Changing a Word To Benefit Everyone
Changing a Word
To Benefit Everyone
My mother worked at Sandhills Children's Center, a developmental day-care center that provides -inclusive services to children with special needs. So I have been around children with different levels of -abilities since before I could walk.
The "R-word" (retarded) was never part of my vocabulary. As a child, I remember friends using it, but I never got the significance of how hurtful and derogatory it could be until I was an adult and working for First In Families and The Arc.
I was at Carowinds with a group for one of the many social/recreational activities The Arc offers throughout the year. A few of us were standing in line for one of the rides, behind a group of teenagers who were joking around when one of the kids called another one the R-word.
The executive director of The Arc, Wendy Russell, politely looked at the group and said, "You really shouldn't use that word. It is mean and offensive to people with disabilities." Nothing more was said.
That had a tremendous impact on me because I was with an individual who had a disability and understood what they were calling each other.
For most people, the use of the R-word isn't meant to be offensive, but in fact it is hate speech. Like many other derogatory and dehumanizing terms, it sets the stage for more severe outlets for prejudice, harm and abuse. Our language reflects how we think, and how we think affects our actions toward people.
Ever since that day at Carowinds, I set as one of my personal goals to -educate people about not using the R-word. If I can get just one person to have that awareness and to make that change then I consider that a success.
Better, Not Less
No, I don't want less government, but I do want better government and am working with two nonpartisan organizations toward that end.
As a 20-year full-time resident of Southern Pines who moved here after working 32 years in Japan, I am an unaffiliated voter who voted Republican in the last election cycle.
Well over 40 years ago, I joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and just under 20 years ago, I joined the League of Women Voters. Both of these organizations welcome -members of any social identity to work to improve government. I have one friend now active in the tea party movement who was a member of the league.
I acknowledge two good things that came with the Reagan presidency. One, many have learned to -pronounce my name correctly. Also, President Reagan helped bring the Berlin Wall down, though less then some Republican friends claim.
This Land Is Their Land
I agree with Thomas Tidd's -column, "Israel Is Sorely Trying U.S. Patience" (April 7). How dare Israel build on its own land? So what if its claim to the land go back to Moses and the prophets So what if it won wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and as victors took the land of its ancestors back from the Arabs? Gosh, America would never do anything like that to the Native Americans, right?
What right do the Israelis have to build more units for Jews in their own tiny country when the Arabs only have a billion miles of land in which they could resettle their brethren? Force the Jews out of Sweden, Finland, France, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Russia, Poland, etc., and let them go to Israel Just don't allow them to build any houses. Let them sleep in the streets.
Thank you, Mr. Tidd, for opening my eyes to the real problem country in the Middle East.
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