Sticks and stones may break my bones

and words can hurt me. The wall of words outside the University of Memphis’ administration building was unveiled today – dozens and dozens of cinderblocks painted with words that have been used to hurt people. 

You’re so cool, I forgot you were black

Community bicycle (think about it for a second) 

Spear chucker

And a lot more you could probably guess and others you wouldn’t.


U of M's wall of words

U of M's wall of words

It will be torn down Friday, at 12:30 p.m., outside the campus’ administration building. At the unveiling Monday, the mood of those looking at the wall was almost somber, at least for a college campus. Yellow signs on the walkway leading up to the wall warned of the offensive language ahead.

The wall was a concrete (no pun intended) way to show that the words we use to hurt people are many. Forget the nursery rhymes, words do hurt. And we humans seem to have endless ways and words we use to hurt people. 

If I allowed comments (which I’d love to figure out how to do), here’s where I’d ask:  Tell me a short story of a word used to hurt you? Who used it? How did it make you feel? And why do you still remember it?