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Special Olympics takes issue with movie's use of ‘r-word'

By Becky Bruce  |  Posted Aug 12th, 2008 @ 1:05pm



 

You wouldn't say the "n-word" in public, so Special Olympics wants to know why would you say the "r-word?" It's part of the organization's new campaign to clean up our speech.

The "r-word" is retard, and Special Olympics is just one of many groups arguing it should never cross our lips.

Utah Special Olympics President and CEO J.D. Donnelly says it doesn't matter what the context is. "So many people just use it casually and don't think that it's bad, when it actually has a real negative reflection on people with disabilities," he said.

The movie "Tropic Thunder" helped launch the campaign by poking fun at the intellectually disabled in a discussion about going, quote: "full retard."

Donnelly says it's not funny. "This is something that they were dealt with in life, and they have to be able to overcome it. And it's just rude to talk about people that way," he said.

On the Web site r-word.org retard is described as hate speech. It gives users a chance to sign a pledge to stop using the word.

E-mail: bbruce@ksl.com

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