I was at Walgreens today (technically yesterday, I guess) to pick up some photos and I heard a lady with her daughter walking by me on her way out say something. I didn't catch the full sentence but I heard the words "He is just so retarded."
I've never been so disgusted by a stranger. And while I'll admit that Liberty isn't the classiest town (and there's no use in denying it, we've got like 12 banks) and that some of the "kids" in this town aren't the most mature, but I was incredibly dumb founded that a middle-aged woman, in front of an impressionable child, say a word in such a demeaning and ignorant context.
Sometimes you slip up. We're human. Everyone makes mistakes, I get it. I'm guilty of slipping up too. But it's the fact that people throw the word around like it doesn't mean anything that gets my blood boiling.
If there's anything MASC taught me, it's that you should respect and love everyone no matter their cognitive level, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc.
Not tolerate. I hate that word. Tolerance. Saying you "tolerate" someone implies that they are beneath you, but you'll let them continue their mediocre way of living. You tolerate a bad attitude. You tolerate body odor. You don't tolerate someone being something they didn't ask for.
Because I won't deny that a mental handicap is something that most people wouldn't want. You don't sit in your mother's womb and say "Yeah. I think I'll be handicapped."
Some people will argue that the R-word is a valid medical term, and I can't deny that at one point it was.
However, the fifth (and most recent) edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states has since replaced the phrase "mental retardation" with the term "intellectual disability disorder."
And for good reason.
The website www.r-word.org campaigns and asks for people to pledge that they will eliminate the R-word from their vocabulary, and here's a few reasons why (that I totally stole off of their site and I hope they don't mind because I can't word it any better than they did):