From the car forum I go to...an amusing picture partnered with not amusing text.
"Retards: we all know one" (picture was some goofy owls)
I made one little comment and got bitched out for it, pretty much. "Amusing picture, not so amusing text." The comment from another user was pretty much this (my own paraphrasing): "Not all this PC-crap, from you. I thought you were thicker-skinned than that. I mean, you take it cool when we poke fun at you for being a girl. We think it's awesome that you're a girl that's into cars! It's just a word, people shouldn't get so up-at-arms about it. I'm just being honest."
"My little brother has Down Syndrome. Need I say more than that?
You can't say "words are just words" because you are using them yourself for power. Saying something is "retarded" isn't PC anymore to describe a mentally handicapped person, but that doesn't make it any less hurtful or offensive.
It's not honesty, it's insensitivity. HONESTLY if you had a family member who had a mental handicap like Down Syndrome, you would not take the use of the word "retarded" lightly. Why not just call something stupid? The history of the word makes it offensive, no matter how you mean it. The swastika used to be a totally different symbol, you can't use it anymore b/c of its place in history."
I feel that this is a good argument against the "casual" use of the word "retard". I'm putting it here for my own personal future reference, and perhaps to edit in the future into a fuller argument.
Also I'm a very defensive person, hahaha. I forget this sometimes. It's entirely possible that I love my brother more than anyone else in this world, despite him annoying me the way only little brothers can sometimes. I would do anything to protect him, even if he'll never go to the forum and read that. If I could stop all the people in the world from speaking so insensitively, I would do it, just for him.
Defensive to a fault, I'm sure.