Hey there HaNegev!
My name is Jessie Feinstein and I’m the Regional Social Action Chair as well as Pines Chapter President! This past Wednesday was the 5th anniversary of the international campaign “Spread the Word to End the Word”. Supported by Special Olympics and Best Buddies, Spread the Word to End the Word is dedicated to educating people about the negative effects of using the word “retard(ed)” as a derogatory term. So many people, especially high schoolers say this word all the time without really knowing what they’re saying. Let’s think about it, when you say something like, “Wow that’s retarded” or “You’re acting like such retard,” you’re using the r-word as a synonym for “stupid” or “dumb”. The r-word used to be used as a medical term to describe people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, but it is now outdated in the medical and legal worlds.Using the r-word is hurtful to people with disabilities and to people who love others with disabilities. It’s exclusive, offensive, and derogatory. As an extremely involved member of Best Buddies myself, it hurts me every time I hear someone say it even if they didn’t mean to.HaNegev, I challenge YOU to take action right now. Here’s how you can get involved:
- Stop using the r-word in your every day language. Just use a different word.
- Take the pledge right now at http://r-word.org/r-word-pledge.aspx and join the movement.
- Next time someone uses the r-word, explain to them what they are really saying and encourage them to take the pledge, too!Words really can hurt and this is our chance to start being sensitive to other people by using respectful language. The only r-word that we should be using is “respect”.Waddle Like it’s Hot,
Jessie FeinsteinPines Chapter President 2013-2014HaNegev Regional Social Action Chair 2013-2014