Is the 'R' Word the New 'N' Word? Parents, Tell Us What You Think

The Web site www.theRword.org has started a campaign to strike the word retard from our vocabulary when it's used as a derogatory term.

OK, parents, time to weigh in. Here is this week's "Moms Talk" topic. Tell us what you think in the comment box below.


Do your kids use the "R" word? 

Did they hear it from you first? 

We’re talking about the word “retarded." We’ve all said it when referring to our intelligence-challenged workmates or a family member who just can’t see the brilliance of our point of view or about someone who can't see the urgency of doing things the way they need to be done. 

In fact, cultures all around the world have their own version of the "R" word that they use when they mean “dumb.”

For families dealing with the day-to-day challenges of a child with a disability and cognitive delay, the derogatory label is a slap in the face. A campaign to strike the word from our vocabulary has been launced by www.theRword.org.

But there are others who counter that such efforts are an overreaction to a term that's become a slang word interchangeable with the word stupid and the user doesn't intend offense when using it.

So, as parents, do you think we need to tell our children not to use it and relegate the "R" word to the same circular file as the "N" word? Do you reprimand them when you hear them using it? What should you tell them?

Tim April 27, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Teach your kids how to speak properly from the 1st word, maybe then we can change the ignorance level of our youth. 33yr old dad of 1. My 5yr old son thinks that, stupid and idiot are bad words and refuses to use them. So, the answer is no, you can't cure ignorance by removing a particular word from our language. If that did work, it would take 200 yrs to truly banish any word.
Laurel April 27, 2011 at 03:59 PM
I think that using a word or phrase that reduces to a punchline or makes a mockery of the people in our society who not only deserve it the least, but are sometimes the least prepared to defend themselves against such barbs is something we should be striving to eradicate. We are all role models for those around us and our words matter and set an example. Be a good example. Please.


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