It is rather classless and insensitive and it does cast the person who is doing it in a negative light. With that siad I don't think it makes them a bad person, I think it just makes them look like a bad person.
About seven years ago when I was back in high school I had a really nasty habit of saying "That's so gay" after everything. How did I get in the habit...the people around me were using that phrase. Now I had gay friends, I was huge on gay rates, so me using that phrase had no bearing on how I viewed gays it was just something that came out automatically. Now, even my gay friends didn't get bothered when I used it because they knew me. If someone who didn't know me heard that phrase they might either get A-hurt B-Angry C-All of the above because they might have seen it as an attack on gays even though it wasn't.
I think people need to be mindful of the words they use to express something. I think more times or not when people use words like "that's so gay" or "that's retarded" they aren't trying to hurt anyone they just don't realize how negatively it comes off or it's such habit that they don't mean to say it but it comes out anyway.
It's not classy, and it can be straight up rude to legitimately retarded/handicapped people. That being said though, I think a majority of people in America (including the handicapped) recognize it as being a colloquial term, rather than an offensive one.
My brother has downs syndrome so I always grew up knowing to never say that word ever and that it was really offensive. When I was in school I heard it all the time because it's such a common slang word. It really pissed me off at first but I got used to it and became more quietly disgruntled about it. But I also understand that most people don't have someone close to them who actually does have mental retardation.
As a side note, I was really irritated in high school when the GSA (gay straight alliance) was campaigning to stop using gay as an insult. They handed out pamphlets of things people could say instead and retarded was on there. I was so pissed off that I stole the remainder of the pamphlets and dumped them into the canal about a quarter mile north of campus. I got in trouble of course initially but the principal knew my older brother and after I explained the situation I was let off and their club wasn't allowed to publish anymore.
On one hand I don't care and think people are over-sensitive to it; on the other side, I also understand how it can be insulting to people who are mentally challenged or for someone who is close to a person like that.
I used to take rape jokes lightly and find some funny, then I got sexually assaulted and do not find any joke related to assault or rape funny in the slightest and get mad/defensive sometimes.
no it does not mean someone is a bad person. It's slang, people don't intend to offend anyone it's just become a common word these days. People say "im depressed" all the time too but it doesn't mean they need zoloft.
I have a brother with Down Syndrome so I dislike it when people use that word. I do think it is insensitive. And I don't like it being used as a negative thing. If I am around the person enough I will mention my brother after they use that word so they feel terrible and stop. And hopefully the learned not to do it again because you never know who you are talking to. But I don't think it makes them a bad person. It is probably something that they were taught was "ok" from their environment. But I do wish everyone would stop using it as an insult.
It doesn't automatically make them bad, it just shows you they can be a little careless with wording, which in some people's mind is bad but it tells you nothing about their actual personality. Judge by actions, not words.
No, I do not think it "makes" a person "bad" anymore than calling people other names. I think it shows a lack of sensitivity & education, but don't get bent out of shape about it. Example: When I was a little girl in Sunday school, my best friend asked me what was wrong with one of our friend's sister. I told her that she was retarded. That was the term that was used at the time. Well, our Sunday school teacher heard me say that & thought I was calling someone "retarted" & she grabbed my arm & dragged me to the bathroom & washed my mouth out with soap, and told me I was a "bad little girl." I looked at her & said, "but she was born retarded, she can't help it." I ran home, told my mom, she, uhm...threatened tothe teacher's mouth out with soap! lol Long story short, that teacher took it too seriously. I get your point, but your energies would be better spent to educate people then to name call them. Most people do not understant DD well, so take the opportunity to educate not alienate.
I don't think it automatically makes you horrible, however I do find it uncouth and totally classless. I think if something is stupid, then people should just say 'it's stupid', I'm one of those people who find the words 'retarded, spastic and gay' used in this context incredibly offensive. Having a birth defect, whether it be physical or intellectual or being homosexual are not bad things and using it in this context automatically puts them in a negative category. I cringe every time someone says any of these and would never ever use them myself.
I slip sometimes and say you're retarded. I don't mean to say it but I slip up, I used to say that's gay as well until I started hanging with gay people...then I had to catch myself or I felt really bad.
I don't think that someone can be a "bad person" from using retarded as a derogatory term, but it sure shows they are immature and ignorant. It really depends on your idea of a bad person. I have a few friends who occasionally use the word "retarded" and they're considered to be good people.