Special Olympics and Best Buddies Celebrate 7th Annual Spread the Word to End the Word® Day on March 4th
Pledge #Respect for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Washington, D.C. – 4 March 2014 – Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and supporters from around the world will unite today on the seventh annual Spread the Word to End the Word® Day to continue building awareness for society to stop and think about its use of the R-word and rally people around the world to pledge respect toward all individuals, making the world a more accepting and inclusive place for all people, especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Through engagement with schools, organizations and communities, the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign urges young people around the world to take a stand in their own communities and help change the conversation by eliminating the use of the R-word and replacing it with ‘respect.’ The campaign highlights the harmful effects the word “retard(ed)” has on the millions of people with IDD, their families and friends. Use of the R-word, “retard” or “retarded,” is hurtful and painful and, whether intended or not, is a form of bullying. Eliminating the use of this word is a step toward respect for all. Read More…
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.
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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“The word ‘retard’ changed for me after he was born” — Spoken Word Poem by Parent of a Child with Down Syndrome
Spoken word poetry written and performed by Robb Scott, written for his son, who has Down Syndrome, and how the ‘Retard’ might affect him. Read More…