Monday, September 01, 2008

Ban the "R Word"--please call her Emily

I try not to jump on bandwagons too quickly, now that I am a little older and potentially wiser. However, I've decided that the time has come to stop being entirely nice about this subject.

Stop using the word "retard" as an insult. Just...stop.

If you are reading this blog because you are a friend or family member, then you know Emily. Every time someone perpetuates the use of the word "retard" as an insult, it implies Emily. It means "Emily". "Don't be such a retard" means "Don't be Emily". "That was so retarded" means "That was so Emily".

Is that how you want people to think about Emily? As a stereotype, and a bad one at that?

If nigger is the wrong thing to call a member of a specific group of human beings, then retard is just as wrong a thing.


If you are interested in a little reminder, there are mugs, magnets, stickers and cards here. Maybe if you drink your coffee out of a mug with Emily's face on it each day, you'll learn to stop saying the R word.

It's time.

And I'm not the only one who thinks so; this current attempt to help people understand how much damage that one word can do is being fueled by the movie "Tropic Thunder". See, for instance, this page from Special Olympics Kansas.

And I'll tell you what: When Emily goes to school tomorrow to start her senior year in high school, if there is ONE T-shirt with the slogan "full retard mode" on it or if she overhears ONE student using that term, this mom will be filing a harrassment suit against my city public school system.

People: Wake up! The word "retard" used in this manner is "hate speech". I'm sick of it. I don't think we should take it anymore. And the indecency is only heightened by the fact that the word impacts those least able to speak for themselves.

So I will speak for all the Emilys out there:


mary ("Emily's mom")


Blogger Emily said...

Just wanted to let you know that I read this, and found it very touching, not to mention very true (I saw the link in your TORn footer).
I already have a habit of correcting people who use the "R" word (and at my school, I've actually gotten most of my friends out of the habit).

Anyway, thank you for writing this! :)

6:46 PM  
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