The “R” word. Back in the day, it may have been “cool” to use it as slang. As a woman with a well-rounded vocabulary, that does not get offended easily, I find using any combination of the R word extremely offensive. I don’t like hearing someone called retarded. Nothing makes me lose respect for someone faster than not only hearing that world, but also the justification of that word. Nothing justifies using it. It’s an old, outdated term used for being a dick and an uneducated term for those with mental, or intellectual disabilities. Why does this boil my blood?
Not only do I have a kid on the spectrum, but I have a passion for and work with people of special needs. I work with all levels of needs from mental illness along with physical, intellectual and developmental disabled adults. As a person in the field, you grow an attachment to the people you are caring for. It is always professional, but it is your job to know their needs, be in tune to their needs and advocate for them. It is my job to help them live the best life they can have by reaching goals to become and be as independent as possible, teach living skills, and assist them in areas they are unable. As a person who has a passion for working with those who have extra needs, I can’t stand to hear the word. It’s offensive. To you it may just be a word. To me, I see faces. I see the face of my child, or the individuals that I work with and I can’t imagine anyone calling any of them something so horrific. Then to toss it around as if its nothing because “dummy” just isn’t cutting it pisses me off more. Grow your vocabulary. When you get to a point that nothing is off-limits, you have reached a new low. I like dim-witted ignoramus rather than such a hurtful term used as slang. Thankfully, my friends don’t use that word around me.
So knowing this information about me, you can imagine my reaction to the next scenario. I was in a training meeting, and this dude was talking to a fellow coworker about non work junk and he lets the R-word out. The big squeeze was there and fired him on the spot. How can you do the job we do, if that word is in your vocabulary. To say I was amused at the instant firing, and may have laughed inappropriately was an under-statment. Props to the big man for understanding that he wasn’t a good “fit.”
Getting off my soap box. There you have it folks. The R-words offensive. Don’t use it. If you get fired for using it, I will virtually laugh at you.