Today is the annual day of awareness for the "Spread The Word To End The Word" - campaign. To quote the website:
The R-word is the word 'retard(ed)'. Why does it hurt? The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It's offensive. It's derogatory. Our campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. Pledge today to use respectful, people-first language.
Head over to the official website to take the pledge not to use the r-word, and to get some information and inspiration.
Regular readers of this blog have probably read here about my son who has some special needs. He is one of the reasons this cause feels so very important to me. In my view, this is about empathy and kindness and thinking just a little bit about the power of words to hurt and demean people, even if that is not your intent.
If you want to read a well-written and very well-argued post on why we should all think twice before using the word "retarded" in a derogatory way, you should start out by reading Phoebe's post over at her site, Herding Cats:
Love That Max. Check it out too to get some perspective on the use of the "r-word":