Rally to ban word ‘retard’ in Massachusetts
BOSTON (myfoxtampabay) - Activist lined up Tuesday to protest what they sat is an extremely offensive word: “retarded.”
They say it is very offensive to a lot of people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Best Buddies and Special Olympics are among the groups behind the campaign to “spread the word to end the word.”
In Massachussetts, they are asking lawmakers to sign a pledge to stop using the “R-word” in anticipation of a national day of awareness this Wednesday.
â€œI would take the pledge never to use it. As much as it can be used in casual conversation, it’s extremely hurtfulâ€ said Clarissa Lion from Boston
Jonah Peppiatt from Cambridge said â€œIf you have an epithet that a large group of people is offended by, I don’t think you should use it.â€
Even the state has abandoned it.
“The Department of Mental Retardation” has changed its name to the “Department of Developmental Services.”
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick addressed the change by saying â€œIt’s a simple gesture in the direction of acknowledging that people want respect shown.â€
So is the r-word really set to become the next “dirty word?” Activists here say they won’t stop trying until people stop using it.
This all comes several months after White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel used the offensive word to describe an ad campaign.