Use of 'retarded' as derogatory term is offensive and demeaning

D ear Amy: My family is not sure what to say to people who routinely use the word "retard" or "retarded" to mean someone or something is stupid. Full Story
Tim

Monroe, CT

#43 Jun 27, 2008
What a retarded thread. People are referred to as mentally disabled, not retarded.

Retarded means stupid these days. Deal with it. The PC movement wanted us to stop calling the mentally challenged retarded. We did. That doesn't mean we're going to throw away a perfectly good word.
Angelique

Portland, OR

#44 Jun 27, 2008
Wow wrote:
<quoted text>
So, what you're saying is: "buck up and quit being a baby."
No, I'm quoting Buddha and Scott Peck and suggesting that we all deal with life on life's terms. I think that is a more elegant way of saying it.
Tim

Monroe, CT

#45 Jun 27, 2008
Jennifer B wrote:
Holy cow!
Did I strike a nerve, or what?
Why is a such a big deal to refrain from saying something once someone has asked you nicely not to? The posts following my original post all seem so petty -- "I have a right to be an A-hole, dammit!".
Well, as Angelique (good morning!) so rightly said, life isn't fair; trust me, those of us with developmentally disabled children get that more than the rest of you!
In case you all haven't noticed, the letter (and my post) were about people who intentionally use the word 'retard' or 'retarded' deliberately as an insult. The post wasn't about using the term 'retarded' clincally describe someone with mental retardation -- that's where politically correctness comes in.
All of your posts confirm what I've always known: that intellectual IQ doesn't mean much; and that insecure people hate it when they have to drive their intolerance and bigotry underground.
And, trust me, I spend quite a bit of my time teaching my daughter about intolerant, ignorant people. From what I've seen, she a better person than most of you!
Describing someone's clinical problems as retardation is wrong. We say "mentally challenged" or "mentally handicapped" or something else like that. Retarded means stupid in common usage now. It's the perfect word for stupid, because it means "slowed down."
Angelique

Portland, OR

#46 Jun 27, 2008
Jennifer B wrote:
Holy cow!
Did I strike a nerve, or what?
Why is a such a big deal to refrain from saying something once someone has asked you nicely not to? The posts following my original post all seem so petty -- "I have a right to be an A-hole, dammit!".
Well, as Angelique (good morning!) so rightly said, life isn't fair; trust me, those of us with developmentally disabled children get that more than the rest of you!
In case you all haven't noticed, the letter (and my post) were about people who intentionally use the word 'retard' or 'retarded' deliberately as an insult. The post wasn't about using the term 'retarded' clincally describe someone with mental retardation -- that's where politically correctness comes in.
All of your posts confirm what I've always known: that intellectual IQ doesn't mean much; and that insecure people hate it when they have to drive their intolerance and bigotry underground.
And, trust me, I spend quite a bit of my time teaching my daughter about intolerant, ignorant people. From what I've seen, she a better person than most of you!
Morning Jennifer! From the posts you've rightly inferred that teaching children to accept life on life's terms is the only way to go. There will always continue to be a plethora of ignorance and disrespect out in the world but if you teach children to have a sense of humor, that life isn't fair and give them the building blocks to develop a good, healthy, strong identity, what others say won't matter.
Bated Breath

United States

#47 Jun 27, 2008
There is a big difference in calling someone a retard or tard than there is in stating a fact that a person is retarded.

When I was to meet the children of my future husband I was told his oldest child had "learning disabilities". When I met him I knew immediately he was retarded - very much like one of my cousins who was reared by my parents - only my cousin is smarter. As time went on and he still referred to his son as "learning disabled" I became confused and thought his terminology must be the current politically correct manner to describe retardation. Later I learned that had nothing to do with it - he simply would not accept he had a retarded child. This boy was done such a disservice by his father's ego - he is now in a prison-like facility (after much turmoil and heart break). My cousin has had a fruitful life and is happy and knows she is retarded. She was recognized early and was trained to become self supporting and functional. Our family has never shied away from the word "retarded".
Frederick

Winter Springs, FL

#50 Jun 27, 2008
You are right on! To be politically correct, I suggest instead of "moron", "imbecile", "cretin", "retard" that you use "Progressive" instead. It is so much more accurate a term for all of those other words.
Carbon

Longwood, FL

#51 Jun 27, 2008
YAY! Pie!
Jennifer B

Aurora, IL

#52 Jun 27, 2008
Angelique wrote:
<quoted text>
Morning Jennifer! From the posts you've rightly inferred that teaching children to accept life on life's terms is the only way to go. There will always continue to be a plethora of ignorance and disrespect out in the world but if you teach children to have a sense of humor, that life isn't fair and give them the building blocks to develop a good, healthy, strong identity, what others say won't matter.
I agree. I lose sleep over this at night, but I agree. Especially with a child with autism, it is always best to begin where you want to end up. My daughter is quite comfortable explaining to others that she has autism, and (contrary to what could be implied from my earlier post!) the majority of people treat her with respect. To her face, anyway.

It's my son who gets the brunt end of other people's harshness. What people won't say when my daughter is in the room will get shoved in his face once she leaves.

Ever since he was in grade school he's figured out who the retarded people really are.
huh

United States

#53 Jun 27, 2008
OK, I must have missed the letter the 1st time. But, in LW2, since when did tickling become aggressive and worth dumping someone over??

And LW3, you're now a miscreant because you didn't RSVP?? LOL!
huh

United States

#54 Jun 27, 2008
O, and since when did aggressive tickling become abusive???
Julie

United States

#55 Jun 27, 2008
I teach a rural sunday school class and have often heard the children call each other "retard". I am also a parent of a Down syndrome daughter. I think I see it as a word but know some people can point it at my daughter. It hurts but makes me see that people can be dumber than those they label by showing their social backward behavior. I think it is easier to educate the kids about why it is wrong and hope they get it.
Dave

Poughkeepsie, NY

#56 Jun 27, 2008
Before you know it, some retard will be offended by the word Apple. Please people, it's really getting out of hand! If something bothers you, ok, we get it. But that DOES NOT mean society as a whole is going to stop using words that will offend somebody, somewhere. Give it a rest. Oh...and grow up.

Freedom of speech means just that. It does not lose it's meaning when somebody is "offended" by something. People have become WAY too sensitive, and are in fact, looking for things that could be deemed "offensive" or "inappropriate" simply so they can stand up on their soapbox and scream to anybody that will listen in an attempt to make themselves feel more important than they really are. I'll use Al Sharpton as an example. It's really sad when society will just wilt and cater to whoever screams the loudest.
Dave

Poughkeepsie, NY

#57 Jun 27, 2008
And the F'ING Courant bleeps the word RE-TARD when it's used in the article that this whole chain is discussing?!?!?!?!?!
jon woo

Elgin, IL

#58 Jun 27, 2008
Any word used the wrong way can be offensive. Still, they are just words and people at times need to have thicker skin. Too many find it advantageous to exploit.
Angelique

Portland, OR

#59 Jun 27, 2008
Jennifer B wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree. I lose sleep over this at night, but I agree. Especially with a child with autism, it is always best to begin where you want to end up. My daughter is quite comfortable explaining to others that she has autism, and (contrary to what could be implied from my earlier post!) the majority of people treat her with respect. To her face, anyway.
It's my son who gets the brunt end of other people's harshness. What people won't say when my daughter is in the room will get shoved in his face once she leaves.
Ever since he was in grade school he's figured out who the retarded people really are.
And, of course, this all goes back to poor parenting. Someone is raising these kids to be so disrespectful. Alright on soap box: People spend more time researching buying a new car, than they do taking parenting classes, understanding developmental stages to become a well informed, healthy parent. Off soap box. Of course, I'll never be out of a job.
Surprise

Parsippany, NJ

#60 Jun 27, 2008
I volunteer at the local community center. I love working with the retards. They are some of the coolest people I know. The retards are always happy and singing. I just wish everyone would be able to relax and be happy like the retards. retard.
Darwin

Dayton, NJ

#61 Jun 27, 2008
Jennifer B wrote:
Holy cow!
Did I strike a nerve, or what?
Why is a such a big deal to refrain from saying something once someone has asked you nicely not to? The posts following my original post all seem so petty -- "I have a right to be an A-hole, dammit!".
Well, as Angelique (good morning!) so rightly said, life isn't fair; trust me, those of us with developmentally disabled children get that more than the rest of you!
In case you all haven't noticed, the letter (and my post) were about people who intentionally use the word 'retard' or 'retarded' deliberately as an insult. The post wasn't about using the term 'retarded' clincally describe someone with mental retardation -- that's where politically correctness comes in.
All of your posts confirm what I've always known: that intellectual IQ doesn't mean much; and that insecure people hate it when they have to drive their intolerance and bigotry underground.
And, trust me, I spend quite a bit of my time teaching my daughter about intolerant, ignorant people. From what I've seen, she a better person than most of you!
The only nerve you struck is the one that's already been abraded raw by people with petty agendas attempting to force their definition of 'sensitivity' on the rest of the world. IT'S JUST A WORD- don't you get it? YOU are the one assigning meaning to it. YOU are the one making it significant to your daughter. Words are nothing until YOU allow yourself to feel a certain way. If you don't like the word 'retard' because you feel its meaning has morphed into a pejorative, then don't use it.
BTW- If you are so sensitive to the power of words, why would you describe (as quoted above) other posters using words such as 'petty','a-holes','intolerant' , and 'bigoted'. Doesn't that make you a hypocrite? You don't know any of us, and yet you choose to insult us using insensitive words. Is that the lesson you are teaching your daughter- Do as I say, not as I do.
bsa

Boston, MA

#63 Jun 27, 2008
What no more Mongolian humor (aka acting like a retard)?
John T

Chicago, IL

#64 Jun 27, 2008
Angelique wrote:
This is simply an exercise in frustration and teaches her children only to resent life's unfairness.
I see your point, but it is equally important to teach your kids to confront unfairness and bad behavior. They won't always get their way, but they should still stand up for what is right!
Konnecticut_Bett er_Yet

Brewster, NY

#65 Jun 27, 2008
When I first heard the term starting to be used, I was taken a little aback, since there were people around who might have had a retarded relative or friend. I'm surprised it's been used so frequently and casually for so long without any mention of it until I saw this message thread.

When I refer to someone as an idiot, I don't use retarded. For one, it is offensive, and now it's just overused.

I prefer "dullard." Just as, if not a better descriptor, and who cares if you offend other dullards.

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