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What's the big deal with using the word "retard"?

Discussion
Oct 24, 2012
by: CWP ISAW

John Franklin Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete and a Global Messenger for Special Olympics, wrote the two pieces attached to this discussion. He explains why using the "retard" is so hurtful to him as a man with Down Syndrome. The first piece, written in 2008, tells why he loves using his role as a Special Olympics Global Messenger to tell people that "only dumb and shallow people" use the word "retard" as a way to call someone else dumb and shallow. The second piece, written on October 23, 2012, is a open letter to a political commentator, asking her why she would use Twitter to call President Obama a "retard" and if she thought at all about the people who had been belittled by that word most of their lives.

You can also find these pieces by linking here:
http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_10351963

And here:
http://specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/an-open-letter-to-an...