Spread the Word, Baby

 

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Today is about education. Education on one very specific topic. It’s very simple. So here it is.

DO NOT USE THE WORD RETARD. EVER.

So simple. And I imagine most of you have already taken it out of your vocabulary. By the simple fact you are a part of our storytelling journey here at The Mango Memoirs, you have witnessed life with our little Samuel. He is an adventurer, a comedian, a doll, a little brother, a preschooler. He is determined, energetic, mischievous, sometimes moody, and always so stinking adorable. We know he is so many things, but there is one thing he is not. He is NOT that ugly R word.

I am so passionate about this message. I’ve always thought it was a pretty crappy word, but now that I am a part of an absolutely incredible community of individuals who could potentially be labeled with that horrid word, I am so much more vocal about it. Please, please, please don’t use it. Not to describe a person, or a dog, or a bag of macaroni noodles that just spilled all over the floor. Just don’t ever.

Why? Well, if we must go there, let me tell you. For a whole lot of years, that word has been used in an incredibly derogatory way to label a person who is slow or who has intellectual disabilities. Yes, it once served a medical purpose, but just as words describing other people groups have been used and then abused, the word retard is no longer an appropriate term. It is hurtful on many levels.

Thank you so much for not using the word and for gently telling your friends not to use it. Let’s watch it go extinct. Seriously, that would make this mama so very happy.


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