Tuesday, February 19, 2008


So, there's this controversy surrounding the latest Big Brother show on CBS. I don't watch the show, but I heard about it on the radio this morning. I found this article about it when I got home.

If you don't feel like reading the article to know what I am talking about, I'll sum it up for you. Basically, one of the contestants on the show refered to mentally disabled people as "retards." Then he followed that up by claiming that since he works with autistic children, he has the right to call them anything he wants, including "retards." And some autism group is demanding an apology from CBS.

Now, I'm not one of those "PC people," and I do think that some people take all of this political correctness way too far. I don't have a problem with the use of the adjective "retarded" to describe a person who is, in fact, mentally retarded. I have a friend who will gladly tell you that her mentally retarded daughter is retarded. It's much more specific than saying she "has special needs," since that can mean a large variety of things. When you say someone is "retarded," you know that it means a mental handicap.

However, I do have a problem with the noun "retard." In our popular culture, the noun "retard" has become a derogatory term synonymous with "idiot" or "moron." When you call someone a "retard," you are basically making fun of them. And, in my opinion, it is unacceptable to make fun of someone for a handicap that they have no control over.

In my opinion, this guy on the show was out of line refering to the mentally challenged kids as "retards." As for whether or not CBS should apologize, I think that's up to them. The guy who made the remarks should absolutely apologize, but by airing his comments on TV, CBS wasn't exactly condoning his comments, only showing their viewers what a dumbass this guy really is. And hopefully, he'll get kicked off of the show because of it.

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