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Thursday, 29 September 2011

The R-Word Hurts People

Check out this simple-but-powerful video about the R-word. Sometimes we've got no idea
who our words hurt.

http://downsdad.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/a-girl-speaks-out-for-her-brother-about-retarded/

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.

2 comments:

  1. I can comment! Woo! I wanted to say that this will be a long journey, and we won't, I believe, ever 'ban' the word, but there are plenty of highlights that we can hit, and many people whose attitudes we can positively change just by bringing it to their attention to their carelessness. Forget the cruel ones. You won't change them ever, more's the pity, but the greater number are just careless. Posts like this can help there. I would have been one of the careless until just four years ago, so I still allow for people's lack of understanding through lack of meaningful experience. My view anyhoo.

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  2. I think you're right, Nick. The people who are cruel are...going to be cruel, no matter what they hear. I really like this video because it shows just how strongly the word can affect people who are even just close to someone with an intellectual disability. It's a powerful message for those that are just careless. I allow for that too - just as I allow for careless words from people from people that haven't had much experience with those with physical disabilities. But I also like to give people a bit of a jolt now and then, because - I'm just like that, lol.

    Thanks for persevering and commenting! :)

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