I'm too worn from writing grad school term papers to form more than a few coherent sentences, but you can look back to some entries I devoted to the subject when my brain was less numb.
The Infamous R-Word
Gray, Sticky Territory
This is the Generation
A Delayed Response
Here's the deal.
When you use, hear, say, or tolerate the word "retard" you're attacking Pudge.
You're attacking Biggs.
If you don't believe that, go do a Google image search of the word "retard" and then come tell me it doesn't apply to people with a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
You don't say nigger.
You don't say fag.
You don't say kike or gook or coon.
You don't hear them or read them without becoming uncomfortable.
Add retard to that list.
I'm pretty sure it won't leave you horribly tongue-tied.
And the pay off for ending your tolerance of the word, might just be big enough to change the world.
I know it will change theirs.