Friday, October 5, 2012

The "Shoop" Effect

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So, yesterday, as I was enjoying the breeze blowing through the car windows, I changed the satellite radio to the 90s station and felt that wonderful, familiar feeling of being washed over with great memories linked to the music they played.

"Here I go, here I go, here I go again..."

Awww, yeah. This is my joint. I wonder if I can remember all of the words, ad libs and all?

Of course I can because I am THAT AWESOME.

"Don't know how you do the voodoo that you do..."

Was I a senior in high school? Yeah, I think I was.

Is this now considered an "oldie" for me? Yeah, I think it is.

"I spend all my dough, re me, cutie..."

And then near the end it happened...

"12 inches to a yard and have you sounding like a ..."

Oh no. No. Dammit.Not again.

(It's deleted in this clip.)

I didn't remember that was coming. I wasn't prepared.

When I was 17 or 18, it didn't affect me like it does now.

It was funny. It was catchy. It was insignificant.

Not anymore.

I felt that ugly feeling in the pit of my stomach. The same one I felt one day in Bootcamp a couple of years ago, ironically on a day I was there with a fellow Ds mama. "Let's Get it Started" by the Black Eyed Peas came blaring through the speakers while we did calisthenics at the base of Mount Trashmore. Cool. Let's go.

Except it wasn't that version. It was the original.

I stopped what I was doing and went up to nicely ask the instructor if he wouldn't mind switching the song. He acted quickly, fast forwarding to the next song, letting me know that it was a station and not a playlist he had created. It was totally fine. I was glad my friend hadn't heard. Only one of us felt that feeling that day.

And then, recently, I was out running and the B.o.B. featuring Andre 3000 song "Play the Guitar" song came on. Awesome to work out to. I fell into a groove right away.

And then...wait...that couldn't have been...crap.

At least MTV had the good sense to leave that offensive part out of the quote in the first paragraph of this article.What it actually says is: ""My flow is [r-word]. The stupidest/Dumb/Probably have to after school tutor it."

Go ahead and try to tell me "They didn't mean it that way" because obviously? They did.

Stupid. Dumb. It's right there.

And that's how most people mean it.

Every time I hear a version of that word, I think of all the people I know, my daughter included, who are not these things, but get lumped into that category. I think of people who work really hard to be accepted. Who only want the respect that is given to any other human and have to fight with everything they've got, and then sometimes seek more help on top of that, just to try to fit in amongst the masses.

(How many other Kindergartners are going to therapy after a full day of school? Not most.)

Even without using the cruel words, people stare. People do not assume competence. They cast these fellow humans with a cloak of low expectations.

I will NEVER say that people with Down syndrome, or any other cognitive disability, can't stand up for themselves. Because I don't believe that and I feel like it diminishes them even further.

But I WILL stand with them and fight for equal rights and just flat out everyday decency.

Really. It's not that hard to be kind.

I know these are just songs. It's not like I cried myself to sleep over it or anything. My skin is thickening quite nicely, thankyouverymuch.

It's just that in these few days I have the opportunity to raise even more awareness, I will.

That ugly, stomach sinking feeling sucks. And now you know.


Anna said...

Oh yeah. We know what it feels like. I just hate the thought of her understanding, " the look" you know the one I'm talking about. The one that screams the word. One little girl kept giving her the look all through dance class and I have to admit I wasn't thinking happy /nice thoughts.

Me ;-) said...

I have had to correct a few folks on using that word. . .