Many people on the left believe that all cultures are of equal value and that, above all other things, a people’s culture should be preserved and prevented from any kind of assimilation or westernisation. Today I would like to challenge this line of thinking–not, as is commonly done, with an appeal to western nationalism and decaying imperialist sentiment, but by accusing this line of thinking of being reactionary and logically unsuitable for the political left.
There is a considerable effort presently ongoing to get the word “retard” banned from broadcast, and to make it socially considered on par with negative terms that deride various races, ethnicities, or sexual orientations, that is more or less the same as them in terms of what it means and what it does. While I agree that abusing or mistreating those who are now clinically considered “intellectually disabled” is a cruel, hurtful, and unnecessary act, I do think that there are misconceptions surrounding the word “retard”. It is not quite like the other words it is being compared to. Here’s why.