When most other derogatory terms for people’s ethnicity, religion and sexuality have been banished from appropriate conversational English, the word “retarded” is still regularly heard as a synonym for “stupid” or “messed up”. While it is rarely (openly) used to refer directly to people with mental challenges or developmental delays, its continued common use to denigrate things or situations still hurts the people who feel labelled by it.
The “Spread The Word To End The Word” campaign demonstrates the harm and hurt caused by the word “retard” by comparing it to other hurtful labels that are no longer acceptable. Some might make you cringe:
The campaign asks you to pledge never to use the “R-Word” again. Can you?