Those seeking to end the term's use face a difficult battle.
But the manpower behind the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign comes from the students who devised the campaign last month during a Special Olympics youth summit in Idaho and organized rallies around the country while not paying attention to the word "special" in Special Olympics and the negative connotations that phrase has. Nor did they acknowledge that the Special Olympics serves as a way to showcase the disability rather than the ability.
Special Olympics has enlisted actor John C. McGinley of the TV show "Scrubs" as a spokesman for the campaign. (How retarded is that? Scrubs?) McGinley, whose 11-year-old son has Down syndrome, said many people don't realize the word is hateful - even when used among people living in Democracies whose Bill of Rights guarentees free speech.