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Ending the R-word: Ban it or understand it?
Ellen Seidman and her son Max, who has cerebral palsy.
March 8th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Ending the R-word: Ban it or understand it?

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - Every time Ellen Seidman hears the word "retarded," she worries for her 9-year-old son, Max, who has cerebral palsy.

She wonders if people will ever respect him, or see him as an equal, if they associate that word with people like him, who have intellectual disabilities.

"I'm not saying that anyone who uses the word flippantly has something against people with special needs," said Seidman, a magazine editor and mom blogger. "But it is a demeaning word even if it's meant as a joke, because it spreads the idea that people who are cognitively impaired are either stupid or losers."

Seidman is not alone in her desire to see "the R-word" go the way of racial slurs once considered acceptable. More than 250,000 people have pledged online to take part in the Special Olympics' campaign to "spread the word to end the word." Many of them are expected to participate in Wednesday's annual day of action through pledge drives, fundraisers and individual acts to raise awareness.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. hamsta

    Great now the courts are going to make even more confusing for my simple minded customers when i have to use politicaly correct language to tell them the timing is retarded because of a stretched timing chain.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jake

    how retarded

    March 9, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. AMERICA 1st

    Whats wrong with the word...retarded? If it fits use it. Theres alot of people that fit that description. Most of them is in washington dc!

    March 9, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cardinal Ratzinger

    Soon the activists will also end the F -word FREEDOM!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dduke

      Here here

      Where do you draw the line?

      Again, another black fault.

      March 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |