Lea Hernandez Makes Comic About Slur

Lea Hernandez has been creating iPod Touch comics, and her latest attacks the stupidly casual use of “retarded”.

Don’t be dumb. Don’t use “retarded” as slang.

Plus, isn’t that amazing for work on a handheld smartphone-type device?

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14 Responses to “Lea Hernandez Makes Comic About Slur”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Grr, wish I could post that in my library. Then again, few kids would probably “get” it. I kick kids out for name-calling – MY definition. I’ve gotten lots of kids who say “everybody says it” “It’s not a name” etc. etc. or even the “what? what did I say?”. They honestly don’t think they’re being mean or offensive.

  2. Brent Says:

    The strip doesn’t work because you can say, “My pal Dave is gay,” or “Pardon me madam, are you sure you’re not gay?” without causing offense. While you really can’t say “Are you sure you’re not a retard,” without someone taking it as an insult.

    Jennifer, what library do you work at that kicks people out for their speech? I would hope not a publicly funded one.

  3. Johanna Says:

    I’m suspicious of free-speech absolutists because they tend to make arguments along the lines of how it’s racism that white people can’t use the n-word, as though anyone with brains would want to. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should. Jennifer, I’m glad to see that you’re teaching your kids civility and thinking of others as well as reading.

  4. Brent Says:

    “I’m suspicious of free-speech absolutists”

    Good to know.

    I’m suspicious of people who try and tell other people what they can and can’t say (on the left or on the right). Alienating words and ideas give them power. It’s why blasphemy laws never work. As anything, a word’s use should be looked at in that particular context. Should Huck Finn to have a pal named N-Word Jim? I don’t see many people accusing Clemens — or any hop-hop artist for that matter — of not having any ‘brains.’

    Trying to explain to kids why things are offensive is teaching civility, kicking them out teaches them the library is a place they aren’t welcome. Like it or not, it’s their library too.

  5. Johanna Says:

    You don’t know the situation. It might be a school library, in which case attending might be a privilege to get out of class. You also don’t know what other rules apply. In this case, I’m sympathetic, because I have similar rules. I will kick people out of my comment threads if they can’t treat others politely.

    And I find it amusing that you’re arguing for context while ignoring my modern-day example to jump back to a hundred-year-old novel.

  6. Rivkah Says:

    I’ve always liked Dan Savage’s (Savage Love) way of saying “leotarded” instead of “retarded”. Makes fun of the uber-pcness of current society while retaining the fun sound of the original word. Because well … “retarded” is a pretty awesome word to say. It tips off the tongue well.

    I say “gay” to mean dumb or stupid, sometimes, too. But like “retarded”, it’s a word that’s come to have a sense of self-irony about it. Extra bonus points for being gay or queer when you say it.

  7. Rivkah Says:

    PS. Can’t wait for that Apple touchscreen laptop to FINALLY be announced and for sale. It’s the only device that would make me go Mac.

  8. Lea Hernandez Says:

    Jennifer, I can provide you with a printable png of the cartoon if you like.

    As for the rest if you, I hope Johanna is as thrilled with your idiotic callousness and hairsplitting as I am. Rivkah, you most of all, you sound privileged and clueless. You don’t get a pass on “retarded” because you indentify as gay.
    I challenge you to say “n*****” is self-irony. The insult is just as vile and demeaning.

    Try having a son who’s been diagnosed as retarded, and a tortuous childhood with a brother diagnosed the same. Then see how goddamn funny or PC you find the word.
    Then contemplate how I shouldn’t have to tell you that for you to understand what a vile insult it is.

  9. Rivkah Says:

    WHAT? You just made fun of it yourself! I don’t get you, Leah. (rolls eyes) Many words have multiple meanings. Unfortunately, “nigger” (OH MY GOD! I SAID IT WITHOUT ASTERIKS!) doesn’t have any other meaning than someone who’s black. So there’s no reason for me to say it. But when I say “retarded” or “gay” I’m usually talking about something that’s ironically stupid. I’ve never called somebody who’s ACTUALLY mentally handicapped that. Unless it’s for ignorant people. Because they’re just retarded.

  10. Rivkah Says:

    And seriously, you need to relax. Enjoying the actual sound of words doesn’t make you clueless OR privileged (btw, how did you get THAT one?).

  11. Rivkah Says:

    I guess what I don’t get is this: Why are you allowed to make fun of words and I’m not?

    It’s a bit queer.

  12. Rivkah Says:

    Oh, btw Leah. My mother’s step-sister is mentally handicapped and my MOM says “retarded” ALL. THE. TIME. And makes jokes about it. Incessantly. And she loves her sister to death. Maybe she just has a sense of humor?

  13. Johanna Says:

    OK, stop it now. Lea, I agree with you that I would rather not people use the term, “ironically” or not, but you don’t get to yell people into agreeing with you. And Rivkah, 4 responses? Really? Let it go. You run the risk of being severely misinterpreted if you keep arguing that calling something “gay” to mean “stupid” isn’t homophobic.

  14. Hai Says:

    I think the great George Carlin has something to say about this subject.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZCS5I80X-8

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