Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Butt of the Joke

An online friend of mine posted a picture on her blog of her young daughter looking at the french fries she was about to eat. It was a cute picture. But someone came along and stole it. They put the title "cannibalism" on it and passed it around the Internet.

I felt sorry for my friend. I know how much it hurts. After all, I have three girls whose pictures betray their #1 disability... their low IQs. I know what it is like to worry that someone will take something that is precious to me and turn it into a retard joke.

What I don’t get, what I don’t understand is why the world allows it. There are moderators on every board where my friend’s daughter’s altered picture appeared. Those mods did not take it down when they saw it. The general public did not comment that the picture was hateful and unacceptable.

When will the disabled stop being the butt of the joke? Long gone are the days when someone could make a meme like that using a racial slur and have it remain posted anywhere for more than 30 seconds. Likewise, gay-bashing is well on its way out of style and it is doubtful you have to worry about a public space allowing your gay child to be strung up as the joke of the day. But the cognitively impaired are still fair game? Five year olds with Down syndrome are the final frontier of hurtful humor that we just can’t let go of? Why is that?

I know what you’re thinking. It is just a few mean creepy people doing stuff like this and who can stop mean creepy people? But it’s not. It is all of us, every one of us who says "retarded" as an insult. It is every one of us that uses its catch-all abbreviated cousin, "tard" for anything we don’t like. It is everyone of us that condones Ann Coulter and Bill Maher, and even Rachel Jeantel’s use of the r-word. It is every mod that doesn’t take down the insulting meme, and every one of us that turns away in silence after we see it.

We as a culture need to decide to stop insulting our disabled population. We need to refuse to accept them as the butt of the joke. We need to refuse to allow those on either side of the political aisle to get away with the r-bomb. We need to reach out to those around us and ask them not to say it, and to stick up for the disabled. Only then, only when you care as much as I do, will it end.

Only then will these beautiful faces be safe.

otemmoshkimani

17 comments:

Rachel Douglas said...

That song that says "we're not gonna take it, we're not gonna take it, anymore" just popped into my head. IDK the rest or what it is from but it fuels me sometimes!

Gillian Marchenko said...

Amen sister.

Kimberly Wedel said...

A reporter that was in the courtroom for the Zimmerman trial said that when Rachel said that, some of the jurors looked horrified. Two of them put their hand to their mouth. I was so relieved to know that slowly the word is getting out that it is unacceptable. These women were disgusted with the use of that word and hopefully more and more will be until it stops. Stops or the only people still finding it acceptable are the mean creepy people.

Hevel said...

People seem to think that whatever is posted on the Internet is fair game to use and make fun of. It won't be till more people contact admins and advertisers associated with certain forums and sites when discriminating things are posted that they will be moderated.

Anonymous said...

Rachel Douglas, that song is by Twisted Sister, showing our age now, going back to the 80's. As an advocate and father of 3 of my own, this is one topic that boils my blood, worse than religion or politics. Sometimes I wish this was a physical war, I would sign up immediately, unfortunately it is a social issue that has to be fought with words and actions, I'm active but not so good when it comes to GRE words.....

Lisa said...

Amen.

Becca said...

It makes me sick and breaks my heart. Well said... But just the fact that so many of us are not sitting silent about it, that we're spreading this word that if it hurts someone, anyone, let alone a whole *population* of people, Don't Say It!!! We're getting there, slowly but surely...

Nina said...

Personally, I find it worthwhile to use "Digimarc" on my photos; that way you can track where the photos go and take legal action; if more people did so then I think this type of behavior would be greatly reduced. Just keep dwelling on all of the appreciation people have for your words and photos; the creeps will have to answer one day...

TUC said...

Nina, thanks for the Digimarc heads-up... I just went out and bought myself a pro subscription :-) Now to go back and add the mark to all my photos...

Natalie said...

Thank you so much for putting into words what I've been trying to articulate. This is not ok.

LynLegge said...

Your poor friend, I would be devastated if anyone did that to my gorgeous girls.

Kristi Campbell said...

YES YES YES. I actually had somebody ask whether my son is in fact retarded. I just looked at him with my mouth hanging open and he tried to then say "well, I don't mean in a bad way, I mean is he slow?" Breaks my heart and I can't wait for it to hold the same horror that the N word does.

Mardra said...

This is very well said and Thank you for saying it.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully stated and spot-on topic, as always. For the record, Bill Maher seems to have a thing for one little boy in particular. Some people are just hopeless.

Jaynedeaux said...

That was a wonderful post
I love reading about P&B and Ive used a lot of Moms
Ideas for my own son
It's a shame

TUC said...

Hello Anon,

I got your ugly comment. When you grow a set and use your real name/id, I'll publish your sick-minded blather for the whole world to see.

TUC

Micha MacDonald said...

Very sad someone would do that to a child. My heart goes out to the her and her mother.

Post a Comment

Go ahead, say it.