Spread the Word


Spread the Word to End the Word

A personal message from John C. McGinley

Hi, I’m John C. McGinley. I’m an ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society, and today I’m teaming up with Special Olympics to bring you a message that’s important to me.

John C. McGinley and his son
John C. McGinley and his son, Max

So many times in life you are asked to change…

Change your clothes. Change lanes. Change jobs. Change the sheets. Change flights. Change your tune. Change horses midstream. Change your latitudes and your attitudes!

Change, and the ability to adapt, is to the human condition as air is to the lungs. We change, and in the doing, we thrive!

In fact, we just elected a president who promised, above all else, to “change.”

What if, on March 31, you elected to change the way you use the words “retard” and “retarded”?

Hardly seems like the largest of sacrifices. Not when you consider the changes in language that you have, so willingly, already elected to integrate into your vernacular. You no longer use the words nigger, or kike, or faggot, or jap, or kraut, or mick, or wop.

Why would you? Why on earth would you? Those are all words that hurt. Those are all racial and ethnic slurs and epithets that perpetuate negative stigmas. They are painful! And that is not okay. It is wrong to pain people with your language. Especially, when you have already been made aware of your oral transgression’s impact.

Make no mistake about it: WORDS DO HURT! And when you pepper your speak with “retard” and “retarded,” you are spreading hurt. So stop it. Stop saying “retard” and “retarded.” Those words suck! You are better than that and you definitely do not need to be “that guy.”

There is no longer any acceptable occasion to lace your dialogue with the words “retard” and “retarded.” Without fail, those words are the stuff of hurt. They, straight up, are. So, stop it! Stop using the “R-word.”

The 7 million people with intellectual disabilities (around the planet) who are on the receiving end of this hate speak are genetically designed to love unconditionally. These “retards” are NEVER going to return your vitriol. Ever! So what could possibly be the up-side of continuing to use the “R-word” in your daily discourse?

We love you. We do!

And, just in case you missed it and you need an extra hug? We love you!

You do not need to love us in any kind of reciprocal fashion. You don’t. (It’s not that kind of bargain.)

But, how about on March 31, you elect to change? A word? Two stinkin’ syllables?

On March 31, join us and “Spread the Word to End the Word.” And the word is “retard!” It HURTS! So help us to cut it out.

Thank you! We do love you!
John C. McGinley

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This communication is sponsored by Special Olympics, Inc. Click here to avoid receiving future e-mails from us. The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. For more information, please visit our Web site: www.specialolympics.org.

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