Let's ban use of the word "retarded" as an insult here.

In light of an offensive flier distributed in Tennessee, the chairman and CEO of Special Olympics has made the following statement:

Now, I don’t want to get into the politics involved here. I do think, though, that Mr. Shriver (son of Sarge Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver) is absolutely correct, and that the use of the word “retarded” in this way is offensive. In fact, I believe it constitutes hate speech, which is banned on this board.

It is used, though, and used frequently, by Dopers across the political spectrum. I’d like to see a rule change, so that it is never seen again without consequence.

On a board devoted to fighting ignorance, there’s no place for language as ignorant as this.




Definitely not, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never even pulled the “retard card” out here in the pit, so I’m not defending the use of it as an insult. I am pretty fucking sick and tired of “banning” this or that, both here and in real life, however.

If you consider retard hate speech, then I think we need to go and reconsider every single insult ever bandied about in the pit, because sho’nuff, it’ll offend someone or another.


Certainly. May I assume I can count on your support in my own efforts to ban the words “squaw” and “niggardly”?

Nope, sorrry, I lwant to retain “retarded” as a slur on my opponents in the Pit. Beisdes, the advocates for the retarded aren’t using the word anymore (they [prefer “mentally challenged”). Besides, it’s amusing that a word that was originally used as a euphemism for the previous generation of clinical terms that became pejoratives–“moron,” “cretin,” abd “imbecile”–has itself become viewed as a term of abuse instead of a designation for people with less developed cognition, like Dubya.

That opinion is sooo gay.

Ban it as a slur.

I disagree with banning “retarded” as an insult. I think posters who are offended by it should feel free to pit people who use it, and other posters can pile on as high as they want. However, to ban every potentially offensive word from the board is to limit discourse and discussion, and is contrary to the goal of fighting ignorance.

Oh, pish tosh–if we ban every derogatory word, pretty soon we’ll be unable to say anything at all.

Bush is mentally challenged.
Bush has serious cognitive defects.
Bush is a a retard.

I like the pungency of the third choice.

Besides, it isn’t like the retarded will be bothered because they can’t read.

It is a word. That is all. While you don’t have a choice regarding what others say, you do have a choice regarding your reaction. Banning certain words because x or y finds them offensive is foolish, and to accede to those demands leaves us collectively at a loss. Shall we pass the OED around the room and let all present redline those entries which are bothersome?

Why is retarded so upsetting to you? To retard the timing of an engine means that the spark is sent after top dead center. Many towns post signs prohibiting the use of brake retarders within their confines. A brake retarder slows the speed of a truck. Retard=slow or make late. Is that an incorrect assessment?

I completely agree. I also hope that the scumbags who printed the flyers get their asses nailed to the wall. A similar instance of this recently turned out to be a “dirty trick” by the Republican National Committee, and the m.o. is almost identical to that used by Karl Rove in a 1996 election. See here and here.

Mr. Moto, I assume any subsequent information that comes to light about who is responsible for this won’t change your indignance, right?


Nope. I don’t know if I’ve even used the word here as an insult, either.

Sounds like our fearless leader to me.

Is seems to me very authoritarian to ban words from being used, for any reason.
In fact, are any words currently banned on the SDMB?

You do know what niggardly means, right? Or am I being whoosed?

That’s why I specifically mentioned banning the use of the word as an insult only.

Look, I have family members with cognitive disabilities, as well as several others who work with these folks in social service programs. One of my cousins helps teach mentally retarded parents how to care for their children better.

Comparing their condition to the abilities of people you simply don’t care for belittles them as citizens. I don’t welcome this one bit.

This board is moderated for a reason - to keep discussions civil. I don’t think this word belongs in civil conversation, even in the Pit.

Yes, he knows, it’s a joke.

I think Sam summed up my feelings nicely.

Fucking bubblewrap world.

You are, of course, being whooshed. Squaw doesn’t mean what people think it means either.

My indignance won’t change. This sort of thing has no business in political discourse, or civilized discussion at all.

It’s language used by kids on a playground. We can do better.

The only downside I can see to banning the use of “retarded” is that Brutus will have nothing he can use as a retort.

Wait, did I say “downside”? :wink: