At the Washington Post’s “On Faith” site, Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver kicks off “Spread the Word to End the Word.” The campaign promotes acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities and encourages people to stop using the derogatory word “retard.”
… humiliation, regardless of intent, is painful. And for some reason, when this community comes knocking on the door of rights and dignity, a huge swath of the general public says “no.” Free speech is sacred! Stop the thought police!
But the movement perseveres. Our version of civil rights soldiers, young people with and without intellectual disabilities, are challenging people to change.
… It’s not an attack on free speech but an invitation to humiliation- free living. The law won’t tell you what you can and can’t say, but your neighbor can tell you what hurts. After that, it’s up to you.