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

Full story: Chicago Tribune

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.
Comments
41 - 60 of 6,650 Comments Last updated Nov 13, 2013
Angelique

Portland, OR

#66 Jun 27, 2008
Darwin wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
You've actually made quite a cogent point. Well said and effectively said. Thank you.
Angelique

Portland, OR

#67 Jun 27, 2008
John T wrote:
<quoted text>
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!
Naturally, accepting life on life's terms doesn't preclude and shouldn't preclude standing up for one's beliefs. Thank you for pointing that out, John.
Scott

East Haven, CT

#68 Jun 27, 2008
Darwin wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
You beat me to it...have to agree. I am so hurt by those nasty inferences. Oh, the hypocrisy!
Danaidh

Chicago, IL

#69 Jun 27, 2008
I see no problem with using the term mentally retarded in its clinical sense.

If one's intent is to insult another, then whatever term is used would be offensive.

I have an uncle I love dearly. He is profoundly retarded.
John T

Chicago, IL

#70 Jun 27, 2008
jon woo wrote:
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.
Let's not defend people who use words in a hurtful way, ok?
Aspasia

Granada Hills, CA

#71 Jun 27, 2008
You "psychoanalyzed" the victim of tickling, I assume, because
you understood that she was (not yet) capable of putting a stop to it. Maybe the other benefits of the relationship overrode the
annoyance of the BULLYING -- and you got THAT right!

Until she feels secure enough to give him that ultimatum and STICK TO IT, nothing will change.
blue

Tinley Park, IL

#72 Jun 27, 2008
Angelique wrote:
<quoted text>
You've actually made quite a cogent point. Well said and effectively said. Thank you.
I'm confused. Who are you siding with, Jennifer or Darwin?
Lamar

Mims, FL

#73 Jun 27, 2008
The truth is that words are just symbols for underlying meanings. You can ban the word retarded, but the only thing you accomplish is that you make "developmentally challenged" into the insult du jour. I hear people all the time use "challenged" as a synonym for stupid. It's already happening.

I think the best thing to do is to teach the person who is using the offensive language to find sympathy for developmentally challenged people. Simply having them avoid the words does absolutely nothing.
Darwin

Dayton, NJ

#74 Jun 27, 2008
blue wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm confused. Who are you siding with, Jennifer or Darwin?
There are no 'sides'. The is not lunchtime on the playground. This forum is a free flow of ideas and opinions. I respect Angelique for having the insight to understand that.
Ambi

Thiensville, WI

#75 Jun 27, 2008
I do believe that metallay retarted is still an acceptible term if used correctly. My friend who is a social worker uses the term "M.R." for her cases.
Wyndie

Meadville, PA

#76 Jun 27, 2008
About Rsvp: We responded to accept an invitation to a major party, with a sit-down dinner, dancing, the whole nine yards.

Then we had a sudden death in the immediate family. We had to quickly travel to a distant city, prepare sleeping quarters for many people, make viewing and funeral arrangements, and deal with grieving relatives and upset children. In the midst of all this turmoil, we completely failed to remember the party we'd promised to attend that weekend.

When we got home, I immediately apologized profusely by telephone, and followed up with a heartfelt letter. I hope we never have such a conflict again!
another point of view

AOL

#77 Jun 27, 2008
actually PC has always been present. In the old days it was called "MANNERS". You didnt deliberately do or say something that might hurt someones feelings or embarassed them. If you found out it did then you refrained from doing it again.
Proud Parent

Oviedo, FL

#78 Jun 27, 2008
I teach my kids that it is only ok to make fun of people behind there back. It is rude to do it in front of them where they might be insulted. Retards and midgets are funny and you should not take away our entitlement to entertain ourselves at their expense!
John T

Chicago, IL

#79 Jun 27, 2008
Konnecticut_Better_Yet wrote:
I prefer "dullard." Just as, if not a better descriptor, and who cares if you offend other dullards.
Heh-heh! I like the idea of using 'dullard'.
Scott

East Haven, CT

#80 Jun 27, 2008
Konnecticut_Better_Yet wrote:
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.
I like "ignoramus". And you know most dullards will have to go look it up.
ConstantReader

Hartford, CT

#81 Jun 27, 2008
Oh Paleeze wrote:
Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
Exactly! Perfect, thanks!
Rosco

Hartford, CT

#82 Jun 27, 2008
Proud Parent wrote:
I teach my kids that it is only ok to make fun of people behind there back. It is rude to do it in front of them where they might be insulted. Retards and midgets are funny and you should not take away our entitlement to entertain ourselves at their expense!
Yea...you're a real role model.
Kevin

Chicago, IL

#83 Jun 27, 2008
Am I no longer allowed to say that I retarded my car's timing? I guess next time I will change my car's timing in a manner consistent with a special and unique individual who is just like everybody else.
Nicole

Granby, CT

#84 Jun 27, 2008
Tim wrote:
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.
I agree with you. If they don't want the word, have rejected the terminology, have informed others that they can no longer use that word to refer to the mentally retarded, then stop complaining!!! Most people don't use retard to refer to the "mentally challenged" anymore. Instead, it's used as slang to refer to someone acting stupid or dumb.

In the end, it's really irrelevant what you call it, it's still the same no matter what terminology is applied to it. A rose, by any other name, is still a rose.....
Be Bop Deluxe

East Haven, CT

#85 Jun 27, 2008
another point of view wrote:
actually PC has always been present. In the old days it was called "MANNERS". You didnt deliberately do or say something that might hurt someones feelings or embarassed them. If you found out it did then you refrained from doing it again.
I find the term "Politically Correct" offensive.

Frankly, any word or term derived from the Latin word "politicus" makes me ill.

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