FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 1, 2007
Imus Controversy Spawns “R” Word Awareness Campaign
National civil rights leaders quickly stepped forward recently to denounce radio broadcaster Don Imus for racist remarks however there is another “R” word commonly used daily that is just as disparaging and humiliating to those who are affected by it.
Although very much a civil rights issue, people with intellectual disabilities (aka mental retardation) or other disabilities and their families do not have Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or any other civil rights figure as their national spokesperson to point out the injustice of this “R” Word as they do so well with the “N” Word.
As a result, a new Web site, www.theRword.org, has been launched to educate and inform the public that the use of the word “retard” or “retarded” to mean something bad is wrong. Not only because it perpetuates prejudice and discrimination towards people with intellectual disabilities, but simply because when used in an ugly way the words “retard” or “retarded” hurt individuals and families of those with intellectual disabilities.
The “R” Word Campaign is a grass roots effort to raise awareness that people with intellectual disabilities and their families are offended by the use of the words “retard” or “retarded” when used to describe something negative.
While mental retardation is not a bad word, when it’s used to describe someone or something negative it becomes another thoughtless hurtful word. People with mental retardation are not bad, their condition is not bad, the prejudice and discrimination to people with mental retardation is bad…and wrong.
The “R” Word Campaign asks everyone to stop and think before using the word ‘retard’, used thoughtlessly it hurts people with disabilities.For more information on The “R” Word Campaign go to: http://www.theRword.org