Wednesday, July 17, 2013

There Is a Proper Use of the Word “Retarded”, by Alec Frazier


The R word should never, ever be used to refer to the disabled!!!!

While I agree the R word should never, ever  be used to refer to the disabled, it has gained a new meaning in society, to mean “stupid. Having taken a few linguistics classes, I accept this new meaning, so long as it is never, ever directed at the disabled. I know some will disagree with me, but I still believe the R word is not to be used to refer to the disabled. Let me explain.

Retarded has come to mean stupid, slowed. I would never, ever dream of referring to someone as retarded because they are neurodiverse. But I refer to stupid, stupid neurotypicals as retarded. And some people are very, very stupid. I believe that, linguistically, rebranding of words happens over time. I don’t mean that those said people are intellectually disabled. I mean those people are stupid. In order to be part of the world, we need to be able to use common terminology, like retarded, but use it so that it is not meant to insult the intellectually disabled. We in the autistic community may be neurodiverse, but that does not mean we should be willing to be ostracized by not using common terminology. Nevertheless, I will never, ever use the word in my advocacy endeavors. I repeat: the word retarded should never be used to refer to the disabled, and should never be used in a professional capacity.

As you all know, I have several disabilities. See my post, “My Diagnoses”. For the record, I have been slurred by the R word in the past myself. Many will tell you that the ultimate sign of overcoming an insult is re-branding it to have new meaning. I accept that certain people and organizations will not tolerate my point of view, and I have no desire to work with people who would limit something I say in my private time that is not meant to be discriminatory and has no bearing on my professional life aside from connections they choose to construct. I have tried very hard to be objective and see something wrong with using the R word in this way. Since my use of the R word does not refer to the disabled, I fail to see a problem with it. Any offense it may have to the disabled is only perceived, not intended.

Everyone has a right to an opinion! If you disagree with mine, please screencap my post! This blog has nothing to do with my places of employment, and my employers will tell you just that.