I’ve never used the r-word to disparage others, or mocked people who were “differently-abled”. I’m certainly not perfect, and I’ve definitely acted less than charitably toward lots of people in my day, but this is one area where I can be proud of my actions. The problem with that, though, is that it doesn’t give me much credibility with people when I’m trying to explain why they shouldn’t do it, either. When alcoholics go to AA, they don’t go there to learn from people who’ve never taken a drink before, do they?
Mr. Andi is very intelligent and highly observant, which enables him to be highly skilled at imitating people. That’s a great talent to have when you’re roasting your boss or friend, but it’s potentially hurtful in the hands of a bully. Mr. Andi was a bully. He isn’t proud of it, but it’s true.
Wednesday, March 2, was designated as a day to place emphasis on the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign. I did my part by posting to my blog and sending a number of meaningful links to my Facebook page and Twitter feed. Many of you shared my blog with others, as evidenced by the tremendous surge in traffic, and I appreciate it so much. But I wasn’t the only one in my family who took on this cause.
Mr. Andi has been speaking locally to groups about the r-word. On Monday night, he was asked to address our city council (and, by extension, all in attendance at this public meeting). I’m so proud of him, and I believe he has the potential, because of his “street cred”, to influence people in a way that I can’t. A local friend recorded Mr. Andi’s words, and I’ve linked the video below.