The R-Word

Written by Abby Giles

“Retarded.” This word is used so much in society today. I’ve heard this word more times in the past month than the entire time I was in middle school. The word is degrading. The word is rude. The word is judgmental. The word is uncalled for. People with disabilities should not be labeled with this word or with any word at all, as a matter of fact. Even if the word is aimed at someone without a disability, it is still unacceptable. People should understand that this simple word may be detrimental to someone. It should never be used when describing someone or something. It should not even exist in our vocabulary. It is exclusive. It is offensive. It is hateful. It is wrong.


It needs to stop. Words matter. They create a long lasting impact on people. Rather than being rude and hurtful, they should be positive and encouraging. This particular word is especially very offensive. The R-word ignores individuality. It equates having an intellectual disability with not being smart. People with intellectual disabilities are often extremely smart. They are no different than anyone else. They should be treated with respect, as anyone else would be treated. This word is not respectful and it needs to stop.

People today need to take a stand and stop using this word, or any other discriminating word, slur, or phrase. It may be popular and it may be used often, but that does not make it right. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Bring the R-word to an end, once and for all.


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