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Thread: Legislating Language

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    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Default Legislating Language

    California State Senator Fran Pavley introduced a bill (SB 1381) to eliminate all references to "mental retardation" (MR) and "mentally retarded" from California's law books. She proposes to change the term to "intellectual disabilities (ID)."

    At least 44 other states have signed similar legislation, including Ohio, which redundantly used MR in conjunction with the term "developmental disabilities (DD)."

    While this long overdue semantic alteration is a positive step, its effect on the use of the "R-word" among the general population will likely be minimal. The law does not mandate the elimination of the word from society, as that would be a violation of free speech.

    The law also does not and cannot dictate a change of attitude or behavior toward persons with ID/DD.

    In lieu of actually saying the R-word, comedians now insert "the R-word" in their routines. Another substitute for the slur is "using the short bus." Tagging "-tard" at the end of any insulting word has become a trend on the internet in recent years.

    Demeaning persons with DD is still fodder for an easy, cheap laugh. And no law is going to change that.

    The three most common euphemisms for our most despicable derogatory terms: The N-word, the C-word, and the R-word. Dehumanizing a race, a gender, and more than 7 million people with DD, all of whom have been and continue to be oppressed. What does that say about us as a society?

    There should be no place in a civilized society for any of these terms or their Initial-word equivalents, nor the pervasive attitudes attendant to their usage. Degrading and devaluing other human beings hurts everyone.

    We legislate against hate and discrimination, while walking the fine line we call free speech.

    Freedom of speech should include freedom from speech. We should all be free from harmful verbal attacks and ridicule.

    Legislating the language of our laws may not result in an immediate impact on the language used by the public, but it is a recognition that some words can be used as weapons. We can only hope that the long term results will cause people to think before they speak.



    For More Information:


    California

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/cali...se-r-word.html

    Ohio

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stor...1_33DJ3SH.html
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    [QUOTE=Earth Mother 2 Angels;11111]California State Senator Fran Pavley introduced a bill (SB 1381) to eliminate all references to "mental retardation" (MR) and "mentally retarded" from California's law books. She proposes to change the term to "intellectual disabilities (ID)."



    Food for thought


    Ending the R-word: Ban it or understand it?

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/07/living...tml?hpt=hp_bn8

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    Default Ending the R-word: Ban it or understand it?


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