Banning The R-Word Analysis

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Banning the R-word In analyzing two essay’s about banning the word retarded, “A Movie, a Word, and My Family’s Battle” by Patricia E. Bauer and “The Case against Banning the Word Retarded” by Christopher M. Fairman. While Bauer supports the banning of the R-word, Fairman states his case about not banning words. If you call people names that would dehumanize another community of individuals, you need to keep it to yourself, because ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.’

The word retarded is considered a derogatory word toward individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. Bauer is a mother of a daughter that has Down Syndrome, who is wanting to ban the R-word. She is able to see how hurtful the R-word can be toward someone with a disability. In one instance, some kids point to her daughter, Margaret, and call her ‘retarded’, “Margaret wilted. Her chin trembled” (Bauer 443). This is one instance that will happen to her for the rest of her life. Individuals with disabilities are victims of bullying and abuse. Bauer uses the statistic from University of Massachusetts, which found that “Almost half of the young people surveyed wouldn’t want to sit next to a student like Margaret on a school bus” (Bauer 445). That statistic is appalling. Students wouldn’t even want to sit next to their classmate who has Down Syndrome or a different intellectual disability. Another shocking fact that Bauer uses is, “More than half of parent’s didn’t want such
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R-word.org: ‘I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the R-word’” (Fairman 446). He shows how many people are for banning the word, but then states how he is against banning the word. Fairman goes on to stating how the R-word is similar to other hurtful words that were once the ‘normal’ way to address
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