The @EndTheWord or The R-Word Campaign is a movement encouraging society to truly think about the use of the word “retarded”.
Today, March 5th, people all over the world are fighting, begging, and pleading for people to stop incorporating the word “retarded” in their slang vocabulary when describing a silly action, a stupid move, or something they don’t agree with.
Kelle Hampton over at Enjoying the Small Things explained it best on her Instagram attached to a picture of her baby girl who has Down Syndrome.
“Joining thousands of others today on Spread the Word to End the Word day. The low down on the word “retarded”: it comes from the Latin word that means “to make slow” In music, a variation of the word refers to beautiful “slowing down” of pace at the end of a composition. And, if you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare, you’ll actually recall who won at the end. That said, the word retarded is commonly used today as slang in reference to people making stupid choices. “I didn’t mean it to make fun” is usually the case, but there is a societal link to cognitively delayed individuals that makes the careless use of the word sting. Catch yourself next time you hear it. Kindly inform your friends and your kids. Rosa’s Law removed the term from federal health, education and labor policies. It’s our responsibility to remove it from our everyday language.”
The well acclaimed magazine Parents wrote an article last year about 5 Things People Don’t Get About the Word Retarded. Please read it for more insight and encouragement to stop using the r-word.
“It’s being used as a synonym for stupid. And loved ones of people with disabilities do not want them associated with the word ‘stupid.”
And to avoid receiving a letter like this one from me, a parent, or a person with a disability, think daily about your language.
“I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.”
I have let too many people slip this word by me. Now, as an active educator, I have to take a stand. I not only have to hold myself accountable, but others around me.
I hope you take a pledge today to @EndTheWord.
I am taking the pledge to @EndTheWord for my students, who work hard daily at school, give me the best hugs, and will become a positive, active person in their community.
Did you take the pledge? Comment below, if so!