(I promise to write something more straight up funny again soon. In fact, I am working on a post looking at who is more masterful at cock-blocking – children or dogs?)
I am compelled to write yet again about my feelings/thoughts/beliefs regarding the recent “Feel good-Inspirational” stories trending on social media that concerns ‘how somebody without a disability did a nice thing for someone with a disability’. (see News Flash! Hotty Has A Down Syndrome Friend! and Hard Ass)
About three o’clock this morning, I figured out why I am still writing about it. These stories and the responses they illicit are the antithesis of what I want for our son.
To say we have come far in the treatment of people with Down syndrome means we are getting rid of them before they get here rather than killing them through lack of medical intervention and institutionalization.
We have not come far – enough.
Do you have dreams for your kid? Do they include ‘existence in the human race’? Or do you believe you have that covered?
To give you just one example – While you are driving around in your car with the bumper sticker that states, “My kid is on the honor roll at…” I am fighting to get my kid in an inclusive classroom even though a civil rights law from 1984 states he is already protected.
These stories trending seem to presuppose that if we are not outright discriminating against them and we demonstrate just some little speck of humanity that says you exist we should applaud our efforts, pat ourselves on the backs and say “You have arrived!’
It’s a contrivance. It’s inspirational porn (an awesome term I did not coin) designed to pull at our heart strings. It’s what The Today Show and several others pump out in lieu of real news every day. Or at best it’s filler, fluff.
It is not real acceptance as in ‘you are my equal’. Surely, it is not activism in the sense it will change one thing about the quality of my son’s life.
In the grand scheme of what we have to offer each other as human beings these acts are crumbs.
And – we are not raising our son to accept (or be grateful) for any crumb that might be thrown his way.
My kid doesn’t eat crumbs. Got it?
OK, now Drink My Milkshake.