I knew it would happen eventually. Political correctness would go so far with a term that it actually becomes insulting again.
“Intellectually disabled” is a term I’ve been hearing a lot lately. First of all, if you have a disability, you should be able to pronounce it. A 9 syllable word phrase is the not the easiest thing to wrap your tongue around. Ralphie May does a great bit about the subject in the video below.
And here’s a quote from another blog on the subject:
“The nation’s most venerable organization of professionals concerned with ID used to be called the American Association on Mental Retardation but renamed itself the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the beginning of 2007.”
Way to go… Adding 10 syllables to your name makes it so much better. Perfect for the “linguistically-challenged” among us. Me, included. George Carlin did a great bit on how euphemisms just make things more vague until they don’t matter anymore. Can’t find the bit on YouTube. 🙁
Ok, so I get why “retarded” might not be the nicest term, despite being the easiest to say. But now “mentally disabled” or “mentally challenged” doesn’t work? At least the word “mentally” connotes some sort of disorder or disease. Something that can’t be helped.
“Intellectually disabled” just sounds like they’re STUPID. If we’re looking at intellectually disabled, there’s wide swaths of the Southeastern US that need lots of help. Not to mention plenty of Hollywood socialites.
Intellect can be improved with education. Mental problems are a disease.
Congratulations political-correctness! You’ve come up with a term that’s actually worse than the previous one!
Next up… what shall we do with African-American? First of all, African-American doesn’t really apply all that well to black folks that don’t live in America. Like this blog explains.
There’s plenty of things wrong with the term, so where is it going to go next. “Persons of African Descent”? Let’s reverse it… What would a black person call me? That’s right… White. Is that insulting? Umm, no. Not really. I’m white. Technically a little pink. But I prefer white, thanks. Caucasian? Nobody even knows what the heck that word means, except “white”.
So, if I’m white, they’re black. Cool. For some reason, “yellow” didn’t really stick around for Asian folks. Now, in actuality, I’m half Italian and most of the other half is Scottish. And I don’t expect anyone else to recognize that off the bat. After a show one night, someone said the show had to be good because a Jewish comic (me) was headlining. So people are going to miss the details. Last I checked, I wasn’t Jewish.
Then why can’t we go with “black” and then dig deeper? From Ghana? Nigeria? South Africa? You see…. Africa has countries too. We Americans miss that part a lot. Us being “geographically-challenged” and all.
So when I first meet someone, I’m white, she’s black. You’ll notice I said “she” just so I don’t get hammered for leaving women out of the picture. Then, once we get to know each other, I’m Italian and she’s Nigerian. See? Easy!
But we’ll keep pushing the term until it becomes even dumber. “Persons of Enhanced Pigmentation” anyone?
Ah, but you notice there’s not politically correct term for political incorrectness? “Incorrect” is a one of those negatives we’re always trying to keep out. How about “Sensitivity-challenged”? Or possibly “Can’t keep up with all the terms anymore challenged”?
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