Check out this simple-but-powerful video about the R-word. Sometimes we've got no idea
who our words hurt.
If you're ready, take the pledge at http://www.r-word.org/ to stop using the R-word. It's nice to see people make a personal commitment to try and stop using the R-word.
I'd never argue that the word should be banned. I don't believe in banning people from using words. I'd like to think that people would just care enough to voluntarily stop using words that offend large groups of people. And I've already talked about how I can see the points of people on both sides of this issue. Ultimately words are just words.
However, the words we use do ultimately impact how people see us, and they say a lot about our intentions. It's difficult to insist that you believe that you believe in communities where everyone can live in dignity and participate to the fully extent possible if you believe it's okay to use language that's become negatively loaded and that pertains to groups that you're trying to make feel welcome.
Words of wisdom to finish with; I haven't been able to find a source. The bolding is mine.
Watch you thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become your character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.