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Today is the day!

March 6, 2013

Today is the day selected by “Spread the Word to End the Word” to encourage people to take the pledge to remove “retarded” from their vocabulary. I love the organization (closely tied with the Special Olympics, FYI) and what they are doing publicly. If you haven’t caught on, their cause is very near and dear to me. My oldest has significant special needs. I have been trying to succinctly put together why the word bothers me so much and today I’m going to (attempt to) share that with you.
I believe there are two sides to removing “retarded” from our daily language. The first side, using it to describe someone with special needs, is best met with education. It is often used out of fear and misinformation. My child can’t speak for himself and explain that it is offensive to use it that was because it is similar to a racial slur. The PSA by Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter sums it up perfectly (Pardon the potentially offensive use of words).

The other side is when the word retarded is used to describe a neurotypical person acting silly or stupid. Why is it offensive? Neurotypical people are able to control their actions; many with special needs are unable to control themselves.
Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Everyone, no matter your race, creed, sexual orientation, brain make-up or chromosomal organization. In this case, we must speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kim Doolittle permalink
    March 7, 2013 9:38 am

    Love this post! Very well said! The best part is the sweet picture of Henry! Great smile!

    ~Kim Sent from my iPad

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