Ask McFartnuggets: “Why is it Wrong to Say the R-Word?”

Why do we feel the need to
label people based on their
Dear McFartnuggets: 
I’ve been told I can’t say the “R-word” at work and I don’t really understand why. I mean if you’re truly mentally disabled then there’s a good chance you don’t know what a lot of words mean. I’ve never had an actual mentally disabled person tell me to not say the “R-word” it’s always people without brain issues. Why are these people getting offended on behalf of others? If I call you the “R-word” and you get offended then you’re probably not even a real “R-word” so why is it a big deal? -- Stephanie from Cleveland

Dear Stephanie:
I’m pretty sure most mentally handicapped people know what the “R-word” means. Just because they’re not as smart as you doesn’t mean they don’t still feel sad when people call them bad names. That’s what the “R-word” is. It’s a bad name. The degree of how bad it is may be up for debate however no one can argue it is bad and you shouldn’t call people bad names if you can help it. Maybe if someone deserves it you can, but what did the mentally handicapped ever do? If a mentally challenged person ever murders your entire family then I think it would be okay to call them the “R-word” once. Aside from that there’s no good reason to use that term. As far as why other people get offended, that’s just a natural human thing. You could ask why straight people help fight for gay rights or why men supported women’s right to vote. It doesn’t really make sense, but when people see bad things they tend to speak up regardless of whether it’s happening to them or someone else. It doesn’t really matter if it’s gay rights, someone being called a nasty word, or someone being assaulted. When bad things happen to other people you should try to get it to stop.

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