So, now that it's out there, let's not hear it again.
There is a campaign going right now called "Spread the word to stop the word". The main crux behind it is that we all know that there are words out there that you just don't say. Racist words, sexist words, homophobic words. Words that, when you say them, you know what you are saying. You know what it means if the "wrong" person hears you saying it. Words that hurt, words that scar.
Unfortunately, alot of people don't feel that way about the R word.
Now, I am a complete hypocrite. I used to use that word. Not a lot, but I did. I still do, on occasion. It slips out. But now, I know the impact of that word.
I remember the first time I realized that Sebastian is what most people used to call "mentally retarded." I was shocked. I don't remember what it was that made me realize it. I read something, or heard something. Whatever it was, it just clicked. Maybe I am naive or stupid or slow. But I honestly never thought about it that way. I remembered sitting in my car, behind the wheel, with my face in my hands. I just cried and cried. It hurt to breathe. My little boy was retarded?? No, no way. He's autistic. He is developmentally delayed. He's not retarded.
But then I thought about it. What is the difference between being retarded and being autistic? Why I am proud of my autistic son, and willing to talk to anyone about it but I am devestated and heartbroken at the idea of mental retardation? He is still the same kid, it's just a different label.
That was the day I really, really understood what words can do. I carry those scars. I remember that hurt.
I don't use the R word anymore, because I know what it can do.
So, if you want to, you can go to the link above and take the pledge. It means that you won't use the R word anymore. It means that you know "retard" is the same as nigger, faggot or cunt. It means that you are a good person, and that you care.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new R word is RESPECT."