Posts tagged with Retarded
Bill Maher, the court jester of the elite, has gotten in trouble recently because he used the archaic term "retarded" in referring to Sarah Palin's son who has Down Syndrome.
There are two issues involved in the incident. The first is the use of the term "retarded" which intelligent people have generally stopped using. The second involves a sick attempt by a mentally bankrupt comic to get a laugh at a child's expense. Anyone who would use a child's handicap as the subject of a joke doesn't belong on television.
Maher's critics might consider that those who are within the group a derogatory term refers to can use the term. For example, over the last several decades I've heard black comics use the "n' word" without criticism including comedian Dick Gregory's use of the word as the title of his autobiography.
The term "retarded" has often been misused in association with various conditions. It has often been used to refer to various mental problems that those who use the term don't understand. For example, many describe those with autism as "retarded" even though individuals with this condition can be very intelligent.
Maher has managed to find a way to make a lot of money by demonstrating his ignorance of various subjects on national television. His use of the term "retarded" to describe all those with Down Syndrome indicates he knows nothing about Down Syndrome.
55 years ago those born with Down Syndrome were thought to have only a limited future. Most didn't reach their 20th birthdays. Medical advances since then have increased the capabilities of those with Down Syndrome as has the willingness of people to give them opportunities to demonstrate what they can do. .
A few months ago I mentioned some of the achievements of people with Down Syndrome. One Oregon teen recently accomplished a physical feat most of us would never even attempt. Eli Reimer led a group of climbers to the 17,600 foot base camp of Mt. Everest.
Individuals with Down Syndrome do many things most of us wouldn't attempt. Chris Burke was a star on the successful tv series "Life Goes On". Sarah Itoh was playing the clarinet by the time she was11 years old and is an accomplished public speaker who travels around talking about Special Olympics.
Four years ago the scouting program my mom helped start for those with Down Syndrome in the sixties produced an Eagle Scout when Lucas Wondra met the necessary requirements. He's not the only scout with Down Syndrome to reach that goal. Daniel Camacho of Overland Park, Kansas, achieved that goal and has plans to join others with Down Syndrome who attend college.
If Maher thinks Eagle Scouts, entertainers and college students are "retarded", then he could be "retarded" too.
Maher reminds me of an old Peanuts comic strip. In the strip Charlie Brown asks other children why they are laughing. They answer that they are laughing because they don't understand. Maher spends much of his time laughing about things he doesn't understand.
The biggest problem with Maher's statement about Trig Palin isn't the use of the word "retarded". People who are adults mentally as well as physically don't go around making fun of children. Would Maher and the low lifes who laughed at his comments also laugh at a child in a wheel chair or a child who is deaf or blind? I won't call Maher a man because men don't pick on children.
Calling a child "dumb", "stupid", "retarded" etc. is verbal child abuse and thus who engage in such abuse don't belong on television. An alleged comic who can't get laughs without making fun of children needs to find another line of work.