I recently got an email from a Bleep! member, Gavriel S. He told me:
"I have a huge objection with the word retarded being placed in Category 2 [of the categorization of bad words on the Bleep! site] let alone any category. Retarded is a word putting down developmentally disabled people and it's more then a curse. If [you are] putting retarded in Category 2, then [you should] add [words like] the n word, the k word, etc...There is a deep, deep problem with putting retarded with words that people don't think much of. I participated in Yachad, I worked with developmentally disabled kids many times and I ask that you take that word off, maybe add a section on words such as retarded."
Because I completely agree with Gavriel and am so happy that he pointed out my error, I took retarded from Category 2 and created a new page, Ethnic Slurs, including the prohibition of the word retarded.
Retarded is truly a bad word and should not be used to put people down. I once used the word in casual conversation with one of my friends, and then I remembered that one of her brothers is special needs. After apologizing up and down about a million times (she readily forgave me), I decided never to experience such an awkward, uncomfortable moment and have eliminated the word from my vocabulary.