Let’s do away with the ‘r word’ – Larry Mendte

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The words retard and retarded are making a comeback.  You hear the words used on talk shows and movies more and more.  It is supposed to be funny.  It’s not.

It is a word used to hurt the most innocent among us.

Bill Maher recently used the word to describe Sarah Palin’s child, who has Down’s Syndrome.  Ann Coulter used it to describe Barack Obama.

I haven’t used the word for two decades.  After saying it on the air in San Diego, I got a heartfelt letter from a mother of a child with a mental disability who described how her child is hurt by that word by kids at school.  She told me how sweet and innocent he is and how he just doesn’t understand why other kids would be so mean.  She was concerned that if people like me used the word on television, it would give others permission to do the same.  She was worried that he son would have to deal with that word his whole life.

And so I stopped.  I didn’t want to hurt some of the most beautiful and innocent souls on earth.  Do you?  Don’t use the word.  Now that you know, if you continue using the word, you are just being cruel.

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