There’s a word that I frequently hear whenever I’m teaching. I always put a stop to it, asking the student not to use it again, and then we move on. I’m consistent with this practice, so it hasn’t been a huge problem with my students. If they ask why, I simply explain that I think it’s hate speech and that there are simply no good reasons to call anyone or anything by that title.
I’m talking, of course, of the word “retard.” I remember being called this word myself many times as a teenager. It was a relatively common insult, and I was just different enough to be called this with significant frequency.
My main problem with this word is…it just isn’t kind. It isn’t kind to whoever you are calling that, and it seriously isn’t kind to anyone who historically falls into that category. Anyone who is born or develops intellectual delays in their lifetime already have to face serious hardships. These hardships include a lack of dependence, a struggle to conform socially, and a lack of career choices. Please don’t add onto this by mocking individuals who literally can’t help how they are. When you belittle people who already got dealt a shit deal at birth, you’re not making yourself seem smarter in comparison. Believe me.
I only say all this because I’m tired of adults saying this word, too. Teenagers, I can tell to stop. I tell adults to stop, too (like I said, I’m a consistent person). They’re just less likely to listen.