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

December 12, 2012

News, No Laughing Matter

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.


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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6 Comments on “R-Word: Spread the Word to the End the Word”

  1. ahollis Says:

    Hey Naomi, if two comments show up please know it was important to me to get this message to you! I saw your comment on one of the Everything Matters boards and that brought me to your blog. As the mom of the boys in that video I admit I am reading those comments with one eye shut to help reduce the impact of the haters and their mean comments. So given I only had limited vision I am glad I got your website correct! You are extremely talented and I think we are kindred spirits because I can sing all the Fox and the Hound songs, I can’t watch scary shows anymore and I support Toddlerfication as a new word, although I will certainly always misspell it! Anyway, I appreciate your blog and sharing the video my boys made. I admit I wrote the words and the cards, but they were inspired by other flip card videos they had seen and wanted to do one of their own. So I looked up RE words and we talked about other words and how they could describe their sisters. Our community has been very supportive and the vandals were never caught. I know someone they will answer for their act, perhaps just not to me. I trust in that. Until then we just are thankful for those who join us on this journey, whether they help us fight for awareness or they make us laugh along the way. You managed to do both today. Thank you. I am so thankful for your efforts. I look forward to following your blog and supporting your efforts. God bless.


    • Laughing Mom Says:

      Mrs. Hollis, Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog and post a reply. I wish only the best for your family. I hope I can drive some traffic to the video as well as to the ‘end the r-word’ cause. All the best.


  2. ldsrr91 Says:

    Good for you!
    Good for these two little Dinkers!
    The world can be an ugly place, but fill it with the likes of these two, and it suddenly starts to shine.

    Nice post.



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  1. Hate Letter Sent to Mother of Autistic Child. | laughingmom - August 20, 2013

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