Our words matter.
Remember the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me."? Not true. Not true at all.
Words can hurt. A lot. And there is real potential for lasting harm. It's not just semantics.
So when I learned that an official in the Obama administration referred to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu as "Aspergery", I was relieved to see this statement from Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation:
“While it is perfectly acceptable for people to be critical of each other, it is unacceptable to use a term of disability in a derogatory manner,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “The term “Aspergery” was used in a manner that is insulting to the millions of people around the world with Asperger Syndrome. It is never OK to insult someone by referring to them by using disability in a negative manner.”
The full statement from the Ruderman Family Foundation can be found here and on Businesswire. The original article by Jeffrey Goldberg can be found here.