It’s a common thought in America that Democrats are the “caring” party, the party who cares about those who are less fortunate, while the Republicans are the party who only cares about rich white men.
Well, by now, I’m sure you all heard about President Obama’s gaffe regarding the Special Olympics being similar to his lack of bowling skills. If not, watch the following video:
Obama, realizing that that was a pretty poor choice of words, called Timothy Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics to apologize.
Shriver released the following statement:
President Obama called last night and expressed his regret and he apologized. He said that he did not intend to humiliate Special Olympics athletes or people with intellectual disabilities. He was sincere and heartfelt, and said that he is a fan of our movement and is ready to work with our athletes to make the United States a more accepting and welcoming country for all people with special needs. ”
Words hurt and words matter. Words can cause pain and result in stereotypes that are unfair and damaging to people with intellectual disabilities. And using “Special Olympics” in a negative or derogatory context can be a humiliating put-down to people with special needs.”
This is a teachable moment for our country. We are asking young people, parents and leaders from all walks of life to engage in conversation and help dispel negative caricatures about people with intellectual disabilities. We believe that it’s only through open conversation and dialogue about how stereotypes can cause pain that we can begin to work together to create communities of acceptance and inclusion for all. ”
Special Olympics is not a program, but a worldwide movement operating 30,000 events a year in more than 180 countries. Every one of them is a chance for people of all ages to get involved, to think differently about attitudes and perceptions they may have about people with intellectual disabilities, and to make a difference. ”
And so we challenge people to join our “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, a youth-led national awareness effort that will launch on March 31, where we are asking people to pledge their respect for people with special needs. We’re asking people to sign our “R-word” pledge, to join in our Unified Sports programs, to volunteer, and to be fans of our athletes and our movement.”
Additionally, we challenge policy leaders at all levels to commit to improving the support and resources for people with intellectual disabilities in areas such as healthcare, education, housing and recreation. ”
Finally, we invite the President to take the lead and consider hiring a Special Olympics athlete to work in the White House. In so doing, he could help end misperceptions about the talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, and demonstrate their dignity and value to the world.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of being politically correct. I call most things as I see them. I’m not somebody who will sugar coat stuff. I can’t stand people who claim that they are just “big boned” because they don’t want to admit that they’re really overweight. My school’s name is the Chippewas, and I have no problem with that, due to the fact that the tribe has told the administration that they WANT us to keep using their name. But there are some PC police out there who find our name offensive.
But I have always disliked people making fun of mentally challenged individuals, or using the word “retarded” as an insult.
So, where are the Democrats? Where’s their outrage? I decided to go over to Democratic Underground, and as I expected, most people on the website were dismissing his comments. For those who said that they did find them offensive, most were saying that we should move on. In fact, one that was posted around 10:00 A.M. the morning after the Tonight Show aired had said that the media should already be moving on. I couldn’t even find anything talking about it on Daily Kos.
But this isn’t the first time I’ve heard a Democrat mock the mentally challenged. Back during the election, I heard a liberal make the following joke (**contains language that could be offensive to some**):
What’s the difference between Sarah Palin’s mouth and her vagina? Not everything that comes out of her vagina is retarded.
And this was a liberal who disliked Palin especially for her being religious, and that she needed to be more accepting to homosexuals.
Personally, I’m glad he apologized, but why aren’t the Democrats outraged over this? Had this have been Bush, Keith Olbermann would’ve dedicated a whole show to it, and people would be playing the video clip for months to come (look at how often gaffes of President Bush were played by the media). Or look at the outrage over George Alan’s Macaca comment.
At least show the same disappointment as you would have if this had been a Republican.