Celebrities get a lot of flak online. It’s part and parcel of sharing your personal life with the world via social media, and a thick skin is the best defense. But sometimes a comment will be made that just sends them over the edge, and they don’t care who witnesses it.
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Last week, Teen Mom alum Leah Messer couldn’t hold back after a particularly insensitive, hurtful comment was made by Instagram user _kylesnow. Messer shared a screenshot of his remark, referring to her daughter Aliannah (Ali) as “the retarded one.”
We can’t blame Messer for flipping her lid. She’s a protective mom and particularly when it comes to 6-year-old Ali (twin sister to Aleeah). After four years of concerns about Ali’s developmental delays, the little girl finally got a diagnosis in 2014: She has a rare, incurable form of muscular dystrophy, which affects her respiratory system and requires the use of a wheelchair.
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The thing is, while Ali may have problems walking and may permanently rely on a wheelchair in later life, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with her mind. Clearly the same can’t be said for the loser who called her “retarded” online.
It’s this kind of inexcusable ignorance that people with disabilities — whether physical or mental — have to live with on a daily basis. Everyone should know that “retard” is an outdated term, initially used to describe people with intellectual, developmental or physical disabilities, that is widely considered to be inappropriate, offensive hate speech.
And hate speech is definitely not cool, no matter who it’s directed at.
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Good for Messer for exposing _kylesnow and standing up for her daughter.
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