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Why ‘retarded’ deserves to be retired

by on Mar.10, 2014, under Opinion

 

 

 

 

 

At the Los Angeles Times, I discuss why the word "retarded" deserves to be retired:

Words lead to action, and while trading one word for another won't change reality overnight, it can help usher in an new era. Consider the early 20th century, when the American Breeders Assn. studied how best to cut off the "defective germ-plasm" of the U.S. population. Consider the later 20th century when the "mentally retarded" were kept out of sight and mind in nightmarish institutions like the Willowbrook State School In the 21st century, thousands of Americans with "intellectual disabilities" are organizing politically for the first time, finding their voices and advocating for their right to dignity and respect, including  that has tormented them for years."