Substance and Soul

Stand up for something

BloggingSamantha WetterholmComment

Generally, on this blog I tend to write about my life {it is my blog after all}. However, every once in a while I think it is important to also use my blogging voice to talk about things that are important, not only to me, but to {what should be} all of us. 

Today, I’m talking about the importance of our vocabulary choices. It may sound like a weird topic, but it has been something that is weighing heavily on my heart. I’m not talking about using the correct word tenses here, I’m talking about using words that describe specific groups of people in a derogatory manner. There is one word in particular that I am utterly SICK of hearing.

Stop using the word retarded.

We’ve all heard it…

This traffic is so retarded.

Stop being such a retard.

This assignment is such a waste of time, it’s so retarded

I am cringing just typing those sentences out. We have the entire English language in front of us, yet people still choose to use a word describing an individual with a developmental or intellectual disability in a demeaning and derogatory fashion. This needs to stop. 

Every time this word is used in this manner, we are diminishing and excluding an entire population of people and it is not right. When I hear this word dropped in everyday conversation, I am both saddened and disgusted. 

The problem lies in the nonchalance surrounding the usage of the word. Usually, the R-word is not used to actively discriminate against those with intellectual disabilities but that does not make it okay and we should encourage those around us to stop using the R-word.

R-Word.org tells us to spread the word to end the word and I urge you to visit their website and take the pledge to eliminate this word. All it takes is a little conviction to say to someone, “hey, stop using that word”. I know it may be hard to stand up for something, especially in passing conversation, but doing what is right is more important.

This is just one thing I actively stand up for. What do you stand up for? Have you ever had to pluck up the courage to stand up for something?

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