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March 7, 2012

End the “R” Word in Vocab

Today is national “Spread the Word to End the Word Day” but what exactly is the word?  For years, the word “retarded” was used as a medical term to describe someone with a medical challenge, but today can be seen as offensive.  Millions of people cross country are using today to try to raise awareness about the “r-word” to try and eliminate it from our vocabulary.

Country singer Sarah Marince is one of the many celebrities promoting activism for this topic.  Her brother, Michael, has a mental challenge.  Sarah’s willingness to speak on this cause has gained national attention with help from her fame, and it also helped support systems of people with mental challenges in her hometown of Pittsburgh.

“We’re creating awareness that this is hurtful. And so we’re not knocking them down for saying the word, we’re just saying, “Hey, it hurts a little bit when you use this. Maybe it’s a little offensive to the family or offensive to somebody with a disability,’” Marince said.

According to the “Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign,” the “r-word” can be seen as a type of hate speech and derogatory.  Campaign representatives also feel that the word can be offensive including when joking.  They state that the “r-word” doesn’t make an attempt to highlight a person’s unique attributes.

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