Tell me something, or, at the very minimum, be honest with yourself about something. When someone says “Retard” or “retarded,” what do you do, think, say? Do you cringe, laugh, awkwardly change the subject? Do you do anything? I can’t count the number of “retard” or “special ed” or “short bus” references I read with hash tags in twitter or I hear on television, in schools, from other “educated” individuals.
Think I’m overreacting? I encourage you to Google search “retard” and look at the images; I am not willing to republish the search results of what our society depicts as “retarded”. I also Googled “no retard” (amongst a few other simple word combinations); you will find two of the top images at the end of this blog.
Needless to say, I am fed up. I am more than fed up. I am pissed off — a word my clients would respond to by saying, “Uh-oh, Jeanne, you said a bad word”. Sure did, but I still am. Maybe I need my faith restored in humanity. Maybe I need my rose-colored glasses shattered. Maybe I need to grow up. Maybe I need to lose my idealism. Maybe I am fighting a losing battle. I don’t care.
I’m not going to tell you why this word is far beyond inappropriate. I am not going to regale you with the countless times my clients, whose IQs don’t even diagnostically classify them in the manner the term was intended to be utilized, have been called some form of this term. That’s a waste of your time.
Have you ever really thought about why this word is “acceptable”, mainstream, even? Because the population this word “targets” doesn’t and, perhaps even can’t, tell you to stop. So, I am.