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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

End the "R" Word

Recently, as I walked through downtown Denver enjoying an evening out with my husband, we were surrounded by people having fun. They were all kinds of groups, young and older, just chatting away. During the period of about an hour, I heard the word "retard" at least three times.

Everyone uses it, you say? It's just a word, right? A word that used to mean one thing, and now means something else? You don't mean anything by it, right? "I was just kidding!"

Do you have any idea how many times people with developmental disabilities are called the "R" word - in a way that is meant to be derogatory? And now, this word has become an adjective used as much as any other negative word to describe a person.

Face it - the "R" word is the equivalent of the "N" word. While it may have been somehow "acceptable" ions ago, it is now a slur. And the use of the word in any sentence is wrong - by anyone - any time.

That is why, when Dick Morris said the "R" word on the O'Reilly Factor on February 9, people with intellectual disabilities and the actor John C. McGinley from Scrubs, developed a video and a campaign to end the "R" word. They are seeking our help to end the use of the "R" word by spreading the word.

Watch the videos which I have posted here on the blog (right column). Send messages to all of your friends. Tweet a message with a link to the video. Add this same information to your blog. Put links to the videos on your Facebook and Myspace pages. And by all means, the next time you hear the "R" word, please tell the person who said it that the word is not acceptable.

This is an excellent article from the LA Times about this subject:
The 'R-word' is no joke
For the intellectually disabled and their families, it's just as bad as the "N"-word.

You can now also take a pledge to stop using the word. I've added a link to that page on the right.


Fielding J. Hurst said...

Toby Keith used it last night on Comedy Central's roast of Larry the Cable Guy. I was very disappointed to hear it come from an artist that I like, but I guess I should not be surprised.

One Special Place said...

I hear it so often and it truly makes me so sad. My son has heard this word so much. It enrages him and truly gets scary when that happens.