Wednesday, March 07, 2012
A day when people listen to the power of their own words
I'm hoping that by the time my kids grow up it will seem strange to need to designate a day in which we talk about whether or not the words retard and retarded are offensive.
But for now, we do.
Today, March 7, is that day, designated by Spread the Word to End the Word, a campaign launched by people with disabilities and part of the Special Olympics.
Last weekend, a very sweet and kind woman used the word "retarded" twice in my presence. I was taking a vacation from all of that stuff, and I didn't want to interrupt the conversation to get on a soapbox about it.
Even someone as outspoken as I am needs to take a break now and then.
So I don't have an r-word post for you today, like I did last year.
But there are many other wonderful, amazing women out there in Blogland who did find the energy and they've said it even better than I could. I really encourage you to read at least one of these posts to discover why using this word in casual conversation, whether or not you are referring to an actual person with disabilities, is not acceptable. In fact, it is even more disheartening that so many bright, intelligent and caring people are so blind to this word's impact on people with disabilities and those who love them.
Would you call my child a retard? by Love that Max
About a Boy. And a Word. by Finslippy
Spread the Word to End the Word by Redneck Mommy
Stop Saying It by Four plus an Angel
Spread the Word to End the Word by Bringing the Sunshine
Retarded: A Word by These Broken Vases
I've also found these videos over the last few months and I think they are both beautiful and powerful:
So please pledge to stop using this hurtful term in casual conversation. I'm not entirely sure why people are so resistant to using a different word to express themselves, but if you can find it within yourself, it would mean the world to me.
And my son: