I Don’t Want to Hear “Retarded” Again

20 Oct

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.


Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Educating the NTs


3 responses to “I Don’t Want to Hear “Retarded” Again

  1. Devina Divecha

    October 21, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    I agree… very similar to a post I’d written last year about derogatory remarks against autistic people. My brother has heard enough of them.

  2. YSoSerius

    September 8, 2011 at 3:47 AM

    “Retard” was historically introduced as a euphemism back when words like “idiot” and “moron” were literally considered diagnostic categories.

    Personally people who know I have Asperger’s generally don’t call me “retarded”, they (& also people who don’t know) call me “crazy” and I don’t have a problem with it. Should we stop using the word “crazy” too? No, people love “crazy” and there’s not even a sensitivity campaign about understanding crazy people.

    But seriously making a big deal about any word makes a big deal about the people it’s being used to represent. Nobody gets offended over “blonde” jokes even if they were to use some slang term to refer to blonde people, so why should people get offended over “retarded” jokes?

    • jholverstott

      September 8, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      YSoSerius, As you might suspect, I disagree with your line of thinking, although I appreciate the attitude behind it. When you say, “Making a big deal about any word makes a big deal about the people it’s being used to represent” you are completely on the money. What I don’t understand is why that proves your point and not mine! I believe blondes are offended over blonde jokes, but they just “take” it. They shouldn’t. They don’t need to. If I was a blonde, I know I wouldn’t. I guess I’m simply trying to encourage sensitivity and humor less driven by judgment.


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