By Ikea “Syance” Wilson
I would like to say something about the R-word. Not only do I think it is offensive, I also believe this word could tear people down inside mentally and emotionally.
We often use this word in order to express frustration to one another. However, this is not an acceptable excuse. I mean, if others, whether neurologically typical or atypical, want to think I or anyone else understands how inappropriate and harmful the R word is, expect them to “walk on eggshells” because of how hurtful this is, FINE! I don’t care because God will deal with this eventually.
Here is an example of how offensive and unnecessary this word is and what it does to me psychologically. One day I was crossing a four-way intersection in order to get to school. Before I crossed the street I looked both ways. A reckless driver came out of nowhere and began to honk at me. I looked at him and ran across the street in order to get out of his way. He started cussing me out by calling me “a Retarded A** B****”. I tried to hold onto my composure by controlling both the voices in my head (Schizophrenia) and the sensory overload (Autism) and the negative emotions I was experiencing.
I tried to get rid of this “tell moment” by reporting it to the staff at school and my family… but the memory still lives. This happens every time I have to go through this, which makes me feel a sense of empathy when other atypical people have to deal with this kind of crap.
This is one of the many reasons why I would like to advocate for others who are suffering with similar issues and treat myself like I treat others when I self-advocate. I am sick of haters and bullies causing harm to us and anyone else who has to go through this. It’s like they think they’re the “King/ Queen of everyone” and we’re the condemned.
I would like to say this to those who others think are retarded, abnormal, stupid, flawed, etc.: Don’t listen to or just tell them to shut up because they are the ones being inappropriate and rude. We have to forgive each other, despite what we say and do. God doesn’t want us to hold grudges. He’s rather us let Him handle the haters while we move on with our lives.
Editor’s comment: For those who have limited vocabularies or trouble of thinking of other words check out this resource of 225 alternatives to the R-Word.
Ikea “Syance Wilson” graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University Bakersfield. She attends Inclusion Films in Bakersfield. She continues to pursue her artistic endeavors.
Cover Image: Syance’s Most Hated Distortions