Spread the Word to End the Word

You may not know it, but today is national "Spread the Word to End the Word" Day.  The word trying to be elminated is the R-word, or retarded (in a derogatory manner, of course).  I first heard about this campaign a few weeks ago when our school social worker mentioned it to our staff at an in-service day. However, I first became aware of the negative implications of this word in college.  All education students at Iowa had to take a class called Human Relations.  Though I hated going to class each week, looking back it was probably one of the best classes I took throughout my college career.  The class really opened my eyes to many societal issues and stereotypes.  I specifically remember talking about usage of the r-word and the connotations it brings.  Since that day, I have made a conscience effort to not say that word.

The national campaign "Spread the Word to End the Word" is trying to bring awareness to everyone, especially students.  Here's an excert from their website:

When they were originally introduced, the terms “mental retardation” or “mentally retarded” were medical terms with a specifically clinical connotation; however, the pejorative forms, “retard” and “retarded” have been used widely in today’s society to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, when “retard” and “retarded” are used as synonyms for “dumb” or “stupid” by people without disabilities, it only reinforces painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities being less valued members of humanity.

Basically, by saying "That's retarded" when you mean "That's stupid", you're implying that mentally retarded people are stupid. 

Here's their website: http://www.r-word.org/.  Check it out and sign the pledge!

I think "Spread the Word to End the Word" is a fantastic idea and I hope more people think about what they are implying the next time they say "That's retarded."

While we're on the topic, can we spread the word to end the word 'gay' as well??

Have a nice day!

1 comment:

  1. Don't most homosexuals refer to themselves as being gay?

    I have an issue because you can no longer use gay in it's original sense (a merry, lively mood) without creating unintentional double-entendres and most synonyms- joyful, brash, sunny, vivacious, animated, rollicking, chirpy - miss the mark and convey a different meaning to me.