There are very few words that I absolutely cannot stand but the one at the tippy top of my list is any variation of the word retarded.
I was very lucky to go to a high school where retarded was not part of students vocabulary. On multiple occasions our student body would sign banners and partake in pep rallies and other various awareness-informing events to “End the ‘R-Word.’” My high school played a huge role in the worldwide Special Olympics with various clubs, organizations and fundraisers held by the students. But the biggest stand out to me was our schools integration with special needs kids. Regardless of a special need, all students were treated as equals. We would take classes together, cheer on sporting events together and go to prom together.
The word retarded was not a part of our vocabulary.
Using the word retarded wouldn’t cross our minds.
Hearing the word retarded never happened.
But then I got to college, and that changed.
Retarded is thrown around on a regular basis without a second thought about it.
“Oh my god, she was retarded last night at the party.”
“That test was retarded.”
“I can’t believe how retarded I was acting in front of that boy.”
“You’re so retarded.”
“Why do you look like a retard?”
“What’s up retard?”
“Stop being such a retard.”
A lot of students don’t even realize that their use of the r-word isn’t okay; but it is not okay, it is hurtful.
I do not care who you are; you do not use the word retarded, period.
But if you do I will say something, just as I would expect from anyone other respectful, sympathetic and overall good hearted human.
Do you realize that humans with special needs are humans too?
Do you realize how people with special needs would feel if they heard you use retarded in any context related to those above, or any at all for that matter?
Do you realize how people with special needs cannot help the way they were born?
Do you realize that there is absolutely nothing that makes a special need a negative thing?
Do you realize there is nothing wrong with having a special need in the first place?
Do you realize that you sound utterly uneducated using the word retarded?
Do you need more of a reason not to use the r-word?
Do you need a list of alternative words to use that will better represent the point you are trying to make in an educated and humanistic way other than retarded?