Last week, I was in Idaho at the Special Olympics Youth Activation Summit. Well, when I was there, we talked a lot about how people use the word “retard” in really insensitive ways. We talked about how it effects other people, how much it hurts, and most important, how to STOP this from happening.
The r-word hurts. Even though many people are trying to keep others from saying it, it’s a big part of many kids’ vocabulary. I remember when we did our first session on trying to stop it from spreading, a man in our group said that it’s set in stone in our minds, and that some people say it without even trying to. I think that this is true, but horrible. I don’t think that it has to be, it just is.
We also talked about how the r-word is supposed to be for doctors to use. That’s how it was developed. It’s not acceptable that we turned something for medical uses into something that is an insult.
The Special Olympics’ site is raising awareness by asking others to make videos, write songs, or speak to others about the r-word. These are a couple videos I liked. In the next few weeks, I’m going to be doing some work to “curb the word” as my friend Noah’s mom says. I’ll let you know what I’m up to as I plan. In the meantime, tell me what you think kids can do to prevent others from using this word in such a negative way.