There’s lots of ways …

Today I was getting ready to start work when Joe brought me breakfast. Now, before I go, on, please understand that I really appreciate him doing this and what I’m about to say doesn’t take away from that. Anyway he brought me my breakfast and when I looked down there were the two eggs, some veggies sausages but no toast. I eat eggs on toast every morning of my life. I said, “There’s no toast!” Joe immediately apologized and I interrupted him to say, “Is this your way of calling me fat?”

I said this as a joke.

I still mean it as a joke.

Joe is a wonderful man, he is neither a bully or a name-caller.

BUT …

It got me thinking about …

… the time that I heard a staff, impatient, snap at a young boy with Down Syndrome, who was attempting, unsuccessfully, to put on his shoes. This is a skill he has but it’s always done slowly and if there are any distractions, he needs to start again. The staff said, shortly, “Let me just do it,” and took the shoe from the boy’s hands and shoved them on his feet.

… isn’t that just another way of calling someone the ‘r-word?’

… and the time I was in a store, shopping, and two young black teenagers came into the place. They were immediately followed by the security officers, who had ignored me and, unsurprisingly all the other white shoppers. The girls knew that they had been followed and were under scrutiny that was zeroed in on just them.

… isn’t that just another way of calling someone the ‘n-word?’

… and finally the time when I was at a meeting and the chair of the meeting called on men who raised their hands more than twice as many times as he called a on women who had similarly indicated a desire to speak. They pretended not to mind and the chair pretended that he treated people equally.

… isn’t that just another way of calling someone the ‘b-word?’

Maybe name calling isn’t limited to speech, maybe the most serious way we denigrate someone is with the words we speak through our behaviour. It is said that behaviour is communication and if it is, some of us need to shut up.

Or, even better, learn a new vocabulary.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email