Dad Pleas With Parents to Stop Using the 'R-Word' (VIDEO)

Inspiring 27

robb scottYou know how your entire perspective on life changes when you become a parent? And how that sea change extends to even the most seemingly trivial of things, like ... words? For example, I'm not the most politically correct person in the world, but I'll never forget the way my blood ran cold when a young woman who happened to be ringing up my purchases at the store looked at my then-3-month-old (half-Korean) daughter and made a remark about her adorably "Chinky" eyes. I'm sorry, whaaaa?! 

Point is, having kids makes us more sensitive, more aware, to terms we may have once brushed off as "harmless." That's what happened to Robb Scott when his son was born with Down syndrome -- he realized that the word "retard" was not, in fact, the throwaway insult he once tossed around "obliviously." 

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Now Scott has created a spoken word video both to chronicle his personal growth and reach out to other parents who may or may not understand that "words aren't afterthoughts/they're weapons, used for good or not":

Powerful, right? Faced with this intensely emotional plea, I have to confess, I'm definitely someone who has used the word "retard" unthinkingly -- never in reference to an actual person with Down syndrome, of course, but that hardly matters. And while part of me believes that words only have the power we give them (which is why I don't freak out when my kids swear in private -- it's all semantics, isn't it?), to use a word like "retard" is hardly worth it when the potential for harm and hurt is so great. So this video is a welcome and necessary reminder, I think, to all of us -- we must choose our words wisely, particularly when the feelings of children are at stake.

Do you ever use the "R" word without thinking?


Image via Robb Scott Drawings/YouTube

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nekoy... nekoyukidoll

as someone who was constantly called that growing up by many bullies, I defiantly try and not use words like the r-word since I know from personal experience how hurtful words can be, even if they aren't intended to be.

the4m... the4mutts

Nope. I use it with complete awareness.

I will not censor myself just because some random person in public might hear what I said, and get offended. If you're so offended by people you dont even know, then YOU'RE the problem, not them.

Its fine to have a talk with those close to you, and tell them certain things offend you, and hope they take it to heart. And if I had a developmentally challenged friend/relative, I would make an effort to watch my mouth, but only around them, and only something serious. Not like "please dont say hell" or some nonsense. But Im not going to change my entire vocabulary, on the off chance that some stranger is listening to me.

casan... casanderson1

The medical term is retardation....isn't it? Even if it wasn't, sticks and stones people! They are words...

nonmember avatar Rachel

@the4mutts I love your comments. You're like my soul sister!

nonmember avatar Alix Snow

SO following the commenters line of thought, we should be insulting and others around us shoudl deal. Good..say the N word and see what happens. I mean after all, get a thick skin, it's just words..

SO when a kid calls your kid stupid,or ugly or anything laugh..its just words..

after all sticks and stones

epuffer epuffer

i agree with @the4mutts

nonmember avatar Dawn

Just words huh? Words are and can be very powerful things. Yes, retardation is a clinical term used to describe someone who has diminished mental capabilities. However, calling people "retard, retarded, tard" etc is just so disrespectful I am astounded that people think it is ok to just throw that term around. Mentally challenged people don't choose to be that way, they are born that way, or something happened to make them that way. It is cruel to use a medical term in a derogatory way. Change your vocabulary for a stranger? How about change your vocabulary because it is the classy thing to do? Why would someone just watch what they say when they are around people who are challenged? By saying that you obviously know that it is derogatory and rude. It is not ok to use the term retarded or any form of that word in a derogatory way. It isn't just a word for people who are mentally retarded, it is their way of life.

nonmember avatar Acuity

It's refreshing to know there are people who will not censor themselves, even armed with the knowledge that certain words hurt others, that language has power. I am so glad there are children being taught that words have no meaning, and that using slang like r*****, f**, n***, c*** can be used without any thought, that it's fine to call someone fat, ugly, small minded, stupid. I look forward to a generation that stops thinking of others and only thinks of themselves. Compassion and empathy are overrated anyway.

grayc... graycalico

A big part of what separates humans from the rest of the animals is our ability to speak and use language. To say words don't matter is so ignorant.

the4m... the4mutts

People have called my kids names. Retarded, stupid, mutts, worthless, wetbacks....

And you know what my kids do? They ignore it. Because we have thick skin. Mutts became an endearing nick name after my mom used it in a derogatory manner to my kids. (She was not allowed around my children, she showed up shouting and acting like a dumb cunt for no reason) They didnt even know what it meant. When I told them later, they laughed and said "YEP! WE'RE MUTTS!"

And I tell them all the time that "Adventure time is tarded" and other assorted things. We also dont run around calling people names for no reason. But if I say something is tarded, and some random person doesnt like it, then tough crap! What strangers think of us, doesnt matter. If I care about a person, or their opinion, I will consider their side, and possibly alter my actions. Possibly not. But strangers dont get to sit and worry about what Im saying or doing. They should just mind their own business and not eavesdrop on other people's conversations.

As for class? I honestly couldnt care less. Im me. If Im not classy enough for the general public, well, my ass is wide enough for them all to kiss.

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