While searching the web today, I came across a very powerful and personal issue. I was visiting Ragan's PR Daily Web site when I found, “PR Campaign launches to curb the “R-word,” and I knew this is what I wanted to discuss with all my followers.
I have two startling facts for you: the word ‘r*tard’ is tweeted once every three seconds – that amounts to more than 24,000 tweets a day. The number of tweets with ‘r*tard’ just this week is already at 12,233.
To those of you who know me well, you know that I have a mentally handicapped older brother, Andy (I like to call him Angus). Angus and I are very close in age, only a year and a half apart. He has many different disorders, including mild mental retardation, ADHD and bipolar disorder. Andy loves sports and excels in the Special Olympics basketball, softball and soccer programs, and works three days a week at an office near our home. Even though Andy’s I.Q. is only somewhere in the sixties and he will never be able to read or write, that doesn’t make him any less of a person or a ‘r*tard’ by any means.
Therefore, you will never catch me saying that awful R-word. It does upset me that people use it in their everyday language, and not even think of what it really means to families and friends of ones with disabilities.
This is why I was so excited when I came across this campaign, created by MyLifeWay, an Illinois-based organization. They created The Social Challenge which features tweets containing the R-word and encourages people to reply to the offending tweets and asks them to check out the Web site, which is also a forum for people to share their personal stories and connect with one another. Advocates also get out in the community to raise awareness.
I encourage all of you to check out this Web site and take the pledge to never tweet or say the awful R-word.
|Angus and I at my cousin's wedding this past summer!|