What’s the Big Deal about Calling Someone Retarded? I’ll Tell You..

BY: - 11 Mar '14 | On the Web

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Many of us grew up hearing the saying: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. You know what? Words can hurt. Hurtful words can chip away at a person’s self esteem until there is nothing left. Retarded is a word that marginalizes the special needs community. Retarded is a word that cuts and it cuts deep.

So what is the big deal? Why do we need a r-word campaign? Why do people in the special needs community get upset when someone is called retarded?

We get upset because the connotative meaning of retarded has taken an ugly turn over the years. We get upset because retarded has become a synonym for stupid, dumb, and lacking common sense. It is a slur. It is a hateful word. We all know it is because that is the way it is used.

Spread the Word

It is used in a negative way and over the last few years I have noticed what I call the “R-Word Cycle.” First, a public figure calls someone or something retarded. Next, there is a public outcry. Then, this public figure either apologizes or defends their right to free speech. Finally, the offended group either moves on or they stay on the issue until they feel it has been resolved. Still I wonder if any real lesson was learned because a few weeks later we have another public figure calling someone else retarded and the cycle continues.

Public figures are not the only ones using the word retarded. I have heard it on the playground and in the pizza shop. I have also read it in the comments section of news articles and in song lyrics. I will admit to you that I probably called someone or something retarded when I was younger.

The point here is for all of us to learn, grow, and become more compassionate toward each other. If you were not aware that your use of the word retarded was considered a slur, now you know. Now stop using it. It is that simple.

Every time retarded is used to insult someone my heart sinks. My heart sinks because my son is on the autism spectrum. He has a developmental disability. His autism has affected his intellectual, academic, and emotional progress. So I take it personal when I hear people calling each other retarded as a way to put them down and make them feel less than. My son is just as valuable as anyone else. His being differently-abled does not make him less of a human being. My son and every other person with special needs deserves respect.

So what can you do now that you know how hurtful calling others retarded can be? You can become aware of the R-Word campaign to end the word. On March 5th, R-Word marked their annual National Spread the Word to End the Word Day. This awareness campaign is a collaboration between R-Word, the Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and over 200 organizations. Their main goal is to get people to take the pledge to stop using the word retarded.

Want to take the pledge? Go to the R-Word Web site to learn more. Let us all do our part to end hateful speech in our every day conversations.

About the author

Kpana Kpoto wrote 38 articles on this blog.

Kpana Kpoto, also known as Miz Kp, is a special needs advocate and blogger. She provides resources and support for autism parents through her blog, Sailing Autistic Seas and her support group, Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle. Kpana lives in New York City with her husband and only child, six-year old "Angel" who is conquering autism one milestone at a time.

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Will Smith to Produce Film Adaptation of “The Harlem Hellfighters”

BY: - 12 Mar '14 | On the Web

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Harlem Hellfighters

Inspired by the true story of the African American 369th Infantry Regiment, the graphic novel The Harlem Hellfighters, written by Max Brooks, is being released on April 1, 2014. Recently, the industry blog Shadow and Act shared that Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment, is teaming up with Sony Pictures to produce the film version of the novel.

The Harlem Hellfighters tells the fascinating story of highly decorated, historic African American regiment that spent more time in combat during World War I than any other America unit. They returned home from war as heroes but still faced tremendous discrimination upon their return.

There is no word yet about if Smith, 45, plans to star in the film. However, whether he is in it or not, we think this adaptation of of a riveting true story has the potential to be an incredible film.

BMWK Family, will you be planning to see The Harlem Hellfighters once the film is made? 

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 496 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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