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Mass. Activists Want Lawmakers to Ban Word 'Retard'

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FoxNews: At the Massachusetts Statehouse there is a push to stop using a word activists call outdated, derogatory and hurtful. They're talking about the word "retarded," MyFoxBoston.com reported.

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It can be very offensive to a lot of people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Best Buddies and Special Olympics are among the groups behind the campaign to "spread the word to end the word."

They're asking lawmakers and Statehouse visitors to sign a pledge to stop using the "r-word" in anticipation of national day of awareness this Wednesday.

"I would take the pledge never to use it. As much as it can be used in casual conversation, it's extremely hurtful" said Clarissa Lion from Boston.

Jonah Peppiatt from Cambridge said "If you have an epithet that a large group of people is offended by, I don't think you should use it."

Even the state has abandoned it.

"The Department of Mental Retardation" has changed its name to the "Department of Developmental Services."

Gov. Deval Patrick addressed the change by saying "It's a simple gesture in the direction of acknowledging that people want respect shown."

So is the r-word really set to become the next "dirty word?" Activists here say they won't stop trying until people stop using it.

This all comes several months after White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel used the offensive word to describe an ad campaign proposed by liberal allies.

Read more stories moms are talking about.




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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous March 2, 2010, 7:38 PM

I’d like to know how many people are offended by that term. I really would. I’d also like to know how many of those offended are actually “mentally different” or whatever the PC-**** term is now. It seems like whatever term given to replace it becomes the new offensive term. Do we want to stop calling fat people fat too? Does that make them feel bad and we can’t ever hurt anyone’s feelings ever because this is America and we’re free to say whatever we want unless its hurtful?

friend March 2, 2010, 10:31 PM

what’s wrong with using a vocabulary word to describe something what it is??? a growth retardation is what it is meant. why do we have to shrink our vocabulary just because some people chose to use the term in an offensive manner. why can’t they ban curse words first??? if they feel that strongly about terms of the like, we should also ban dumb, stupid, smart, genius, and so on because the prior two are degrading and the latter two create differentiation and dissection between people of different intelligence.

Kyong Ravi August 14, 2010, 11:43 AM

@Jen- I was thinking the same thing

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