Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Spread the Word to End the Word

Tomorrow is Spread the Word to End the Word day.
Basically what this means is you take a pledge to remove the word retard or retarded from your vocabulary. Because even though you didn't mean it that way. Because you weren't talking about my child. Regardless of how you meant it, it hurts.

Two mamas I know have said it much better than me:
Beth over at Snaps Of Our Life and
Michelle over at Big Blueberry Eyes

Society needs to realize that using the word retard or retarded is hurting millions of people with intellectual, emotional and/or physical disabilities and their families and friends. There are a ton of other words you can use: stupid, annoying, frustrating, silly, messed up, weird etc.

Originally, the word retard means (as per dictionary.com):
verb (used with object)
1. to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
verb (used without object)
2. to be delayed.
and in french, retard means slow.

But nowadays, retard conjures up a painful stereotype that society has generated about our kids, family and friends. That they're worth less because they learn differently, look differently, act differently, think differently, speak differently. Even when you don't mean it "that way", it still stings. It still reminds us that our children are not the same in everyone's eyes. Please, take the pledge at www.r-word.org to remove this word from society's vocabulary. Not just today, but for every day.
Because our kids deserve to grow up in a world of respect and love. Not snickering glances and hushed tones.

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