Pledge not to use the “R-word”

2 Mar


I missed an important day yesterday. March 1 was officially the day to pledge to Spread the Word, to End the Word.

The “word” is the “R-word,” offensive enough that we don’t even like to write it, let alone say it out loud.  And a few days ago I received an email inviting me to log onto the website  and sign a pledge to stop using the word.

As the website explains,

The R-word is the word ‘retard(ed)’. Why does it hurt? The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It’s offensive. It’s derogatory.

Our campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. Pledge today to use respectful, people-first language.

I don’t use the word, and I can also say that I haven’t recently heard anyone else use that word. But I do remember hearing it at least once within the last year, and I recall saying something about it. But I also remember I didn’t do so with as much conviction as I should, because I don’t like personal confrontation.

But I’ve found myself this year working in a school with a large population of children with challenges, and I love them to pieces.  So if I ever hear someone use the R-word again, I will definitely speak up and defend their dignity.

Today more than ever, we need to  stand up for our differently-abled adults and children, and help work toward inclusion instead of division.

You can still sign the pledge here, and visit the website for more information. Plus, check out this great student-made video if you want to get inspired and perhaps even shed a tear.

Thank you to the Edison Best Buddies, Thomas LINK Crew and the YAC and Unified members and players for helping to spread the word.

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