Saturday, April 04, 2009
6617: The R Word.
From The Chicago Sun-Times…
Time to drop ‘retard’ slur
An open letter to teens and young adults: It’s time to give up a last slur you can still get away with: “retard.”
Plenty of other once-common slurs, as you know, have largely fallen out of favor as their destructive power has seeped into the public consciousness.
But not “retard.”
We’re talking specifically to you, young people, because you’re the ones most likely to use the word, and we’ve largely given up on the backward adults who still toss the word around. We suspect you have not yet fully grasped the word’s full power to belittle, its full power to inflict pain.
Maybe that’s because the victims usually can’t or won’t fight back. Maybe that’s because kids always need at least one group to pick on.
Whatever the excuse, it doesn’t cut it. It’s time to retire this hateful slur once and for all. That means don’t use it. That also means speaking up when someone else does.
The Special Olympics last week launched a campaign—“Spread the word to end the word”—to banish the word from public use.
In your heart, you know—we all know—they’re right.