Welcome to the forums.
Some people are more hypersensitive to such words than others. If there is no alternative, then they have to be used. I do not believe one can totally avoid them, and euphemisms soon gather their own opprobium. What used to be Mongolism became Down's Syndrome, and is now "suffering learning disabilities".
As to the political issue, you only have to look at other forums where there is no control to see how opposing views can degenerate into flame wars. If you think a topic may generate this kind of heat, avoid it - a classic example is the Gaza conflict.
- For Teachers