Imagine that your name is Jenn. You work for a business, you work hard, and you are good at your job. You've worked there for a while and there is a change in management and you think about leaving, but your husband has an accident and can't work, and you now need the job for the money and medical insurance. You meet your new boss but you're not sure about him, and a few weeks later you catch your boss in a big mistake on a presentation before a meeting. You tell him and immediately help him fix it and start running off new copies for the meeting. As you finish and head to hand off his copies, you overhear him telling one of his coworkers that the mistake was your fault and ending it with 'You know how that bimbo Jenn is." You think you must have misheard and try to let it go, but you overhear it again. Then you start hearing it more and more. It bothers you, but you aren't sure what to do about it. You decide to go to HR when he starts calling you it out right. HR tells you that it's just a word and it isn't hurting anything. You start looking for another job but you can't find one. After a few months you start hearing the word bimbo everywhere at work. You here is used as an insult for any little thing. "You're such a bimbo for that." "I can't believe I did that. I'm such a bimbo." While in the past, it might not have meant anything, now it does because you know it originated from your boss talking about you. After one of your coworkers uses it, you explain how it makes you feel and why and he agrees not to use it in the future, but other coworkers insist that it's not about you and that you need to get over it. You are miserable at work now and dread going into work every morning, but you are stuck with it. It's a hostile work environment.
Here is where this analogy to the word r*t*rd doesn't work. Jenn isn't a bimbo, but many people do have mental retardation. Bimbo isn't a hate word like n*gg*r, but the 'r' word is. Jenn can go home to her family and escape, but someone with an intellectual disability will still hear the 'r' word on tv, on the radio, and read it on the internet. People that use the 'r' word are creating not just a hostile work environment but a hostile life environment for those with intellectual disabilities.
People that insist on their right to use the 'r' word are like members of the KKK insisting they have the right to use the 'n' word. It's not just a word. It's not about being politically correct. Yes, you have the right, but it's hate language and its use is reprehensible. 3-2-11 Spread the word to end the word.