very negative and childish tone and presentation, and well, because I don't know anyone named Sam.

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  9. Wow, Hi RK, I was visiting your blog papge again, and wow I am sorry to see you are still kinda battling with someone named anonymous, such negitiveness, you keep right on giving your opinions, everyone has that right, sometimes we all make mistakes god knows I have, its very rude to start yelling at someone over the computer though,wow, good for you deleting them, negitivity is not nessasary, people can voice their veiws without being hurtful or rude about it. Have a nice day RK - Charity

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  10. I suppose we all should just not comment when the leader of the free world makes a gaffe just because we are not perfect?

    I will never let my personal mistakes give anyone a white flag to treat me like a door mat.

    If you have a problem with that then I suggest you go away. Please lets find a better place for you....

    Oh wait RK already did.. in the recycle bin.

    Where the rubbish belongs.

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  11. Well, geez. I obviously don't feel obligated to say anything in defense of RK or the tactful way she consistently communicates her ideas and reflections on life as a mom to a ridiculously darling toddler.

    I've been repeatedly grateful that RK didn't have to censor her blogs or only allow invited parties to view her postings because her eloquence and experience have repeatedly allowed me to be a better mom to my daughter than I would have been without them.

    While random acts of anonymous cowardice would probably cause me to question the access I allow others to my own blogs, she's certainly inspired me to focus on the greater good sharing my experiences will accomplish and I know there are countless other readers who share the same gratitude.

    Thanks, RK, for putting up with all of us and continuing to gift us with your candid, honest reflections on daily life as an amazing mom. Most especially, thanks for taking those brief and brilliant acts of stupid...be they made anonymously, personally, or publicly by elected officials...and turning them into lessons to be benefited from by us all.
    Keep the amazing coming, Lady...

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  12. are you going to continue to delete everything I write???? I am just voicing my opinion as did you, am I not entitled to respond to your comment??? We all have that right Randa, we all have that right,I do appoligize if I was coming off rude, but as a Marine wife we look at things much different than you. My husband was at war while Busyh was in office, you will never understand any of that, so don't pass judgement on a decent president, yes he made a mistake, he shouldn't have said that, but he is a good man, I have personally meant him, he is wonderful, and we all need to support him faults and all if we want this country to be the America we know it can be.

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  13. Samantha--First, I honestly have no idea who you are. Yes, you are entitled to your opinions, but it would probably be wiser at this point if you share them on your own blog, which it looks like you just began today as a coincidence. This one is mine, and I was in no way attacking the president. I was making an observation which was not animated or heated or angry at all. You seem to really have taken offense and I can't help that other than trying to be clear about my thoughts, which I have done. And since most everyone else has gotten the message, I'll not try to clarify any longer. We disagree, and that's fine. But please don't try to talk about things like you know me. If we have a personal relationship that I'm somehow forgetting, feel free to refresh my memory by email.

    I can see from my traffic tracker that you've spent over 3 hours today checking for responses and watching what other people said. With all due respect, please enjoy your evening by doing something else tonight. Thank you.

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  14. OK, so I normally stay out of these discussions on blogs but....
    Samantha, my husband is a soldier. He served in Iraq more than once under President Bush and he did so with honor. So, while you say that RK doesn't know where you are coming from....I continue to live the life of a military spouse and I DO know everything that means.
    That has NOTHING to do with what RK posted about. Her post was about the heart of THIS president...Obama...not about Bush or the war. It was about one man making a negative comment about a population of people who can not defend themselves. It was about the fact that if he makes such jokes with Leno, then chances are he makes these jokes with his family and friends as well. That is not a simple mistake, it shows a part of his character(or lack thereof).
    Your comment that Obama is a "decent president" and "wonderful" is YOUR opinion....just as what RK wrote is HER opinion.
    I do find it interesting though that you site the fact that you are a Marine wife. Have you not been keeping up with what he's trying to do to our servicemembers and vets? If you support Obama, that's fine. That's your right as an American. Personally, I don't want his idea of America...it goes against everything my husband has sworn to uphold and defend. I will not support Obama "faults and all" because my job as an American is to hold him accountable for what he does.
    And for the record.....in addition to being an Army wife, I'm also the mom to two children with special needs. I have watched Obama time and time again through his words and his actions and his policies prove that he places no value on the lives of my children. That is not my definition of a "good man".

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  15. Well then maybe they shouldn't exisit, survival of the fittest, my husband is 42, he has served under more than one president as well.

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  16. abd no I didn't start my blog today, I deleted my other one, so I had to start over, so don't be retarted...

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  17. Samantha--You have made it very clear that you are not anyone I know or care to, and you crossed a line with using the word "retarded" here as a slam to me. I'd appreciate you not returning. Any and all comments will be deleted from here on out.

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  18. Oh my gosh, I cannot believe someone just said that.....I am truly speechless, "Samantha" what is your problem, how cruel is that, I myself haven't had the privilege of meeting RK in person, but she seems like a wonderful person, that is so wrong of you to call or say "retarded" that is a horrible, hateful word, and so wrong to even say, children and people with mental disabilities are people to and deserve the same treatment as others, with respect, dignity and kindness, I really suggest you do alittle soul searching, we live in America, and we all deserve to live in peace, why don't you give RK and her friends some peace from reading your trash, put it on your own web page and stop being so hateful, people with mental disabilities are gods children to, you need to remember that.

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  19. Sam, if you weren't so pitiful you would be funny - instead I feel very sorry for you. Most people hang out on blogs that make them feel good and ones they enjoy keeping up with the people they know or have something in common with. You however; need something to fight about in your life and for that I am sorry. But, if you are going to insult someone, you might at least want to spell it correctly. I actually have met RK and I don't think she is "retarted" - what does that even mean? I guess if we break it down you would have to start out with tart- no, I don't think she is a tart.

    You can spend your life defending the president, but you are really going to have your work cut out for you to justify some of his moves. You might want to set that blog back up so you can freely say all of the things that you want to without fear of being deleted. Enjoy.

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  20. Wow, I'm speechless at the comments that were left on your posts. I had logged on/off your site in the last few days to catch up on things but hadn't really read everything until tonight. Oh my!

    Hang in there RK. You are a fabulous momma to a beautiful family. This is YOUR blog. And that is why I come here. YOUR struggles, triumphs, views, opinions are what I want to read. I learn so much from you.

    Although you and I don't share political parties, we agree on many issues facing America today. We are ALL in this together and it's going to take all of us to get out of this mess :) No need to argue about things, or leave rude comments, we should channel our energy in productive ways!

    MUCH love to you and your beautiful family! From the great Northwest. -Sandi

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  21. RK- I know you and consider you a dear friend, faults and all! So keep up the great posts:o)

    Samantha- Shame on you! How dare you think that you have the right to speak to anyone like this.

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  22. Hi, My name is Kaine and Sam is my wife, I deeply am sorry for her behaviour she had absolutally no right what so ever to talk to you in such a manner,I have told her to stay off your web page and not bug you anymore, again I am deeply sorry for the disrespect she gave you, I don't know you, but I do value honest and kindness to others and I have no clue why she felt the need to disrespect you in such a manner but I do intend to have a talk with her, she told me that she was yelling at some woman on this page because she was disrespecting our president so I looked and you like all americans are intitled to your opinions,and I read the stuff that was here and again I am truly sorry for this and I will not allow her to do it again, my deepest appoligy to all of you who had to deal with her running her mouth, again I am sorry and please know that most of america does or should know that everyone has a right to freedom of speech no matter what, God Bless you all, sincerely Kaine

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  23. OK look. I'm a Military wife too and this "decent" president? He's FREAKING going to screw us Military families OVER. He's messing with our deployment pay, trying to take it away. He's screwing with our health insurance and we're going to have to start paying 10%. Do you even REALIZE how much that is when you have kids? Especially, Samantha, since you say you're having twins... I hope they NEVER get sick! We're in the poverty level as it is, being a Military family... it's only going to get worse under your GREAT president.

    My husband was deployed 3 times under Pres. Bush but he never was worried. He is FREAKING out over his deployment under Obama because the idiot has NO idea what he's doing and doesn't care about Military families AT ALL. Get your facts straight before defending him, because you're about to get screwed over too.

    On another note, RK is one of the nicest people I have ever met. Your comments are ridiculous and uncalled for. You don't like her? Fine. That's your right... mosey on away from her blog and quit reading. No one's forcing you... not even your wonderful president. So leave. Don't come back. No one wants you here anyway.

    (I'm remaining anonymous so you don't bring your ridiculousness to my blog too. RK, I'll email ya and tell you this is.)

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  24. Wow. I am blown away. I can not believe someone would come to your personal blog and do and say the things that Samantha just did.I applaud you, RK, for keeping things dignified on your end and just allowing Samantha to show her true colors.
    It's shameful and explains why she supports our president,obviously she shares his opinions.

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  25. RK, Im not sure what led me to your blog but Im so happy I found it. I enjoy reading about you and your family. You have done an outstanding job dealing with 'Samantha'. I think she is a perfect example of someone lacking in education.
    Keep up the good job of taking out the trash. :)

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Thanks for commenting!! I only ask that we all keep it positive, respectful, and clean. Comment moderation is on for now. (As this is my blog, I reserve the right to delete any comment I deem inappropriate for any reason.) If you use the anonymous option, be sure to sign your name. Thanks!!

Make it a great day!!