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Is trying to Get Rid of the term "Retard" a Useless Effort?

 
 
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 08:45 pm
Quote:
Seidman is not alone in her desire to see "the R-word" go the way of racial slurs once considered acceptable. More than 250,000 people have pledged online to take part in the Special Olympics' campaign to "spread the word to end the word." Many of them are expected to participate in Wednesday's annual day of action through pledge drives, fundraisers and individual acts to raise awareness.
For her part, Seidman created a short video that explains what the word means to her. She posted it on her blog, Love That Max, and share it through social media. Although people who know her know where she stands (and not everyone agrees), she hopes that the video will make people think about the weight of the word.
"It starts with thinking about a word, but I want it to translate into the way people treat others with disabilities," she said. "It's about helping to see people with cognitive impairments as great people, as competent people, as people who can contribute in so many ways to our society."
Launched by two college students in 2009, the campaign is gaining traction not only among the citizenry, but in the halls of government and the medical community. President Obama passed Rosa's Law in 2010, which eliminates the use of the words "retarded" and "retardation" in federal health, education and labor laws.
The bill changed the terms "mental retardation" to "intellectual disability" and "mentally retarded individual" to "individual with an intellectual disability." This shift made the terms more consistent with language already used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United Nations, and the White House. Currently, 43 states have passed similar legislation or have similar bills pending, according to the Special Olympics.
But policy is just one part of the strategy. The much larger goal targets social stigma and negative perceptions surrounding people with intellectual disabilities.
"You can't ban terminology any more than you can ban thought," said Dr. Stephen B. Corbin, senior vice president for community impact of the Special Olympics. "But we know that using bad language contributes to the dehumanization and stigmatization of others, which incites treating them differently."
On this point, some opponents of the movement agree with its supporters: Intellectual disability still carries a subconscious cultural taboo which attaches to the word used to describe it. But those who believe the movement is misguided and risky say the stigma will keep attaching to new terms until we purge negative connotations from the condition itself.
"All of this reflects the cycle of word taboo," said Christopher M. Fairman, a professor at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University and author of a book subtitled "Word Taboo and Protecting Our First Amendment Liberties." "We have witnessed this happen as the clinical diagnostic term 'mental retardation' became the offensive slur 'retard.' And so we will shift again, this time to intellectual disability."
Already, derogatory use of "ID" is starting to pop up, he said.
"By focusing on the word itself, you reinforce the negative connotation and actually strengthen the taboo," Fairman said. "The focus should be on the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. This breaks down the cultural taboo that creates word taboo in the first place."

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/07/living/end-r-word/index.html?hpt=hp_c4

I dont think that changing the label helps.....retards are still dead weight in this collective, and they bring nothing to the table that makes be want to either hang out with them or sympathize with them no matter what we call them. Nor is Rah-Rah Barney style propaganda going to work to cover up the facts, not with me anyways.

What say you?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 6,017 • Replies: 78

 
boomerang
 
  13  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:09 pm
@hawkeye10,
I say "**** you, hawkeye".

hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:14 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I say "**** you, hawkeye".




So are you saying you side with the folks who argue that those who hold unapproved opinions must have their opinions changed? That is a problem for me, as I maintain that I have authority over my opinions, and I point out that the Constitution protects my right to decide for myself whom I associate with. Your political views are not supposed to override my rights.
hawkeye10
 
  -3  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:25 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
If interest groups want to pour resources into cleaning up unintentional insults, more power to them; we surely would benefit from greater kindness to one another. But we must not let "retard" go without a requiem. If the goal is to protect intellectually disabled individuals from put-downs and prejudice, it won't succeed. New words of insult will replace old ones.

Words are ideas, and we should be reluctant to surrender any of them. Freedom of expression has come at a dear price, and it is not worth abridging, even so we can get along a little better. That's one F-word we really can't do without.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/11/AR2010021103896_2.html?sid=ST2010021403772

HEAR! HEAR!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  7  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:31 pm
@hawkeye10,
No.

I say "**** you" to this:

Quote:
.retards are still dead weight in this collective, and they bring nothing to the table that makes be want to either hang out with them or sympathize blahblahblah


I don't even need to read the rest.
Below viewing threshold (view)
boomerang
 
  12  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:48 pm
@hawkeye10,
What nerve have you hit?

How about the nerve that activates when faced with arrogant assholes? I think it might be that nerve.

Think about it.

What if one of your kids were in an accident and suffered some serious brain trauma. Would you kill them for the benefit of the collective?

I have a good friend who suffered a serious brain injury. She was in a coma. Then she was a vegetable. Then she was a "retard". Now she's fine. She's interesting and intelligent and she contributes to the goddamn collective.

Probably more than you do.

I hope you never suffer a head injury. I hope you never suffer from dementia. If you do, I hope your children have more compassion than you do.
hawkeye10
 
  -3  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:58 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
She's interesting and intelligent and she contributes to the goddamn collective.


Contributes what, specifically?

Quote:
What if one of your kids were in an accident and suffered some serious brain trauma. Would you kill them for the benefit of the collective?


I suggested no such thing. I am willing to support some of the drains on the collective, to include the retarded. It is almost always those who choose to not contribute that I choose to not support, those who can not through no fault of their own do not fall into this category.

Quote:
How about the nerve that activates when faced with arrogant assholes? I think it might be that nerve.

I rather suspect that it is unresolved emotions re Mo that is the nerve that I hit, but OK.

Quote:
I hope your children have more compassion than you do.


I have lots of compassion, but it is not universally dispensed.
ossobuco
 
  8  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:00 pm
Retardation is a legitimate word that has accumulated a lot of weight. Retardation happens in chemistry. It is not an evil word by itself.

Use of the word by hawkeye is sickening.
Some people are slower than others. Their capacity for plain old joy may be better than yours.
I think most of us go around assuming others see as we do.
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:01 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
Use of the word by hawkeye is sickening.


How so?

Quote:
Retardation is a legitimate word that has accumulated a lot of weight. Retardation happens in chemistry. It is not an evil word by itself.

I bears remembering that "retard" is a term that was was promoted heavily by those who claimed to be advocates of the retards, because it was far better than were the labels used at the time . I am not sure that the current proposal of "intellectually challenged" AKA "DUMB" is a step forwards. With "retard" there is more of a sense that the problem is not their fault.
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:04 pm
@hawkeye10,
Surely you don't want me to describe vomiting.
hawkeye10
 
  -3  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:09 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Surely you don't want me to describe vomiting.


The push to ban the word "retard" is a fairly serious issue re personal rights, free speech, and the correlation between our ideas/communication and reality. You might work on coming up with words so that you can contribute to the solving of this problem.....your negative emotion contributes nothing.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:14 pm
@hawkeye10,
Retardation is a legitimate word. You are the word flinger.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  7  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:16 pm
@hawkeye10,

Quote:
I rather suspect that it is unresolved emotions re Mo that is the nerve that I hit, but OK.


Seriously?

**** you.

Your wife is a soldier, right? How many soldiers have come home with serious trauma? Should we just kill them?
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  8  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:20 pm
Ironically, the only time I use the word is to describe people like Hawkeye. Socially retarded...
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  9  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:29 pm
I don't know about anyone else, but I've never spent very much time around anyone over the age of 15 who uses the word 'retard'.
To actually call someone a retard is the province of bullying, insensitive, immature assholes.

I have mixed feelings about using the word 'retarded' to describe people who learn more slowly or have brain damage.

My brother had brain damage as a result of oxygen deprivation during his birth. I grew up hearing him described variously as 'retarded' or 'brain-damaged' or as being a 'slow learner' - so none of those descriptions of his reality are offensive to me - whereas if someone CALLED him a 'retard' or 'vegetable' - I'd have been very offended.

It's the difference in applying an accurate assessment or description to someone and engaging in name-calling.

I mean someone might be accurately described as 'fat' but that's not quite as offensive as calling that person 'fatso'.
Someone might be accurately described as being 'black' but that's not as offensive as calling that person 'Blackie'.

And in terms of contributing to the collective - in terms of pulling his weight and giving people joy and being interesting and kind - my brother ran rings around alot of people whose intellectual function could be described as 'normal'.
He was full of joy, light, integrity, humor...and get this - he also worked a full-time job and went every single day - come hell or high water.

So, shut up unless you know what you're talking about Hawkeye.

Edited to add: just so you won't have to worry about him breathing any of your air - after years of bullying and being made aware that people like you looked at people like him as 'less than' and 'not worthy' - he killed himself. So you and your collective won't have to worry about pulling the trigger on him Hawkeye. Once less 'retard' for you to worry about.
You're ******* sickening.
You may not have touched any else's nerve - but you touched one with me. If you were in the room with me - I'd spit in your face for what you just wrote about people like my brother - who happened to be one of the best and kindest people I've ever known.
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:41 pm
@aidan,
Thanks for that post, aidan.
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:45 pm
@aidan,
Quote:
Edited to add: just so you won't have to worry about him breathing any of your air - after years of bullying and being made aware that people like you looked at people like him as 'less than' and 'not worthy' - he killed himself. So you and your collective won't have to worry about pulling the trigger on him Hawkeye. Once less 'retard' for you to worry about.


As you know I rejected this argument re Phoebe Prince...it is the person who takes their own life who is responsible for their life ending.
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2012 12:46 am
@ossobuco,
You're welcome Osso
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  4  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2012 12:52 am
@hawkeye10,
Of course he was responsible for his life ending - but maybe it was the constant sense of worthlessness communicated to him by strangers with beliefs like yours that made his life sad and what he considered to be unliveable.

In our family and among our friends he was loved and valued. I'd even venture to say he was my mother's favorite. He was her youngest- and he was a lovely person.

The month before he died, we went to the beach together and I was reminded all over again how different and more difficult his life was from mine. Not least because everywhere we went, people looked at him and treated him as if he was an 'idiot'. He wasn't. He could read, he could write - he had more sensitivity toward other people and their feelings in his little finger than you've displayed here.
But yes, you could look at him and speak with him and ascertain immediately that something wasn't all there.

I understand why he did what he did. But maybe if one less person had called him 'retard' one less time - he'd not have felt the need to do what he did.

You and your ilk ARE responsible for making the world harder for people like my brother with your know-it-all and superior attitudes.
Take responsibility for THAT.
 

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