*the number is constantly updated here
For over 900,000 Canadians living with an intellectual disability, hearing the R-word being used in a pejorative way can feel derogatory, offensive and hurtful.
Few will forget Ann Coulter’s hateful Tweet back in 2012 using the word to describe President Obama. Coulter communicated the following to her 269K+ Twitter followers:.
I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 23, 2012
Critics quickly reached out to reprimand her for using such inappropriate language. But despite this, the R-word still gets upwards of 10K mentions a day across social networks.
Today Motionball, a not-for-profit that builds funds and awareness in support of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation, is launching the YELLOWCARD campaign, a social campaign aiming to eliminate the use of the R-word.
There is no denying the effect that social media has on the way we speak. When someone drops an OMG or a WTF in a conversation, no one stops to ask what these acronyms stand for: These shortened phrases have become part of our everyday conversation. So if we want to get rid of this offensive word for good, the first line of attack needs to be via social media.
As awareness about people who may be different from us increases, slurs are being revealed for what they truly are: careless, reductive and entirely unnecessary.
I encourage you to join the movement to inspire others to toss the R-word out of their vocabulary here.