Friends, I need to talk to you about something very important. It’s about the R-word.
But I want to start by telling you about Juliet. Juliet is a beautiful little girl in Ella’s class. She has a lively spirit and yet, is compassionate and caring. The girl has it going on, if you know what I mean. So how is it that Ella and Juliet are best friends – an intelligent, beautiful, charismatic girl and a child with poor speech, delayed motor development and a cognitive disability? Let me tell you. It is because friendship sees past the differences and focuses on the person. Juliet doesn’t see the things that I just mentioned. Instead, she sees a friend who likes to play, loves her unconditionally and someone she can confidently tell her secrets to. Juliet would never call Ella a retard.
Retard, or the r-word, as we refer to it, is exclusive, derogatory and it is offensive
Retard, or the r-word, as we refer to it, is exclusive, derogatory and it is offensive and yet, even the kindest of people will use it in speech without a second thought.
You know what I am talking about. When something isn’t as it should be, some people will refer to it as “retarded”. But what they are really saying is that Ella isn’t as she should be. That there is something wrong with her, that she is slow, that she should be fixed, is crazy or that she is stupid. Juliet would never call Ella retarded because she doesn’t believe Ella to be any of those things – she thinks Ella is perfect just the way she is and do you know what? So do I.
Today is the day to spread the word to end the word. Visit r-word.org and take the pledge to end the R-word. If you hear a friend say it, call them on it. If you say it, apologize. The r-word, above all, is hurtful. It is hurtful to Ella, to me and to so many other people. Not sure what to replace it with? Don’t worry, WikiHow has an article for that or, just buy a dictionary.
Let’s spread the word to end the word. Please Like, Share and Tweet this post!
Ella, Juliet and I thank you!