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The R Word – AGAIN

Catching up and sharing from the files of my ramblings. This particular set is from
April 26, 2016.

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“There’s a bunch of RETARDS running times today!”

Kicked in the guy and barely catching my breath at the very memory of overhearing this comment at last night’s track meet in Bushnell. Last night. In 2016. Essentially in our own back yard.

Let me clarify, this was not an A-Town or BPC athlete. In fact, his wasn’t a jersey I was familiar with so I can’t say for sure where he was from. What caught me most was his parents never said a thing about his outburst other than to fan the flames of his disgust. Apparently his team’s times weren’t as good as what he thought they should have been and other teams beat his, so of course, he surmised, it was a bunch of “retards” running times.

Rude. Disrespectful. I could go on and on with the adjectives that ran through my mind as I struggled to remain calm. That family moved on to find the rest of their disgruntled team and I breathed a sigh of relief not to have to be around them any longer without leaving our vantage point for our son’s next race.

What broke my heart most was that I didn’t have the fortitude to speak up and share that what was being said was hurtful and actually inaccurate. I doubt it would have made difference, but at least I would have had the peace of knowing I’d done my part in spreading awareness and if not stopping, at least slowing down the hatred.

I just cannot wrap my mind around why so many people find it perfectly acceptable to use the “R” word when referring to someone that has upset them, angered them, or even simply disagreed with them.

I’m ashamed of myself for not speaking up. Despite rationalizing the situation with the reality that I couldn’t catch my breath, how could I speak, I know I should have. I can’t expect others to speak up when I don’t, but I can ask, please, stop and think before you speak. And if you have children, please ask them to do the same.

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