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The words "retard" and "retarded" are ableist slurs. [View All]

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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-27-10 11:19 AM
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The words "retard" and "retarded" are ableist slurs.
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Edited on Wed Jan-27-10 11:20 AM by lightningandsnow
Picture this: A group of friends are hanging out laughing and joking when someone says something silly. One person yells, "You retard!" Everyone laughs and joins in the name-calling, but the person being laughed at does not find it funny and walks out in anger. Friends follow him out
saying, "Grow a thick skin. Don't be so sensitive. Can't you take a joke? It's just a word."

"Retard" is not just a word; it is hateful and mean speech. It is a slur used against people with intellectual disabilities. Some defend the use of the word by saying that often, the person whom the slur is directed at does not have intellectual disabilities, so it should not be seen as an insult. The word is still an insult! It is used to describe someone who is stupid or acting as such. People with intellectual disabilities are by no means stupid. It may take them longer to learn some things, but they are not stupid by any stretch of the imagination!

Words hurt. I don't care about the old adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." That's just a cover-up for hurt feelings. Every human being alive has something that he or she is sensitive about; something that they will not tolerate others joking about, or making light of.

For me, and many people with disabilities, "retard" is a word that not only hurts, it sears the soul. It breaks the heart and the spirit.

Words matter. This word has no place on DU, just like other slurs.
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