MC’s Friendship Club has encouraged studentsto join this international movement for the past eight years.
“It’s an international movement to get people to be careful with their word choice…it is a movement we do once a year, friendship club has been on this campus about eight years ago. Three years ago we did a video, and we did one again this year,” Scott Currie, teacher and adviser of Friendship Club said. “It’s kind of just a reoccurring reminder to everybody in civilization to be careful with their choice of words.”
The goal of this movement is to end the use of this archaic word, especially due to the negative connotation it has gained in popular culture.
“…A very old fashioned way of referring to people with intellectual disabilities or developmental delays was to call people retarded and it’s not even used anymore but when its misused as a put down to say somebody is acting weird or stupid is really offensive to the special needs community,” Currie said.
It is extremely offensive to the students Friendship Club supports, and by using the ‘R’ word as a rude remark, we are hurting everyone involved.
“With MC Friendship Club we have students, that are really smart and good academically but they are on the autistic spectrum to they have social delays, so we try to make everybody feel welcomed and loved and befriended and it grates on the nerves of people who have loved ones that have special needs to hear that words misused,” Currie said.
Furthermore, the word can be seen as a put down, and is similar to other words that denoted certain races at a certain time.
“When any kind of persecuted minority is put down or abused there tends to be vocabulary that goes along with that and when it it still used it rankles people’s hearts and souls and that’s one of those things,” Currie said.
The ‘R’ word, despite originating as a medical term, has developed such a negative connotation around it that the United States Congress has eliminated its use in health, education, and labor laws. So is its use as a slang word really still appropriate?