My Challenge to Khloe Kardashian After Using the R-Word

My Challenge to Khloe Kardashian After Using the R-Word July 23, 2018


I am an absolute sucker for celebrity gossip. Listen, I know it’s ridiculous, and I understand. A lot of the stories are untrue. However, every once in a while there is an actual real story mixed into the tabloid fodder.

As I was perusing around one of  my favorite sites US Magazine, a headline grabbed my eyes

Khloe Kardashian Apologizes for using the R-word.”

My stomach hit my knees, and I felt sick to my stomach. I wasn’t upset because I liked Khloe Kardashian and bummed she said the word.

No, I was mad because this is an example of another celebrity using their social media platform to use a word that has no purpose in the English Vocabulary.

Khloe was doing an Instagram live video. In the background, her sister Kourtney is heard saying, “Yes, you can you F’ing retard.” Later in the video, Khloe responded to her sister, “Are you f’ing retarded.”

Quickly, Khloe’s followers were quick to point out their distaste in her use of the word, and later Khloe issued an apology via Twitter and said,

“Ugh, I hate that word! Why did I even say that? You are a million percent right, and I greatly dislike when people use that word! I will do better! I am sorry!  much love today.”

Ok, well at least she apologized. However, it is 2018 individuals with her platform and position should know better than to use such hateful words.

Additionally, her sister is heard saying the same word. Yet, I have seen nothing to date of an apology by her sister Kourtney,

Until recently, mental retardation was a medical term used to describe any individual that with a cognitive or intellectual disability.

Over the decades it was used as a medical term, the word itself became a slur to insult anyone if their behavior was deemed less than intelligent.

All of that changed in 2010 when the Obama Administration signed into law a bill that required the Federal Government to replace “mental retardation” to “intellectually disabled” across all government agencies.

The changes didn’t happen overnight, but over the course of several years the words “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” were stripped from all federal health, education, and labor policy.

By 2018, most decent humans know that using the word “retarded” is derogatory, offensive, and outdated. As a population, most of us know we need to completely retire this word and stop mocking individuals that have intellectual disabilities.

So while I applaud Khloe for apologizing and recognizing her error, anyone that is even a tiny bit aware of the disability community knows there is a massive campaign to end the use of the “R” word.

In fact, there is an organization dedicated to stopping the use of this word through the Special Olympics. You can pledge to stop using the “R” word, and families and individuals can share how this word effects them.

As a mother of a child that is developmentally disabled, I can tell you absolutely nothing stings more than when someone uses this word. My son works so hard to be loved and accepted. However, his disability is ever present to people that meet him.

Anyone that knows my son knows that he is incredibly smart. Most also know it also takes him longer to learn than neuro-typical children. He has delayed processing times. Often he has trouble communicating at the quick pace a child his age speaks.

My son has no friends. I have witnessed first-hand other children’s reactions to my son, and they aren’t always nice.

Anytime I hear anyone use the “R” word, I immediately think of my son and how he would feel hearing that word. He cannot help his brain developed differently, and he has no control over brain damage he sustained as an infant.

All my son and children like my son want are to be loved and to have friends. They want people to take extra time and be patient with them, and they want you to see them beyond their intellectual capability.

So flippant remarks made in jest on camera may seem like no big deal to many. However, to the millions of us that have a child with disabilities or for individuals with disabilities, this word hurts.

Millions of people follow Khloe Kardashian, and while a few brave people called her out, there were likely more that remained silent. We repeat what we hear. Children that follow her will listen to that word, remember that word, and use that word.

If I could say anything to Khloe Kardashian it would be:

“I know you apologized and promised to do better. However, you need to take the time to understand and educate yourself why this word is terrible to use. Talk with your sister about her use of these words around her children, and ask her to apologize to her fans and her children.

Children repeat what they hear. You are all raising children that will have incredible positions in this society. Your kids need role models that respect all humans no matter their ability. Please don’t be sorry, change your thinking, change your behavior, and pledge to no longer use the R-Word.”


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Morgan Lefaye

    What kind of relationship do those sisters have if they publicly insult each other? Ew.

    That being said, Von is much smarter than either of those two.

  • Right? That was kind of my thought too. How do they even think of using those insults on instagram?

  • guerillasurgeon

    Why did she say that word? Because she makes some of her living out of “reality” TV, and it needs manufactured drama.

  • touche! Though I really think she said it out of ignorance

  • Cozmo the Magician

    I would make such a pledge , but it would be like me pledging to drink water, or breathe. My mother was a foster parent for Westchester County, NY for many many years. So i had brothers and sisters of all ages, races, creeds, dispositions, and abilities. Bigotry of any sort just didn’t happen in our home. BUT, for a long time it WAS common to use the term ‘retarded’ for the developmentally disabled. But since it was ALSO common to use ‘retard’ as a slur, it was not a word used in out home.

    ANY lable applied to a person is nothing more than a way to dehumanize them. Once people start referring to people based on any feature i.e. ‘That black woman’, ‘That jew grocer’, ‘that blind kid’, ‘that gay lawyer’, ‘that catholic girl’ etc they are stripping away that persons identity and just tossing them in a box. That is the basis of all bigotry. I recently stopped contact with a former friend because she just could not even see how referring to ‘my black friend’, ‘the gay guy next door’,’the muslim who runs that clothing store’ etc was basic bigotry.

    Oh, BTW, you did make one error in your post. Since a friend can be somebody who knows about you and cares about you and can understand some of the hardships and struggles that life tosses our way, your son has at least one friend here in NY. Please let him know that (: And he is welcome to e-mail me at the letter em followed by cozmo at

  • I love that you want to be his friend! That is so sweet of you! And I’m really impressed that you grew up in such a great well-rounded home. You must have learned so much being around so many kids.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    It was a truly amazing life. And my mom was an amazing person. It was not ALL wonderful, but it did prevent me from being filled with bigotry and other BS that I saw all around me. It is these things that my mom DIDN’T give me that made her so awesome. I didn’t get bigotry, or religion, or sexism, or shame about sexuality, or distrust for educated people, or blind obedience to authority, or pride in ignorance. Yup, my mom deprived me of all of those ‘family values’. Thanks mom!

  • Your mom sounds like one awesome woman! Funny how Christians think those outside the church are such terrible people

  • Cozmo the Magician

    She was amazing. I on the other hand take full responsibility for my many faults (: I could fill a book or two with all the incredible things she did, and didn’t do.

  • I love that! I feel like more moms that can demonstrate that level of compassion are needed in this world. I hope my son grows up with that amount of love in his heart

  • Cozmo the Magician

    BTW, there is another blogger here on the nonreligious forums that you might relate too. Although the author’s child is not in anyway disabled they show great courage and patience dealing with bigotry every day.


    OTOH, I would not want you to get so involved READING that you let your blog suffer (: On the gripping hand, I have never had any children of my own, so I’m not really one to offer advice and/or support in any ‘expert’ capacity.

  • I love Pat from transparent! All of us in the non-religious group hang out together in a group

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Awesome. I’m a fan of Heman too. Heck, with the amount of time I spend reading stuff online and commenting.. Maybe I should try out for such a gig (; Hmmm, I even thought up (actually just stole) a title ‘The Magic Goes Away’

  • Hey, you might be on to something. Our editor is pretty awesome! I had been writing on my own for years and was picked up a few times by really big outlets. Over time I got tired of the rat race of owning my own site and wanted to just write. So I applied. 🙂 I have a fairly large Social Media Following that is still trying to find me. Soon enough!

  • Cozmo the Magician

    To take this out of the waaaay of topic thread here, I clicked on your contact page and took it there. Please feel free to read and respond in e-mail. (:

    Oh and for anybody following this, take note that our host does take time to read and respond to comments (: A valuable trait in a blogger in my opinion.

  • Will do!

  • Cozmo the Magician

    I sent a ‘resume’ to the bosses. Heck, if you and Hemant can do it, why not me? /snarkles

    Srsly, YOU and only you will be the reason that I get the ‘job’. And if I don’t, well like in many things, I just not the person for the job.

    On the gripping hand… ***hugs and stuff*** even of they say NO. You helped me at least TRY!

    Again, Thank you!

  • I wish you best of luck and if you have questions – I am here! Hemant is awesomesauce!

  • Cozmo the Magician

    EM cozmo at Why mail dot com. Love me some literacy.

  • If you want to do some reading, spend some time in my archives. Patheos transferred over 290 of my pieces. LOTS of reading 🙂 Today I have to coach and then I’ve got a piece in my brain hopper to get out

  • Katie Paulson

    I completely missed that you said I take time to respond. Thank you for your kindness. I will always do my best to engage with anyone that takes time out of their day to read what I write. My stories might get your reading, but I love hearing my reader’s stories too. So if people take time to respond, the polite and right thing to do is to respond

  • Growing up in the 80s, I am sorry to say that we used the R word and gay all the time in casual conversation. It wasn’t until I was in college and had friends who were gay that I realized I shouldn’t use either word anymore (no one said anything, it was just a general realization). I wish I had had the sense to learn that earlier.

  • I think we all made those mistakes back then. We lived in a different time. Thankfully, we have evolved as humans – at least somewhat – and decent people now are more considerate with their words.

  • Keep me posted, please!