WORD: It’s just offensive

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As a citizen of Coeur d’Alene, the state of Idaho and the United States of America, I believe that everyone can participate in the dialogue that helps each of us to understand others. I also read Mr. Kerwin’s letter of March 3. It was offensive to me that he can make statements of disrespect toward our citizens with words such as “libtard.” I appreciate and respect his right to express himself. On the other hand, since we are supposed to be in civil dialogue, may I offer to him that he find another way to express his feelings with words that do not degrade another human being or a group of them.

I am not sure he understands the meaning of the co-joined words, liberal and retard — liberal is defined as:

lib·er·al / lib( )r l/adjective

1.open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values: favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms: (in a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform: of or characteristic of Liberals or a Liberal Party:

Further, retard is defined as:

re·tard noun: retard, plural noun: retards

1. a mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse).

verb: 1. delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment:

I will not accept, and no one else should either, that these two words be co-joined. It does not add to the civil discourse of any discussion. It does not represent a group of intelligent people. In the future, it is my hope that the Coeur d’Alene Press not post any person’s LTTE which does not add positively to the community dialogue… and if Mr. Kerwin decides to use terms of abuse in his letters, that the editor request a re-write by Mr. Kerwin.

RALPH D. SHAY

Coeur d’Alene

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