English 101 CRN 26881
29 January 2015
Let’s Stop Using the “R-Word”
John C. McGinley’s Huffington Post article “Spread the Word to End the Word” is about the use of the word “Retard” as being hurtful and socially unacceptable. McGinley has a son that was born with Down syndrome, and this is what brought him to the conclusion that the word is insensitive and hurtful to the special needs community. McGinley states, “Using the R-word perpetuates a negative stigma that belittles people with special needs. And the casual nature in which the R-word is now thrown about only makes the impact even more insidious and the trickle-down effect more persistent. The R-word hurts”.(537) He goes on to explain that every American has the right to Freedom of Speech, but Americans need to be compassionate and realize that the word “retard” is not an acceptable word to use. There are many organizations that are fighting against the use of the word “Retard”. GLAAD, the NCAACP, Now and the Anti-Defamation League are a few organizations trying to rid the world of the word “Retard”. McGinley does state that he believes most people are not meaning to be mean, and possibly not aware how hurtful the word truly is. McGinley provides questions that one can ask themselves to judge if the use of the word “retard” is acceptable. First, would be to ask themselves is if you can use the word as a compliment. Second, when using the word retard can it be replaced with any other pejorative words and still have the same meaning? McGinley wants to bring awareness to Americans that the word “retard” does in fact hurt, and hopes that one day we can care about our uses of the word. Works Cited
McGinley, John C. “Spread the Word to End the Word.” Language Awareness: Reading for College Writers. 11th ed. Ed. Paul Eschholz, Alfred Rosa, and Virginia Clark. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. 535-538. Print.
Cited: McGinley, John C. “Spread the Word to End the Word.” Language Awareness: Reading for
College Writers. 11th ed. Ed. Paul Eschholz, Alfred Rosa, and Virginia Clark. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. 535-538. Print.
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