Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In case you thought I was making it up.....

http://shop.cafepress.com/retard

3 comments:

Christina L said...

it is soooo sad that somebody couldn't think of anything better to produce than those awful products.

Journey to our Ukrainian Angel said...

I am picking my jaw up off the floor. Nauseating. Whoever made that stuff will have to account for that choice before their Maker one day.

Susan said...

I just called the company and complained - at great length, in great detail. Got some young woman in PR who transferred me to a young man (Ryan someone) in marketing - he said they serve as a clearing house for those who create a wide variety of things, and first said they had no guidelines for content or offensive items - but when I pressed him (with racist examples), he caved.

They DO have guidelines for such junk. Just not the "retard" line. Then he claimed the word has taken on new meaning which isn't intended to be hurtful. I pounced on that, with examples of "slow" children who can read, go online, certainly read others' T-shirts - and who can ask questions about why they are being called names, families of special needs children (including myself - not Down syndrome kids, but other exceptional kids), and friends, health professionals, teachers, caregivers, and the whole community of people who cherish these children.

I told Ryan I'd worked with kids for 28 years - all kinds of kids, special needs and typical, and I knew teens currently are using the ugly term as a sort of generic insult where my own generation might have used "stupid" instead.

But it makes no difference, I said. It's offensive. And implying that it's meant to be funny, is different from and less offensive than using a racial slur, or is a censorship matter is a whole series of red herrings.

This company is marketing someone else's ugly goods. I wasn't able to learn who actually designs and makes these ugly things. But both the creator of these wares - and the marketer, CafePress.com, are guilty of making money by causing pain to the most innocent of all children, and to those who care about and love them. No excuses - they should bear the moral responsibility for their choices.

Several of the CafePress board members' biographical sketches mention how much they cherish their own children - they coach sports, term their kids beautiful, love them more than anything, etc. All well and good. But don't they realize that special needs kids are as worthy of love just as much as are their own children? How would they feel if their own innocent children were insulted and hurt in such a carelessly derogatory, callous, cruel and hurtful way?

CafePress's phone number is (877)889-1659. You'll get a recording, but can reach a real human being fairly quickly. CEO is Fred Durham; the VP of Marketing is Amy Mianiatis. Perhaps if enough people call and object to these wares, we'll see a change. I don't belong to ARC, but perhaps they'd welcome notification.

I hate to waste my time on negativity - but sometimes you have to stand up for what's right, even if it does lead to verbal conflict.

BTW, I also referred Ryan to this website - hope he and his coworkers take a good long look.

Susan in Ky
Cousin to two from Ukraine
and cousin to two others with special needs