I’ve been friends with a guy name Keith for over two years now. He works with people that have numerous disabilities. Some have physical disabilities while others have mental disabilities. He takes a lot of pride in his work. Not only does he have a paying job doing this, but Keith spends hours outside of work doing volunteer work.
I’m not going to pretend and lie that I’ve learned a lot from Keith about people with disabilities. Nor have I taken the time to get involved with helping out. But I have learned one thing and I wish others would too, don’t call these people” retards”. Don’t make jokes about people and their disabilities. The word “retard” is a word people shouldn’t use any more than people using the “n” word. You may disagree but that is a total lack of common sense.
The word “retard” is used daily. Shows like “South Park” and “Family Guy” use it almost daily. Sometimes an entire episode is based on poking fun at people with disabilities, mostly those with mental disabilities. People use it in society normally to describe something they don’t like or something stupid. It’s used to describe a person during a joke. But there’s nothing funny about the word “retard”.
How would you feel if your child or sibling was mentally disabled? Would it be funny if someone called them a retard? Would you laugh? I highly doubt any decent person would. You would be offended. When you say the word “retard” about someone that is mentally disabled, remember that they are somebody’s brother, sister or child. Even when you say it as a joke think about who could be around. How do you know a bystander nearby doesn’t have someone close to them that is mentally disabled? You don’t and that’s another reason you shouldn’t use it.
Listen, I’m guilty as charged. I’ve used that word many times. But I’ve learned not to use that word. Why not call something dumb, “dumb”? Why not call something stupid, “stupid”? Do we really need to use “retard”? Use common sense. In the 1950’s a large number of white people called black people the “n” word. To us that almost seems silly these days. It’s time we end the use of the “r” word too. The “r” word is no different than calling a black person the “n” word or a gay man a “fag”. I’ve changed, so there’s no reason you can’t.