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Spread the Word to End the Word is an on-going effort to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign is intended to get schools, communities and organizations to rally and pledge their support to help create communities of inclusion and acceptance for all people.
A thought as Spread the Word to End the Word Day comes to a close.
The person with me in the pciture above is my youngest son. He has Down syndrome. He is not Down syndrome and Down syndrome does not define him.
Misusing and abusing the r-word is just unacceptable in any situation. When you say the word “retarded” in a casual mean way you are belittling my son. My son is an amazing person worthy of compassion, kindness and respect. I will always advocate for him when the situation warrants, same as I would for my older son.
It doesn’t matter who you are, using the r-word in an inappropriate and demeaning fashion is wrong and unacceptable. I’ve got someone related by blood that after all these years still refuses to stop using the word. I’ve got someone related by blood that purposely avoided contact with my child and left him feeling left out and heartbroken. Shame on them. My oldest asked me to watch a Tom Segura comedy special tonight. As much as I would have really truly loved to watch tv with my son, I declined his offer because I refuse to watch that special because that man deliberately picks on people with Down syndrome. I advocate not just because I love, but because it’s the right thing to do.
Please people. Evaluate your language. Language affects attitudes. Attitudes impact actions. If you use the #rword please take the pledge now at www.r-word.org. If you are decent enough to not use the word, please help spread the message. We must keep pushing to educate others to #respect. If you hear it, say something. One person can make a difference.