Tuesday, January 27, 2009
How do you handle people using the word "retarded" in a group of friends? Is there a lighthearted way to let someone know they're being offensive? When I say nothing, I feel kind of scummy. If I speak up, I'm afraid I'll start a big messy debate because the other person doesn't understand why it's a big deal. My fiancee points out that if you try to force someone to stop using a word, they miss the message even if it's the right one. He suggests apologizing for bringing up the subject and then telling them that "retarded" is actually an offensive word and letting the person take it from there. I like the idea of Dave's cards, but they imply that people who use the word "retard" are bigots. I do not believe this to always be true. I used to use the word "retarded." I didn't realize how deeply it cut people. When I started reading blogs, it drove the point home and I made a deliberate effort to cut the word out of my vocabulary. If a person uses the word with the intention to hurt others, then I believe that person is cruel. If a person uses the word because they simply don't realize it's offensive, I don't think they should be outright condemned. What do you think?