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Thread: The R Word

  1. #1
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    Default The R Word

    Felt like a bit of a rant so here goes
    I was quite surprised and pleased to hear an ad on the radio not long ago, cannot for the life of me remember what station or state I was in, or maybe it was even internet radio (big wedding weekend since then) anywho the ad was basically about how when you call someone retarded, you are bringing down every mentally disabled person along with them. (I have searched the webs high and low for the ad but no luck). Hearing that ad reminded me of a post I made on here using the term "social retard", it was a term I had heard used regularly and I never bothered to think about the meaning of it, it was just a throw away line. Luckily Mr. B privately pointed out to me what people could take from using that particular word, and I can honestly say it was a big revelation for me.
    I'm sure you are all probably thinking, no shit, it's pretty obvious, but I never put any thought to using the word retard/ed, I feel bad about it now, but it was just a word I heard so commonly I had been desensitised to it and it had lost its meaning to me. I liken it to the "bless you" conversation but in this case, it has a real offensive meaning and can do real harm.
    The reason this ad really impressed me is because all it took for me to become aware of the damage using that word could do was for someone to point it out to me, and make me stop and think. Yes I should have figured it out for myself, but I'm far from perfect, and there are probably many more people out there like me, using the word retard/ed in conversation without realising the hurt it can do people with disabilities and their families.
    During my Googleing for the ad I heard I found lots of material on campaigns to wipe out this word. It seems to be really gaining ground in the US, with this ad shown during the Glee final (with much controversy as you can imagine)
    CAUTION : NSFW LANGUAGE


    Their website is http://www.r-word.org/ and there are plenty of celebrities getting on board. I hope that this starts to catch on over here, and we see this message being spread, as it seems like this is one of those things that the more we can just make people aware of, the less we will see this word used.
    I still catch myself saying retard now and then without thinking, I guess it was a bad habit for a while, and it will take a little while to erase completely. But now I instantly correct myself, which usually leads to a conversation with someone else about why I don't use it anymore.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The R Word

    Yep, we are always learning. Well done Dilby.

    One wouldn't use many many derogatory words but hangovers can take a while. That is why it is always good to have ones say about things like that. And make it constant, always pull someone up on it.
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    The Nizkor Project- Logical Fallacies

    Atheist: n; A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence, and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others.
    —Chaz Bufe, The American Heretic’s Dictionary

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The R Word

    Indeed. Its inappropriate usage as a derogatory term only retards our progress in disability acceptance. It's different to be aware of issues one had never thought were issues, hey?
    ...?!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The R Word

    Quote Dane said View Post
    Indeed. Its inappropriate usage as a derogatory term only retards our progress in disability acceptance. It's different to be aware of issues one had never thought were issues, hey?
    Definitely. It's not a completely nice feeling, I certainly have an amount of shame with the damage I was doing, but it is good to know that I won't be making the same mistake forever, and can hopefully wake a few others up as well. As wolty says, always learning.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I think if many of us are honest we have used this or something like it in the past without realising the potential hurt it can cause. I must say though, once you become self aware of this and other words and even things like generalising, speaking for myself you not only can control it, but you become more aware of the issue around you spoken by others, media and the like.

    I personally take issue with people (usually kids) using the word 'downy' or 'downs' to put people down. I have a Downs Syndrome Nephew and I admit I get snappy about it. Fortunately I don't hear it as much these days. I am pointing out though that if you are going to throw these words around that you may want to be careful that those in earshot don't have a loved one affected by such a condition.

    Many people just don't stop to think before they speak.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The R Word

    Nice one, dilby.

    This place is great for learning, in lots of ways.
    *Gods* are not only a legal fiction, but a fiction in every way. Just ask the nearest hippie...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The R Word

    Thanks, Dilbadoon. We have all been guilty of it at one time or another. Takes a special person to take a criticism and learn from it.

    Good on you!
    Growing up means watching my heroes turn human in front of me.

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