Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

John Lackey sorry for offensive remark

As Jon Heyman offensively tweets…“john lackey apologizes for his use of the word “retarded.’’ and no, he wasn’t talking about himself”

Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey has apologized for using ‘‘a thoughtless choice of words’’ during an interview this week.

Speaking with a Boston Globe columnist, Lackey said it was ‘‘retarded’’ to make too much of reports about some Red Sox starters drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse last year during games when they weren’t pitching.

On Tuesday, Lackey issued a written statement released by the Red Sox.

‘‘I apologize for my thoughtless choice of words that appeared in print earlier today. I meant no harm, and I am sorry to all I offended,’’ he said.

 

Repoz Posted: March 27, 2012 at 08:32 PM | 85 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4090726)
Lackey offends me much more with his right arm than with his mouth.
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 27, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4090731)
‘‘I apologize for my thoughtless choice of words that appeared in print earlier today. I meant no harm, and I am sorry to all I offended,’’ he said.
See? That's an actual apology.
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 27, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4090735)
I meant no harm, and I am sorry to all I offended

continuing #1's theme...hey John, stay off the hill and you won't offend anyone any longer.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4090736)
Red Sox fans agree: John Lackey is a special talent.
   5. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4090740)
Lackey offends me much more with his right arm than with his mouth.

I don't know, that's a tough one. His face is plenty offensive too.

Also, ### the retarded PC police.
   6. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4090742)
“john lackey apologizes for his use of the word “retarded.’’ and no, he wasn’t talking about himself”
Can we make this about Heyman being so stupid as to publicly use the word **in the same way that Lackey was apologizing for**? Please?
   7. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4090743)
Also, ### the retarded PC police.


It seems weird that the nanny censor would censor the word 'hug'. Strange times.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4090744)
Lackey should have gone all Geraldo with his apology. "I'm sorry if fans are too retarded to get I was not making fun of the mentally challenged."
   9. Fanshawe Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4090747)
Can we make this about Heyman being so stupid as to publicly use the word **in the same way that Lackey was apologizing for**? Please?


Yeah, that was pretty retarded.
   10. Guapo Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4090753)
The whole fried chicken and beer thing was more developmentally disabled than retarded.
   11. Spahn Insane Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4090764)
I enjoyed when Dan Savage responded to a reader's complaint about his using "retarded" in his columns by substituting the word "leotarded."
   12.   Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4090769)
See? That's an actual apology


Too bad it's at a time when no apology is needed. He's right.
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4090770)
Is this enough to save him from the wrath of Sarah Palin? Will Real Americans accept the apology?
   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4090799)
Between John Lackey and Carl Crawford, this is the most unlikable team in some time.
   15. Dale Sams Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4090811)
This whole thing is gay. I feel gypped. Did that midget Pedroia weigh in?
   16. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4090820)
Hey that's offensive! He's a "little person"!
   17. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4090837)
Between John Lackey and Carl Crawford, this is the most unlikable team in some time.


Is Crawford unlikeable as a person?
   18. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4090841)
Oh, no-- in fact, quite the opposite! Today's young people call him a goon.
   19. Morty Causa Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4090868)
Just what you retarded Pharisees would claim.
   20. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 28, 2012 at 07:48 AM (#4090955)
Lackey offends me much more with his right arm than with his mouth.


Take a look at that mouth and tell me that you aren't offended. His whole face is offensive.
   21. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 28, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4090974)

Is Crawford unlikeable as a person?

His contract is unlikeable, to some. I'm hopeful he finds his game.
   22. tfbg9 Posted: March 28, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4090996)
Not using "retarded" as a put-down, or for a cheap laugh is one form of voluntary PC I can support.

   23. zack Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4091081)
What about botarded? Is that ok? Or is that too offensive to retards from NY state?
   24. GregD Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4091091)
God damn those lcuky parents with their ####### freeloading special needs kids telling me I can't use their kids to mock adults I dislike!
   25. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4091096)
"Yankee fan" should replace "retard."
   26. Morty Causa Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4091131)

I think the entire nation, each and everyone of us, should be forced to undergo a determined and extensive series of Clockwork Orange protocols (a University of Minnesota spankalogical protocol isn't enough), where for hours and days we are subjected to an absolute inundation of racist terminology and images, beginning with the constant continuous repetition of the word \"######\" in the background.

Then go on from there to the counterparts for other peoples, like, ofey, honky, whitey, cracker, redneck, including those epithets such as kikes, wops, spicks, chinks, nips, gooks, frogs, krauts, limeys, a-rabs, etc... And do this not in anticipation of a Pavlovian aversion result, but with the understanding that removing the sacredness of it all, that stuff will lose all effective meaning. PC is not the cure--it's a prerequisite for the disease. It insures that there's a sterile matrix for the disease to flourish. If I call you a \"######\" or you call me a "coonass", why should either of us give a ####? Who are you to me, and what am I to you? The best remedy with the least complications is in our hands. And that is not to care.

Of course, constant re-training will be necessary, for if there is one thing biology, sociology, sociobiology, and psychology tell us is that we will find a way to create “us” and “them” categories, with pertinent vocabularies and narratives. It’s a small price to pay, though, to make sure that no one anywhere is ever offended in any way. That's the ideal--the perfect life of serene vacuity.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4091133)
I'd guess that 'mentally retarded' itself first was used as a respectfully-intended quasi-clinical term that was meant to replace pejorative terms ("idiot" "mongoloid" etc). I will use whatever term is preferred by those who care, but any phrase/word will have the pejorative connection follow it, because mental retardation is a negative thing.
   28. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4091165)
John Lackey sorry for offensive remark contract
   29. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4091168)
This thread is falling apart faster than a leper on a bicycle with square wheels...
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4091173)
This thread is falling apart faster than a leper on a bicycle with square wheels..


I assume it's offensive to call that a polish bicycle?
   31. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4091202)
I'd guess that 'mentally retarded' itself first was used as a respectfully-intended quasi-clinical term that was meant to replace pejorative terms ("idiot" "mongoloid" etc). I will use whatever term is preferred by those who care, but any phrase/word will have the pejorative connection follow it, because mental retardation is a negative thing.


Well, whether mental retardation is a negative thing depends in part on what a person or culture values most. I'm not going to go all the way to the argument of "disability is only a social construct", but think about this: in a culture which values intelligence over, say, kindness or charity and independence over inter-dependent community, mental retardation is a negative thing, but in a culture which flips those values, the existence of developmentally delayed persons isn't definitively negative.

We don't have a culture like that right now, but there is evidence that many other cultures throughout history were able to integrate disabled persons with much greater success than us.
   32. GregD Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4091203)
Tyranny is anyone ever telling me that anything I say is offensive! Only by silencing those people will I ever be free!
   33. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4091214)
Well, whether mental retardation is a negative thing depends in part on what a person or culture values most. I'm not going to go all the way to the argument of "disability is only a social construct", but think about this: in a culture which values intelligence over, say, kindness or charity and independence over inter-dependent community, mental retardation is a negative thing, but in a culture which flips those values, the existence of developmentally delayed persons isn't definitively negative.


It's not a binary thing. You can value kindness over intelligence, and still realize that a deficiency in either is a negative. There is a reason why in our society 'retard' and 'asshole' are both used as insults.
   34. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4091221)
Well, whether mental retardation is a negative thing depends in part on what a person or culture values most. I'm not going to go all the way to the argument of "disability is only a social construct", but think about this: in a culture which values intelligence over, say, kindness or charity and independence over inter-dependent community, mental retardation is a negative thing, but in a culture which flips those values, the existence of developmentally delayed persons isn't definitively negative.

Yes, it is. Being retarded in no way makes one a bad person, but it's a defect. Sort of like being fat, or blind, or ugly, just to varying degrees, of course. You can still live your life and be a productive member of society, but possessing any of these traits makes your life more difficult and may outright prevent you from being able to do certain things. I consider that negative.
   35. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4091232)
The retard store called, and they're running out of you.
   36. staring out the window and waiting for fenderbelly Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4091239)
Curly has a nice perspective. But more practically - would you call a -blank- a -blank- to their face? I'll call you out on being an #######, a ############# #######, a ####### crap bag full of ####, a #### head, yankee-lover, etc... if you will say it to their face, then it is [removed]even if negative or hateful). If you will only use it behind their back, it is bullshit.

Edit - also, a nice test of the filter... [removed] is a new one!

Edit 2 - it said "an expression," which is kind of weird
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4091260)
http://terribleapologies.tumblr.com/
   38. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4091265)
Yes, it is. Being retarded in no way makes one a bad person, but it's a defect. Sort of like being fat, or blind, or ugly, just to varying degrees, of course. You can still live your life and be a productive member of society, but possessing any of these traits makes your life more difficult and may outright prevent you from being able to do certain things. I consider that negative.


We're all defective. None of us measures up to the human ideal. In more ways than we can count, every one of us is limited physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially in ways that some other person (or maybe many other people) are not limited. These limitations prevent us from being able to do certain things, and for the most part, we don't dwell on the negative dimension of that limitation - we replace that thing with something else, or simply disregard it. The human experience is broad enough that no one person can participate in all of it. I think we should embrace that, rather than see it as negative. If we were to do that, we would get past judging the value of someone else's human experience.

Or, to come at it from a personal angle: if you have a mental defect and you consider it to be negative, that's your business. But my friend Logan (who has Down Syndrome and autism) and my son Zachary (who has autism and is minimally verbal) could care less what you think of their human experience.
   39. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4091270)
Curly has a nice perspective. But more practically - would you call a -blank- a -blank- to their face? I'll call you out on being an #######, a ############# #######, a ####### crap bag full of ####, a #### head, yankee-lover, etc... if you will say it to their face, then it is [removed]even if negative or hateful). If you will only use it behind their back, it is ########.

You have it the wrong way round. Nobody is getting upset because Lackey referred to people who are suffering an actual disability as 'retarded'. They are upset about it being used to describe behaviour of normally developed people, who happen to be acting like #######. That is what is over the top.

I would never refer to a person suffering from e.g. autism as 'retarded'. To their face or behind their backs. However, I'll happily call you retarded right now, for acting like a moronic, hyperventilating crybaby.
   40. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4091271)
It's not a binary thing. You can value kindness over intelligence, and still realize that a deficiency in either is a negative. There is a reason why in our society 'retard' and '#######' are both used as insults.


See post 38. I understand that deficiency is negative, in one sense, but in another sense is simply reality. My point is that we have a "culture of normal" that chooses thresholds in many areas that are "acceptable" and beneath or above which are negative or problematic. Historically, there have been other cultures who have not spent their time seeing "retarded" people as a "problem", but instead looked to what people did well, and considered them a blessing for what they did well, and gave them meaningful work in their area of skill. In such cultures (and I'll grant that there have been few of them) even people whose disabilities were so profound that they could not "do" anything were seen as having value to the community because of the ways their dependency taught others humility, servanthood and patience.
   41. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4091273)
The retard store called, and they're running out of you.


Barry, if this was a meme-based humor attempt, it was developmentally deficient.

But seriously, no: they're not running out of me. I'm down there every single day, living my life.
   42. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4091282)
Nobody is getting upset because Lackey referred to people who are suffering an actual disability as 'retarded'. They are upset about it being used to describe behaviour of normally developed people, who happen to be acting like #######. That is what is over the top.


Fancy pants: you just nailed something that's important to the people I know. The offense at using "retarded" is that it is often used when people are acting like ########. Acting like an ####### is often (not always)a behavioral choice, and therefore has moral/ethical value. Which then implies (intentionally or not) that being developmentally disabled is morally inferior. And that's offensive to them, and to me.
   43. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4091306)
re 38: Yes. We are all defective. I think you mistook my awareness of that fact for contempt. I wouldn't want anyone to dwell on the negatives, big or small. It leads to an unhappy existence, and it's unnecessary. But those negatives are there for everyone. I think it's better to be at peace with them, whatever they are, than to try to pretend they don't exist. I hope you teach your son to be comfortable with who he is and to be kind to others. In my mind, that's all that really matters for anyone.

I would never refer to a person suffering from e.g. autism as 'retarded'. To their face or behind their backs. However, I'll happily call you retarded right now, for acting like a moronic, hyperventilating crybaby.

I had essentially this exact statement typed out, minus the second half of the second sentence, but decided not to post it. We might disagree on whether or not certain words should be avoided, but there's a big difference between insulting someone about something they have no control over, and insulting someone for something they very much can control, such as being an #######. I think we all agree on that.

   44. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4091314)
Also, Curly, the appropriate response to 35 is to inform BLB that you slept with his coma-ridden wife.
   45. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4091322)
Being retarded in no way makes one a bad person, but it's a defect. Sort of like being fat, or blind, or ugly, just to varying degrees, of course.You can still live your life and be a productive member of society, but possessing any of these traits makes your life more difficult and may outright prevent you from being able to do certain things. I consider that negative.


Is being black a defect, or was it more of a defect in the past?
   46. tfbg9 Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4091327)
Not to blow-up the thread or anything, but...

Louis C.K.:


(Sarah)Palin (is) coming to the Republican convention “holding a baby that just came out of her f*cking, disgusting c*nt, her f*cking retard-making c*nt.”.


Hilarious. MCoA, among others, IIRC, praised this guy. Then again, he gushed over that lady-killer, John Edwards
   47. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4091333)
We're all defective. None of us measures up to the human ideal. In more ways than we can count, every one of us is limited physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially in ways that some other person (or maybe many other people) are not limited.

But that is precisely WHY we need words to accurately describe such behaviour. It's inevitable that people are going to do something stupid, or selfish, or dickish etc. You can't expect everybody to do the 3 monkeys routine every time it happens. Nor do I think it's particularly helpful. Most people do have the capability to learn and improve their behaviour in the future. But they can't do that, if they aren't aware that there is a problem, and as such, need to be called on it.
   48. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4091335)
re 43: Alan, I hear your point, and don't disagree with it. My speech may have been more properly for other people I've known.

And, I wasn't working on the assumption that BLB found someone to share their life with him.
   49. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4091341)
But that is precisely WHY we need words to accurate describe such behaviour.


Fair enough. Then use words that are actually appropriately descriptive, instead of using the lazy shorthand of dragging up some other group that either you or the other person holds in contempt.
   50. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4091352)
Is being black a defect, or was it more of a defect in the past?

I'm not sure if this is just a joke or if you're trying to bait me into some sort of ridiculous argument. So I'll just say I don't really have a response to your question.
   51. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4091369)
I'm not joking, but I'm also not trying to get you in a weird argument. I find the disability rights movement pretty interesting since I studied it as part of masters program in education. I did an inclusive education focus, which basically means that a lot of my studying had to do with working with students with disabilities. Anyway, there is a whole minority-model understanding of disability which I find rather compelling. Members of the Deaf community, not meant monolithically, would definitely take offense at the idea of anyone calling their inability to hear a defect, and would argue that defining it as such is the basis of their marginalization and ill treatment throughout history.
   52. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4091372)
Is being black a defect, or was it more of a defect in the past?

I'm not sure if this is just a joke or if you're trying to bait me into some sort of ridiculous argument. So I'll just say I don't really have a response to your question.


I'm not that subtle, so I'll answer: Some retards think it is.
   53. oscar gamble's afro pick Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4091377)
49--Yup: the folk use of "retarded" isn't even accurate, vivid or precise--I grew up two houses away from a group home and while there was certainly a lot of unusual behavior going on, very little of it could be reduced to simply acting stupid.

And Lackey wasn't exactly arguing that certain individuals in the media lacked strong ratiocinative powers. He got it right the second time, when he said his choice was "thoughtless".
   54. Nasty Nate Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4091384)
Members of the Deaf community, not meant monolithically, would definitely take offense at the idea of anyone calling their inability to hear a defect, and would argue that defining it as such is the basis of their marginalization and ill treatment throughout history.


I don't know if you can answer this, but do you think these individual members of the deaf community would refuse a miracle treatment to give them hearing if it existed?
   55. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4091391)
I don't know if you can answer this, but do you think these individual members of the deaf community would refuse a miracle treatment to give them hearing if it existed?


I can answer this one: many would refuse treatment. And, frankly, if someone had a "cure" for me or my oldest son (Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis) I'm fairly sure we would both refuse it. This goes to the point about the full range of human experience; many who are deaf see their deafness as being part of the acceptable range of that experience.

Satch also referenced the "disability as social construct" movement I mentioned back at my entry into this conversation.
   56. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4091398)
Yeah, what Curly W said.

There is the cochlear implant debate, which is very interesting and polarizing among different members of the deaf community. I recommend the documentary "Sound and Fury" as a sort of primer on the debate. It's about a family that is divided because of the issue.
   57. Nasty Nate Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4091401)
This goes to the point about the full range of human experience; many who are deaf see their deafness as being part of the acceptable range of that experience.


Well, I think almost everyone considers it within the acceptable range.

Satch also referenced the "disability as social construct" movement I mentioned back at my entry into this conversation.


But if you somehow removed all the social constructs from race, for example, there is nothing really left. But if you do the same for deafness/hearing, you are still left with someone who can't hear and someone who can.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4091403)
MCoA, among others, IIRC, praised this guy. Then again, he gushed over that lady-killer, John Edwards
I don't troll you. Please don't troll me.
   59. smileyy Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4091408)
[46] I'm outraged. It wasn't her c*** that made her baby retarded, it was her deficient ova and genes.
   60. Blubaldo Jimenez (OMJ) Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4091419)
   61. zonk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4091421)
As long the PC police make BBTF the "New Amsterdam", I'm fine with them...

Since I found I thread amusing, I wanted to wait until it deteriorated before agreeing with 22 --

In my own case, as with anyone of my age bracket, 'retarded' was a pretty damn common poke to use. However, I had a friend in college who would eventually become a really good friend that had a younger brother with downs syndrome. He never corrected or otherwise mentioned this to me whenever the word would come up, but at one point, a mutual friend casually (again, not with any sort of "don't do it" -- but just a "just so you know"). I was mildly mortified and immediately began to excise it from my vernacular... it took some focus at first, but I've gotten by just fine in the 15 years since without it.

When it comes to stuff like this, I guess I just land on the side "what's the harm in stopping it?" I mean, lord knows I'm the last person to defend Sarah Palin, but on this, I guess I tend to be on her side... certainly, people quite rightfully feel hurt by the usage of the term - so why is it such a big deal to quit using it as a derogatory, even in a casual, throwaway manner, term?

I'm not suggesting linguistics police or anything like that, but we could all use a little karma -- and if a slight, not-all-that-difficult to undertake more considerate filter is put in place, it hardly prevents us from continuing to find ingenious other ways to insult each other and other things.

...just my two cents.
   62. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4091479)
Not to blow-up the thread or anything, but...

You'd have to be mentally deficient to think you weren't trying to "blow-up the thread".
   63. Sunday silence Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4091506)
one thing this conversation reminds me of, just a random thing, is an episode of William Buckley Jr's show. Buckley was pretty interesting and I guess pretty intelligent but he had this guy on his show who was attempting to sail around the world, and who was blind. I guess Buckley sailed too.

The entire show was spent with Buckley insisting that there was no point to this endeavor as the blind sailer could not really appreciate sailing as he was blind. It just went on and on like this, with these pseudo intellectual arguments about how a blind person could not really appreciate it.

Typical Buckley I guess, I didnt really follow him closely or anything.

edit; a couple of links to the show, it was actually on nightline...


http://articles.latimes.com/1987-08-18/news/mn-2290_1_blind-sailor

http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst?docId=5000447332
   64. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4091572)
The entire show was spent with Buckley insisting that there was no point to this endeavor as the blind sailer could not really appreciate sailing as he was blind.

I can see perfectly well, and I don't think I could appreciate it either. 'Oh look, another wave, that looks like the 523668 other ones I have seen so far!'
   65. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 28, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4091657)
#60: Thanks for the reminder. I knew that it was a much-adapted joke, but didn't remember where from, and didn't remember the rest of the exchange.

And if this means I've been too harsh to BLB, I am most sorry, Mr. Chair.
   66. veer bender Posted: March 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4091687)
I mostly just want to give a "this" to zonk's 61.

But to add my own thoughts -- Given that there is no real threat of legal prohibition of the word, and there aren't even any serious consequences to crossing the PC police in the case of this word (you certainly won't lose your job, and you're more likely to have your status hurt by criticizing others' use of it than by using it yourself), what's all the fuss about? Maybe it shouldn't be such a big deal to the people that it offends, maybe they're being silly, but so what? Do you just object that strongly to being told what to do, even when the deprivation is so tiny? (As others have said, it's a common insult, but not a very effective or specific one). Do you understand that almost no one is saying "this word should be banned," but that most are saying something like "yes, it is hurtful to many people, do with that what you like"?

Now, as an academic matter, I do agree with some of the arguments on the other side. One thing that bothers me is the focus on the word "retarded," because ultimately whatever the current equivalent is will just take its place. Here, many people in education verbally abbreviate special ed classes as "sped," in a completely non-offensive use of professional jargon. In short order, of course, now the kids say things like "damn, Sam sure is sped today." If we have to keep changing the official terms, in part because people keep turning them into all-purpose insults, and then the PC police keep fighting the use of the old terms, things will get ridiculous.

So, we try to teach kids that it's really about not using the name for a class of people as an all-purpose insult, not just some silly rule "don't say retard." The funny thing is that children seem less resistant to understanding this than a lot of adults. It could be that they're subordinate (technically, ha!) and just have to do what the school says. But I think it's also that as adults it's just really hard to accept that we've been unwittingly doing something all our lives that hurts other people's feelings.
   67. staring out the window and waiting for fenderbelly Posted: March 28, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4091692)
You have it the wrong way round. Nobody is getting upset because Lackey referred to people who are suffering an actual disability as 'retarded'. They are upset about it being used to describe behaviour of normally developed people, who happen to be acting like #######. That is what is over the top.


No, people are not upset that he called "normally developed people" retarded. It's because using "retarded" as a slur implies that mentally handicapped people are inherently inferior. Just like every other invective - if you would feel uncomfortable using a word in front of the referenced class of people (or their friends/families), don't use it at all. Or, zonk's personal experience.

However, I'll happily call you retarded right now, for acting like a moronic, hyperventilating crybaby.


Godwin should have included that one in his law.
   68. Nasty Nate Posted: March 28, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4091698)
Here, many people in education verbally abbreviate special ed classes as "sped," in a completely non-offensive use of professional jargon. In short order, of course, now the kids say things like "damn, Sam sure is sped today." If we have to keep changing the official terms, in part because people keep turning them into all-purpose insults, and then the PC police keep fighting the use of the old terms, things will get ridiculous.

So, we try to teach kids that it's really about not using the name for a class of people as an all-purpose insult, not just some silly rule "don't say retard."


well said
   69. staring out the window and waiting for fenderbelly Posted: March 28, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4091701)
veer bender took the time to explain it well... and btw I think that John Lackey did a stand-up job himself. An honest "oops, sorry" is surprisingly difficult for many people.
   70. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 28, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4091756)
This whole conversation is totally gay.
   71. Blastin Posted: March 28, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4091877)
I'm with zonk on this. My family still uses it, as do most of my friends, but I have taken it out my list of insults. I'd rather be specific and incisive. "You failed out of college, you dumbass (like my stepbrother did)." That's a lot more satisfying and the only one hurt is the target.
   72. Barnaby Jones Posted: March 29, 2012 at 01:02 AM (#4092009)
I'm pretty much on board with the "If it offends people, who does it hurt to just not say it" stance, but I find a lot of the justifications people give to be very nonsensical. For instance:

It's because using "retarded" as a slur implies that mentally handicapped people are inherently inferior.


It implies that they are intellectually inferior, because they are in fact intellectually inferior. That's what the word means. It is exactly the same usage as calling someone an idiot, which originally meant someone with an extreme level of mental retardation. Same with "imbecile." I don't get why people single out "retarded" over all the other ways of describing the intellectually deficient. When I use any of these words, I am deliberately invoking exactly what they mean: the subject is acting like a person who is lacking upstairs; it is NOT analogous to (for example) using "gay" to mean something wholly unrelated to sexuality.


Just like every other invective - if you would feel uncomfortable using a word in front of the referenced class of people (or their friends/families), don't use it at all.


Again, this is nonsense. I don't feel comfortable describing someone as "fat" in front of my fat coworkers (much less, cruelly pointing out their own fatness to them), because I recognize that it is likely to make them self conscious. That doesn't mean I should excise the word from my vocabulary. It is a perfectly cromulent word that describes its subject matter perfectly accurately.
   73. Barnaby Jones Posted: March 29, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4092010)
I'd rather be specific and incisive. "You failed out of college, you dumbass (like my stepbrother did)." That's a lot more satisfying and the only one hurt is the target.


This is offensive to the mute.
   74. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4092224)
I can answer this one: many would refuse treatment. And, frankly, if someone had a "cure" for me or my oldest son (Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis) I'm fairly sure we would both refuse it. This goes to the point about the full range of human experience; many who are deaf see their deafness as being part of the acceptable range of that experience.


And many would take that treatment in a heartbeat. This made the news rounds last fall.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsOo3jzkhYA
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4092243)
Who zapped the Sweeney thread without any explanation?
   76. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4092317)
#74: Yes, many would take such treatments. I don't think there is an objectively correct choice to make on this sort of matter. Some people see their "defects" as a limitation, and some don't. I think the reason I make noise about these topics is that we have a significant cultural value of letting people be received on their own terms, and I think that it is important, particularly if we hold such a value widely, that we take care to extend it to all.

But I've said way too much in this thread, and none of it was about baseball.
   77. Flynn Posted: March 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4092333)
Calling people retards would evaporate tomorrow if people met people with learning difficulties. They are just people and the worst thing you can do is stigmatize them.

But the second worst thing you can do is treat them like babies. People are terrible at this, even their own parents. I once heard somebody say people with Down's are people who hadn't learned not to love. Clearly they'd never met a Down's person trying to buy food in a cafeteria and being told they don't have enough money for chocolate milk. Tantrum indeed!

In short, they're people, and they have almost exactly the same emotions, just in different forms, as other people. They aren't morons and they aren't darling little angels.



   78. Morty Causa Posted: March 29, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4092552)
   79. Morty Causa Posted: March 29, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4092555)
75:

Furtado announced that enough was sufficient--his pretext coordinates with this thread, too. Hutchinson, I think it was, referred to someone, as "slow". He also said that unlike the NBA and football threads, had wandered from the topic of baseball.
   80. Barnaby Jones Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4094656)
They aren't morons and they aren't darling little angels.


Look, I'm not gonna go around calling a kid a moron, but that's exactly where the word moron comes from:

moron: Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) a person of borderline intelligence in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having an intelligence quotient of 50 to 69.

I'm all about treating the mentally handicapped as people, but I don't get why so many other people feel the need to ignore the truths about their situation. The aren't "smart, just in a different way." They are dumber than most people, by definition, just like most people are dumber than Stephen Hawking. That doesn't make Stephen Hawking a great person and it doesn't make the learning disabled bad people, but the situation is what it is.
   81. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4094663)
I once heard somebody say people with Down's are people who hadn't learned not to love. Clearly they'd never met a Down's person trying to buy food in a cafeteria and being told they don't have enough money for chocolate milk. Tantrum indeed!


I work with someone who has a six year old son with Down's Syndrome. It's amazing the challenges she has to deal with but the kid is in so many ways "just a kid", he just is behind in his development. He has been in the office a couple of times and he's a sweet kid but he's prone to the same emotions, frustrations and general ups and downs that all small children go through.
   82. Jay Z Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4094779)
Again, this is nonsense. I don't feel comfortable describing someone as "fat" in front of my fat coworkers (much less, cruelly pointing out their own fatness to them), because I recognize that it is likely to make them self conscious. That doesn't mean I should excise the word from my vocabulary. It is a perfectly cromulent word that describes its subject matter perfectly accurately.


The question is how often you are going to need to refer to someone as fat rather than the hundred other traits they have. Fatness doesn't really factor into a lot of things that people can do, why would it come up in a conversation very often? You can personally dislike the person for their apperance, but it doesn't affect a lot of their other talents.
   83. Barnaby Jones Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4094887)
The question is how often you are going to need to refer to someone as fat rather than the hundred other traits they have. Fatness doesn't really factor into a lot of things that people can do, why would it come up in a conversation very often? You can personally dislike the person for their apperance, but it doesn't affect a lot of their other talents.


(a) I'm not sure why this question in important; it doesn't really affect the point I'm making.

(b) It comes up enough; e.g., I'm liable to call my friend a lardass if he is being lazy; if there is a group of people, one of whom is fat, it is an easy identifier; fat girls are often the grenade; etc.
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4094973)
Calling people retards would evaporate tomorrow if people met people with learning difficulties. They are just people and the worst thing you can do is stigmatize them.

Completely agree, regardless of the lawyerlike argument regarding dictionary definitions of the word.

But the second worst thing you can do is treat them like babies. People are terrible at this, even their own parents.

Agree with that, too, and AFAIC it's almost as irritating to hear people talk like that to real "babies", or even worse, to children up to as old as 7 or 8 years who are fully capable of understanding ordinary language. For whatever reason, women seem to be the worst offenders in this, and there are times I'm not sure whether they even seem to realize they're talking to a child and not to a kitty cat or bunny rabbit.
   85. Barnaby Jones Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4095281)
Calling people retards would evaporate tomorrow if people met people with learning difficulties.


This is BS, by the way. The most vocal user of "retard" I know is an otherwise bright guy with bad ADHD who spent many hours in special education study halls during his youth. He's probably spent more time with the mentally challenged than 95% of the population, but he would feel no hesitation calling this whole discussion "retarded." This argument might hold for calling actual handicapped individuals retards, but that's not the conversation being had.

Personally, I've met plenty myself, be it through church, school, or heck, I've even had guys as softball teammates. Doesn't really change my opinion on the subject (i.e., I don't say it to be polite, but I don't get the outrage).

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Kiko Sakata
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-2-2014
(42 - 11:07pm, Sep 02)
Last: Jim (jimmuscomp)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Discussion
(2 - 11:00pm, Sep 02)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogGleeman: Twins ask fans which brand of luxury car they are
(14 - 10:57pm, Sep 02)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogThe indisputable selfishness of Derek Jeter
(38 - 10:52pm, Sep 02)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogAstros Fire Bo Porter
(62 - 10:50pm, Sep 02)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(318 - 10:47pm, Sep 02)
Last: Bitter Mouse

NewsblogPhoto of the day: Bill Murray, indy league ticket-taker
(127 - 10:42pm, Sep 02)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogExpanded Rosters Exacerbate Baseball’s Biggest Issue
(30 - 10:30pm, Sep 02)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogGiants to promote Brett Bochy
(2 - 10:24pm, Sep 02)
Last: JJ1986

NewsblogBrewers prospect plays every position, all in one game
(20 - 10:03pm, Sep 02)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMets call up Dilson Herrera, have "talked about" d'Arnaud to LF
(52 - 10:01pm, Sep 02)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogBPP: Why do people still think Jack Morris pitched to the score?
(37 - 9:52pm, Sep 02)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogNewsweek: Can Baseball Get More Interesting to Watch With Big Data?
(14 - 9:43pm, Sep 02)
Last: BDC

NewsblogAdam Jones says he was joking about 'airport' comment at social media event
(23 - 9:37pm, Sep 02)
Last: Esoteric

NewsblogPassan: 10 Degrees: Cole Hamels' trade value might be Phillies' lone bright spot
(5 - 9:34pm, Sep 02)
Last: Jim (jimmuscomp)

Page rendered in 0.7163 seconds
52 querie(s) executed