R-Word: Spread the Word to the End the Word

While LaughingMom.com generally features posts with a humorous angle, I occasionally write posts which fall under the category “No Laughing Matter”.

I don't like to brag, but this week's post is witty. I mean, rolling on the floor laughing, w-i-t-t-y. I like to think all of my posts bring a smile to your face, or I wouldn't be doing my domain name any justice. Even without any Christmas spirits, this one is exceptionally so. I logged in this afternoon to do a final proof read before releasing it and came across this video on my Facebook feed. I was saddened. I was inspired. I decided my post can wait until next week.

In April 2011, a house in small town Elmwood, Illinois, (population of less than 2000) was vandalized. The victims were the Hollis family of six; two girls and two boys. The girls, 4 and 5 at the time, have Down Syndrome. Their house was spray painted with offensive language, including hateful messages of 'retard' and 'get outta here'. The full news story is available from a local news outlet.

I felt sick. How could someone hate a CHILD?
I felt anger. How could someone hurt a child, or a family, or anyone in this manner?
I felt outrage. How could someone be so...despicable?

The news report indicates the community rallied around the family. I was unable to locate information on if a culprit was ever apprehended.
(Update: Mrs. Hollis updated me that as of December 12, 2012, the vandals have not been caught.)

The brothers of the two girls, presently 6 and 7, star in this amazing video. No child should have to know about hate, hate crimes, nor be a victim of either. The two boys deliver a compelling family message in a manner far beyond their years. Their resolve, along with their love for their sisters, shines through the entire video. If the story doesn't pull at your heart strings, the childrens' demeanor will.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObPoZCTTVeI?rel=0&w=640&h=360]
direct link: http://youtu.be/ObPoZCTTVeI

http://www.r-word.org/
I (Naomi of Laughing Mom) pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

As an aside, this video has been available on YouTube for two months. It has 302 views.
The music video for Gangham Style has been available on YouTube for five months. It has 936,751,091 views. (I refuse to add a link to it here)
But that will be the subject of a different post.

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