An Open Letter to Chuck Klosterman, The New York Times, Ethicist


It’s incredible that this day in age we still don’t have a zero-tolerance policy for using offensive and disrespectful language / references in popular media channels. We hope that Mr. Klosterman and The New York Times have the courage to respond Kari’s question and commit to using respectful language and references in their published content.

a typical son

Dear Mr. Klosterman,

Words like “that’s so gay” or “homo” were used regularly and with impunity in our society. Often to elicit a cheap laugh. Those words came to denote something or someone that is stupid, peculiar or undesirable. As gay rights flourished the majority of society realized they were not just using words – they were using words that hurt people. Words that devastated people.

Today people with cognitive disabilities and their allies are asking members of society to refrain from using the word “retarded” (along with all mutations of the word) for the same exact reasons. My question to you:

Is it ethical to contribute to the denigration of the vulnerable?

I am particularly interested because you, Chuck Klosterman, are The Ethicist for the New York Times and the author of the following:

“Well, okay…not everyone. Not boring people and not the profoundly retarded. But whenever I…

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About Best Buddies

Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

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a typical son

two of us are tall and the other one of us is short and has Down syndrome

Chicken Corn Chowder for the Blogger's Soul

Thought bubbles of inspiration, attempted humor, and most likely a lot of pictures and music. (WARNING: You are the only one reading this.)

Best Buddies Young Leaders Council

Educate, Engage, Empower.

michael crawley

Every person is an equal member of the human family.

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