Pi Kappa Phi wants to change the perspective people have on the word ‘retard’.
The Greek organization has started a campaign to bring attention to the use of this misunderstood word.
What does the word retard mean? It has a dictionary definition of delay of progress or a mentally handicapped person.
Many people think that retard is just a word and do not think about its effects. However, words are like knives. They do not hurt until you are stabbed with them.
Pi Kappa Phi member Mychal Spivey wanted to make it clear this campaign aims to make people think before they speak. He said this campaign ties into their philanthropy, “The Ability to Experience”. This ability to experience has no limitations. Any one is capable of creating an experience.
The campaign is to help others realize the effect of using the word retard to make fun of people hurts the feelings of those with disabilities. The people are first, their disability is second. Their disability does not define who they are or what they can do.
People often do not think about the word when they use it, who could hear it or other people’s feelings about it. Using this word does not have to be derogatory, but many people do not even know the true definition to use the word properly.
Spivey and other members from Pi Kappa Phi want this campaign to influence people not to use the word retard in a way that can be offensive to people with disabilities. They want people to understand words go deeper than they may realize. Words hurt.