Katie Couric's Notebook: Words

Hi, everyone.

Words matter.

Michael Richards racist rant at a comedy club underscored an important change in this country. Finally, that awful word used to denigrate African Americans is no longer acceptable. In fact, it's intolerable. And he has apologized. That's a good start. But it's not the only awful word out there.

In comedy clubs and talk radio there are other awful words used to diminish people based on their ethnicity or their sexuality or their gender. And no one makes a peep about it.

We tell our children their most powerful weapon is words. When words are used as a weapon, it does violence.

I'm not trying to sound like a prude. But all of us should be offended whenever anyone degrades and insults other human beings. Racism is abhorrent. But so is sexism, gay bashing and ethnic slurs. None of them should be tolerated or ignored. And the people who do it shouldn't get a free pass.

Words DO matter.

That's a page from my notebook.