Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spread the Word...

Today is the national day to Spread the Word to End the Word. The word "retard(ed)" hurts millions of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and friends. Take the pledge and help promote the new r-word Respect.

I have always felt strongly about not using this word just like a lot of people are strongly against the n-word. I don't boycott movies, actors, etc. because they use the word. Yes it makes me cringe, just like other words I my find offensive. Does that make me a supporter? A hypocrite? Sometimes I think is does. But then I think of all the other things in movies; if they are bad mouthing religion does that mean I don't really believe in God, or when it is strongly racial does it make me racist? No I don't think so. Now if the r-word is dropped like every other word, yes it will get turned off. I personally do not use the r-word and I do usually say something if some one uses the word around me.  I can't change the way people use the word, but I will try and make them aware of it.

Why do I take this personally? Well I have always had, and still have, a special place in my heart for special people. I am a volunteer with our local Special Olympics and with best buddies. (Who are both sponsors for end the word.) So I have seen first hand how it affects people and their families.

I took the pledge and do every year to help end the use of the r-word. I then pass the information on, it is my way of spreading the word. There are groups and organizations that do more, there is a list on the website. There are also resources to help your group plan an event, plus a lot of other tools. But at a minimum you can take the pledge, and pledge that you yourself will do your part to end the word.

Remember that no matter how you use the r-word it is always derogatory and will offend or hurt someone.