The word is “retard.” Mental retardation was a term used by professionals used to diagnose people with substantial intellectual impairment. Like many other slang words, the r-word has become an insult, called to someone or something incapable or inept.
The word is harmful. The word is hateful. The word is ignorant.
The r-word is also still used way too often. There is absolutely no reason why this word should be considered socially acceptable in regular conversation, not should it be a word that parents use in conversation in front of their children. Similarly offensive words have been taken out of the daily conversation. Let’s remove this one too. The word is hurtful.
Do you know what it is like to be the sibling of someone with an intellectual disability? Watch this video and you will see life from another perspective. Think about the love these children have for their brother or sister and how they have to hear people in public using the r-word with ignorance and hate.
As a sibling of someone with an intellectual disability, I know life from their perspective. All my life I have heard that word used with ignorance and every single time it has sent chills up my spine. All of my life a radar alert has gone off about the person using the r-word out of context. I so badly want these children to not have to hear the r-word used with ignorance anymore.
On March 7th, take the pledge to stop using the r-word. Then spread the word to end the word. To take the pledge, go to: http://www.r-word.org/.
Let’s show our children that we choose inclusion and respect over ignorance and hurt.