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Will YOU stop using the term 'retard'?
Yes! 46%  46%  [ 36 ]
No! 42%  42%  [ 33 ]
huh? 12%  12%  [ 9 ]
Total votes : 78

sinsboldly
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31 Mar 2009, 9:26 pm

'It's insulting, it's painful and it hurts people,' says actor Eddie Barbanell

WASHINGTON - The Special Olympics launched a campaign Tuesday to banish the word "retard," a casual insult that derives from an out-of-favor medical term and has long been considered inappropriate.

People signed pledges not to use the word and students gathered to denounce its use at rallies from Florida to Alaska. Over the long-term, organizers hope to change attitudes about people with mental disabilities, who number more than 190 million worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's insulting, it's painful and it hurts people," said actor Eddie Barbanell, who has Down syndrome and appeared in the movie "The Ringer." "Get that word out! End the word! Bury it!"

While "retard" itself was never a medical term, it derives from the phrase "mental retardation," which by around 1900 was commonly used by scientists and doctors, said Peter Berns, executive director of The Arc of the United States, a nonprofit advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Even though Berns said its pejorative connotation was established in the 1960s, the phrase "mental retardation" is still used in many state and federal laws, much to the dismay of those trying to stamp out its use.

"People with intellectual disabilities themselves really mounted a movement that they did not want to be referred to with the word 'retarded,'" he said.

As such, the American Association of Mental Retardation changed its name in 2007 to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities after its members pleaded for the organization to do so. In another sign that the formal use of the term "mentally retarded" had lost currency, The Associated Press replaced it in its stylebook in 2008 with "mentally disabled."

Governors sign on
Still, those seeking to end the term's use face a difficult battle.

"This word is deeply ingrained in our psyche. It comes up in a lot of different contexts," said Andrew Imparato, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of People With Disabilities. "We have to kind of call it out and start a conversation about why it's not OK to use the word."

Among the signatures collected Tuesday were several that belonged to governors: In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — whose mother-in-law founded Special Olympics — signed a proclamation to stop using the word, as did Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver issued a certificate of recognition in support of the campaign.

But the manpower behind the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign comes from the students who devised the campaign last month during a Special Olympics youth summit in Idaho and organized rallies around the country.

In Florida, 16-year-old Noah Gray organized a rally for some 600 students at Miami Palmetto Senior High School that featured a rap performance and a speech by Barbanell about his experiences of being called a "retard."

"Like many other high school students and adults, I used to use the word 'retarded' all the time," said Gray, who was invited to speak at last month's youth summit. "Since coming down from the Special Olympics, I have not used that word once ... and I'm discouraging other people" from using it.

'The R-word'
At Bowie High School in Maryland, 18-year-old Shannan Barksdale helped gather 861 pledges that will be sent to the Special Olympics organization. During the school's lunch periods, Barksdale yelled, "Say no to the R-word!" and urged students to sign pledges.

"The word should be eliminated from everyone's vocabulary," she said.

Special Olympics has enlisted actor John C. McGinley of the TV show "Scrubs" as a spokesman for the campaign. McGinley, whose 11-year-old son has Down syndrome, said many people don't realize the word is hateful.

"It is saturated in the vernacular, and this will take a while. And it's OK," he said Tuesday. "But it's important to get under way."

Associated Press
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29981699/



Obres
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31 Mar 2009, 9:54 pm

sinsboldly wrote:
While "retard" itself was never a medical term, it derives from the phrase "mental retardation," which by around 1900 was commonly used by scientists and doctors, said Peter Berns, executive director of The Arc of the United States, a nonprofit advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Ironically, ARC used to stand for Association of Retarded Citizens, which I assume is why they now call themselves The Arc of the United States.



sinsboldly
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31 Mar 2009, 10:46 pm

Obres wrote:
sinsboldly wrote:
While "retard" itself was never a medical term, it derives from the phrase "mental retardation," which by around 1900 was commonly used by scientists and doctors, said Peter Berns, executive director of The Arc of the United States, a nonprofit advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Ironically, ARC used to stand for Association of Retarded Citizens, which I assume is why they now call themselves The Arc of the United States.


I understand, like the NAACP National Association of Colored Peoples. They are just NAACP, now. I liked what the Quakers and the Methodist did, and embraced what people call them in derision.

Merle


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01 Apr 2009, 12:29 am

sinsboldly wrote:
They are just NAACP, now. I liked what the Quakers and the Methodist did, and embraced what people call them in derision.

That really is the only effective way to respond. Whatever new PC term they come up with will be rejected with scorn, and then become a pejorative itself.


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buryuntime
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01 Apr 2009, 12:44 am

No. I wouldn't call other people it but I refer or compare myself to it sometimes.



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01 Apr 2009, 2:03 am

Yeah. I have hated the r word for as long as I can remember. I want people at school to think about how my friends who also have disabilities and I would feel if we were called that.



01 Apr 2009, 3:15 am

For some reason that word doesn't bother me. I don't know why. I was called retarded growing up because kids thought I was. Then I was very senstive about that word when someone would ask me if I was or not. Then when I started to hear it as a figure of speech because kids were calling each other that and calling teachers it behind their backs, I stopped taking it personally because it was being used on everyone. So I don't understand why it's taken as offence if people use that word on everyone.



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01 Apr 2009, 3:33 am

I don't mind being called a retard if I'm actually one, and really, I'm retarded under certain circumstances (see my IQ test the other month and my chronic social and communicative retardation).

What happens is people start using it derogatively to demean people, i.e., they're second class.

But in reality, most I've found who use it in such a way are just insecure with some aspect of themselves. Everyone, including those who bully others can be made fun of, everyone.

People shouldn't pander to the insecure bullies, but alas, they let them win. To beat bullies, you show that you don't care what they say or do, and you go about your business.

The South Park episode is quite pertinent to this, where Cartman, the "normal" sociopath, comes last in everything.



lau
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01 Apr 2009, 9:41 am

I'm the first "Huh?" answer.

I had to make that my answer, as I can't stop using the word, because I never started using it.

OED wrote:
U.S. slang. A mentally retarded person.
Basically, the word doesn't (or maybe I should say "didn't") exist over here. Certainly, I'm fully aware (now) of it's meaning, but I've never used it.

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51-70 moron
26-50 imbecile
0-25 idiot

Here, the terms "idiot", "cretin" and "moron" are all used, each of which may be taken either as it's correct technical term, or a pejorative. As it is trisyllabic and has lots of letters, "imbecile" was beyond the vocabulary of people employing it as a pejorative.


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01 Apr 2009, 10:06 am

'Tard and feathered topic

I always found this a harsh word. My son started using it to refer to certain people he disliked. I do not use it. When I was a child, the word "reject" was acceptable, but still insulting.

Possibly, like the use of the word n*****, it must be reclaimed for the use of fringe members to whom it refers. Then perhaps it will eventually disappear. 8)


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01 Apr 2009, 7:03 pm

sinsboldly wrote:
'It's insulting, it's painful and it hurts people,' says actor Eddie Barbanell

WASHINGTON - The Special Olympics launched a campaign Tuesday to banish the word "retard," a casual insult that derives from an out-of-favor medical term and has long been considered inappropriate.

People signed pledges not to use the word and students gathered to denounce its use at rallies from Florida to Alaska. Over the long-term, organizers hope to change attitudes about people with mental disabilities, who number more than 190 million worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's insulting, it's painful and it hurts people," said actor Eddie Barbanell, who has Down syndrome and appeared in the movie "The Ringer." "Get that word out! End the word! Bury it!"

While "retard" itself was never a medical term, it derives from the phrase "mental retardation," which by around 1900 was commonly used by scientists and doctors, said Peter Berns, executive director of The Arc of the United States, a nonprofit advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Even though Berns said its pejorative connotation was established in the 1960s, the phrase "mental retardation" is still used in many state and federal laws, much to the dismay of those trying to stamp out its use.

"People with intellectual disabilities themselves really mounted a movement that they did not want to be referred to with the word 'retarded,'" he said.

As such, the American Association of Mental Retardation changed its name in 2007 to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities after its members pleaded for the organization to do so. In another sign that the formal use of the term "mentally retarded" had lost currency, The Associated Press replaced it in its stylebook in 2008 with "mentally disabled."

Governors sign on
Still, those seeking to end the term's use face a difficult battle.

"This word is deeply ingrained in our psyche. It comes up in a lot of different contexts," said Andrew Imparato, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of People With Disabilities. "We have to kind of call it out and start a conversation about why it's not OK to use the word."

Among the signatures collected Tuesday were several that belonged to governors: In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — whose mother-in-law founded Special Olympics — signed a proclamation to stop using the word, as did Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver issued a certificate of recognition in support of the campaign.

But the manpower behind the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign comes from the students who devised the campaign last month during a Special Olympics youth summit in Idaho and organized rallies around the country.

In Florida, 16-year-old Noah Gray organized a rally for some 600 students at Miami Palmetto Senior High School that featured a rap performance and a speech by Barbanell about his experiences of being called a "retard."

"Like many other high school students and adults, I used to use the word 'retarded' all the time," said Gray, who was invited to speak at last month's youth summit. "Since coming down from the Special Olympics, I have not used that word once ... and I'm discouraging other people" from using it.

'The R-word'
At Bowie High School in Maryland, 18-year-old Shannan Barksdale helped gather 861 pledges that will be sent to the Special Olympics organization. During the school's lunch periods, Barksdale yelled, "Say no to the R-word!" and urged students to sign pledges.

"The word should be eliminated from everyone's vocabulary," she said.

Special Olympics has enlisted actor John C. McGinley of the TV show "Scrubs" as a spokesman for the campaign. McGinley, whose 11-year-old son has Down syndrome, said many people don't realize the word is hateful.

"It is saturated in the vernacular, and this will take a while. And it's OK," he said Tuesday. "But it's important to get under way."

Associated Press
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29981699/


Oh, Lord, it's the "Tropic Thunder" controversy all over again.

Also, coming from an actual Special Olympics, I'm proud of what they're doing and I wish them good luck and success on this campaign.



Danielismyname
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01 Apr 2009, 8:27 pm

You never go full retard.

That scene in Tropic Thunder was absolutely hilarious (Forest Gump and Rain Man being mentioned as "good" retards, or not actually retarded as the quote went).



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02 Apr 2009, 10:04 am

But how will I know when to slow the tempo while playing a piano piece???



JadedMantis
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02 Apr 2009, 10:38 am

I have never felt the need to apply that word to a person.



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02 Apr 2009, 5:47 pm

I don't plan to stop using it, I have a dog that is nicknamed "Tard".


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