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Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Are You Talkin To Me"

I have never understood the habit of name calling in our society. When people don't agree or don't like something it is all too common to use derogatory labels in reference to the supposed offender. It is unfortunate how often I witness this ugly behavior from young people here in Utah. I am constantly reminding the teenagers who come into my home not to say "that is so gay" when they refer to something they don't like or think is stupid. Most of them are fairly well trained by now - at least at my house. However, recently I have had to call them out for their consistent use of the word "Jew" when addressing my kids. I see it on their facebooks and yearbooks and hear kids address them by their name followed by "Jew". My kids don't like it and neither do I. Why is this necessary? Why do we have to put labels on people who are different? We don't say "Hey Joe- Mormon - would you like a slice of pizza?" That would be silly, not to mention rude - yet it is how my children are addressed quite often and I have finally had it with this ridiculous behavior.

I am motivated by the recent commercials put out by which are a fabulous public service and point out how insulting words can be. They directly address the term "that is so gay". I hope the message will go even farther in illustrating that labeling and name calling in general is hurtful. For too long, we have all accepted these sayings as harmless behavior. I choose to confront those who use terms that are hurtful to any particular group even when it is not my group. I hope I can be rational and calm in my discussions - but honestly there are days when I feel just like De Niro


1 comment:

Trish said...

So true!!!! I had no idea your kiddos were getting labeled too. This year while looking at my fellas' yearbooks I noticed an alarming number of kids had written comments such as "You are black." For the life of me I don't understand this rational. There are so many other ways to describe my boys and your children, and the best anyone around here can come up with is black and/or jew; items that our kids didn't really have anything to do with. It is a form of indirect bullying when you marginalize an individual and it truly needs to stop.
Thanks again for an amazing and for the feeling that I am not alone out here...