Critics: 5 Words that Should Be Put to Bed, Already

"Curiously, the same criers over this issue didn't utter a word when White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel [sic] called a group protesting the Obama Administration's actions, 'f——— retards,'" wrote Palin, who has a son with Down's syndrome.

Emanuel apologized to the Special Olympics after the Wall Street Journal reported his remark. President Obama also found himself apologizing after he compared his bowling skills to the Special Olympics.

Since last year, the Special Olympics has been campaigning to end the use of the word. "We're really not out to ban anything," spokeswoman Seckler said. "What we want to do is get people aware of the use of this word and how it hurts people with intellectual disabilities."

So far, 145,000 people nationwide have taken a pledge on the Special Olympics' website to not use the word.

The F-Word

No, not the one most people think of, but the word "faggot" or "fag," which is derogatory to gays. But that's not the only one.

"We have some words we'd like to ban, particularly among members not in the LGBT community, such as 'fag/faggot,' 'tranny' and 'he-she,'" David Hauslaib, editorial director of told

Like the N-word, these words are often used by the people most offended by them, but Hauslaib said that doesn't give others a free pass to use them.

"There's a reasonable argument that anyone using these words is doing harm, but it's unrealistic to think members of the LGBT community will stop saying "fag" in jest, and that's an individual's right," Hauslaib said. "Words that are derogatory to any community generally get a pass when used by those who belong; anyone outside that culture, however, doesn't have permission because they are not directly impacted by such language."


This term, once used by the U.S. government in 1954 when it launched Operation Wetback to deport a large number of Mexicans, has become a slur against other Hispanics, especially illegal immigrants.

Once again, Mel Gibson proved an equal opportunity offender when he used the term in an argument with his ex.

In a tape recording that was released this summer, Gibson was reportedly heard threatening to turn their daughter's nanny in to immigration authorities, "I will report her to the f**king people that take f**king money from the wetbacks."

There's been plenty of pushback against usage of the word, especially from Mexican-Americans. In Texas, they were able to marshall forces in 2009 to have radio personality Don Pryor removed from the air after he repeatedly used the term.


Like raghead, towelhead has been used as an ethnic slur against Arabs, Indians and others who wear traditional headdresses, such as turbans or keffiyehs.

Since 9/11, though, the usage has become more widespread to denigrate anyone from an Islamic nation. Muslims are fighting back against use of the word.

When director Alan Ball called his 2008 movie "Towelhead," the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relationscalled on Warner Bros. to change the title.

In the letter to Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Barry M. Meyer, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said: "It is unfortunate that a major film studio would choose to exploit an ethnic slur as a sensational promotion for a movie. Mainstreaming a bigoted term in this manner will only serve to legitimize and normalize anti-Muslim prejudice in our society."

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