A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine was telling a small group of us a story about a horrible day she had while working at the Waffle House. While telling the story she made fun of a woman she worked with and used the R-word. She referred to the woman, who could not even pronounce waffle, as a “retard.” I must confess my jaw dropped with disgust, as did the jaws of the small group of friends I was with at the time. Having taught kids with special needs for several years, I was so personally offended by her story. Here is where I wish I had had more patience, but rather I just stopped listening to her and walked away–not very generous of me.
My friend Shawn shared a video with me, actually a PSA done by the amazing out lesbian Jane Lynch. The PSA does a tremendous job of sending the message that we all need to engage in stopping discrimination. I look back now and realize I should have stopped the woman telling her story about the Waffle House and I should have kindly let her know how inappropriate her story was, rather than walking away and dismissing her. Click here to see the PSA.