I’ve avoided this post because I had hoped it would soon become a non issue. Wrong.

Seems those of us who care about people with disabilities are still waiting for America’s ‘sweetheart’ Jennifer Aniston to apologize to the millions of people with intellectual disabilities and their families after her casual, insulting use of the r-word on an August episode of ‘Live with Regis and Kelly.’ Equally disturbing was the awkward laughter that followed from the co hosts and audience.

So far, the actress remains mum about her hurtful slip of the tongue. Why is it that in 2010 so many people are still so unenlightened about why the use of this word is so offensive to so many? Anyone who says that retard(ed) ‘is just a word’ has never had to fight like a dog for basic human equality and dignity and access to education and employment in the ways that this population and their families have. Make no mistake, words do hurt, and they help keep outdated stereotypes and discrimination alive and well.

So what’s your take? Should Ms. Aniston or should she not speak up once and for all to make the wrong right?

You know my answer.