The Case Against Banning The Word Retard Essay

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Words can be hurtful, some leave a little sting and others can feel like huge daggers. One of those dagger words to many is the word retarded other wise known as the “R” word. “It’s not that I’ve come to praise the word “retard” I just don’t think we should bury it” argues Professor Christopher Fairman from Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, in his article “The Case Against Banning the word ‘retard’”. While the word retarded is not the problem, Fairman’s argument ends up ridiculous and we should absolutely ban the word because the real problem lies in the meaning behind the word, the ability to invoke strong emotions, and the negativity following its use. Of all things Fairman argues, he chooses to battle against the Special …show more content…
Yet, he fails. One paragraph he tells us the history of mental illness, then just two paragraphs later he completely contradicts himself. Fairman wrote, “for centuries, mental illness and disabilities. . . were thought to be the work of devils and demons. . . shame was often attached to individuals and their families.” Just two paragraphs following Fairman writes, “The N-word invokes some of the foulest chapters in our nations history: “retard” however harsh, pales in comparison.” Downright negating himself both words portray extremely foul chapters in America’s history. He leaves us to wonder about his ethics and creditability on the subject matter. Take a look at the world history of the word “R” word and just see if it does not “Invoke” some enormously foul …show more content…
Fairman maintains, “Invariably, negative connotations materialize around what ever new word is used.” He debates how the “r” word was originally used to take place of the insulting word idiot, yet still the word retarded has been turned into a negative insulting word. Then the phrase “intellectual disability” became the new official diagnosis. In 2010 the family of Rosa Marcellino a little girl with Downs Syndrome helped to pass “Rosas Law… mandated that “intellectual disability” replace “mental retardation” in many areas of federal government” (Hallahan 86). When Fairman remarks, “Idiot becomes an insult and gives way to retardation, which in turn suffers the same fate, leading to intellectual disability” he plummets back down the slope. He implies here, that the new diagnosing term of intellectually disabled will soon in turn be used as an insulting expression and become demeaning as well. Seriously? Is he delusional? Who on earth is going to be like, “hey dude you look intellectually disabled in that hat”, or “man that commercial was so intellectually disabled.”? How ridiculous, not only is it a long phrase, but is extremely specific while almost self explanatory. Take a look at the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities legal definition of “Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations in both

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