If you agree with my assessment that The New York Times is not adhering to their own standards on moderating comments and/or that they are allowing hateful comments about people with Down syndrome they would not allow regarding African-Americans, Hispanics or the LGBTQ community I would ask you send my post to Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org and @Sulliview
If you do not have a child with Down syndrome you would likely be shocked by how many times a week someone challenges your kid’s right to exist.
When I see the ubiquitous bumper stickers: My Kid is an Honor Student at Average Middle School I think I should have one made up: Kid’s Like Mine Are on Their Way Out.
The most recent go-around started August 21st with Richard Dawkins’s — biologist, atheist, and provocateur — repugnant statement on Twitter responding to a woman who asked what she ought to do if she was pregnant with a fetus that tests positive for Down syndrome: “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”
I had two thoughts: I found Dawkins proclamation about who is worthy for existence reminiscent of the brethren from the Westboro Baptist Church; and, I thought he is a visible target for what must be similar thoughts of the nameless and faceless horde of medical professionals that counsel expectant parents who find themselves in the same situation. I would add to the mix some school personnel we have had the great misfortune of knowing.
Dawkins is a mirror–albeit a cracked and distorted fun house mirror– of how society views people with Down syndrome. He did come back with an apology which was in some ways even more offensive. He offered something like: Given that these kids diminish something called ‘sum happiness’ and their condition causes them suffering, abortion might constitute a moral imperative.
First, Dawkins should probably be court ordered to comment no more than 140 characters on any topic. Second, he could use an Emily Post refresher course because that is not an apology. At the end of the day it is still an excuse for questioning the right to exist of a group of people who share a genetic profile.
A pause on exactly what Down syndrome is. I Googled ‘Down syndrome definition’ and Google actually has their own definition which might be the most awesome ever: Down syndrome is a genetic condition in which a person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. No mention of suffering, not even disability, and no missing anything. It is a very dispassionate and objective definition. Google– you got it right.
On August 28th The New York Times printed an op-ed rebuttal to Dawkins beliefs on the sum of happiness and suffering: The Truth About Down Syndrome by Jamie Edgin and Fabin Fernadez. The authors cited various studies which concluded among other things: divorce rates are lower for parents of children with Down syndrome, siblings report being better people for having a brother or sister with Down syndrome and people with Down syndrome were overwhelmingly happy with their lives.
I know several parents of children with Down syndrome who were thrilled with this response along the lines of In-Your-Face-Dawkins. For me I appreciated the intention of the editorial but I am not keen on justifying my son’s existence in the world. I’m more of a “He’s here, get used to it” mother.
What I did object to were the comments in response to the editorial. It was essentially an objectionable debate on whether people with Down syndrome should exist because they are such needy, worthless and pathetic creatures who suck up our social services. The comments were eventually closed but not before I wondered would any other group of individuals’ right to exist be up for public discussion on the pages of NYTimes? If one were to replace “Down syndrome” with “African-American,” or “Hispanic” the NYTimes would be indistinguishable from a white supremacist discussion board. Would it be acceptable to discuss the value of poor people or welfare recipients? What if we evaluated the right of LGBT communities to exist?
The Times’ own guidance on comments offers that it is “interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article…Our standards for taste are reflected in the articles we publish in the newspaper and on NYTimes.com; we expect your comments to follow that example. A few things we won’t tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence and SHOUTING.”
While many of the comments are rational, sober insights into the authors arguments, the section is littered with egregious examples of this policy being ignored. Perhaps its ok to relax the standards when arguing Mets vs. Yankees, but when the subject at hand is as sensitive as whether there is a moral responsibility to abort all fetuses with a certain genetic profile in order to reduce “suffering,” some extra vigilance is needed.
Here are some (but by no means all) of the more disgusting comments among the 187 left on the NYTimes site (spelling and grammar are left as written).
It is interesting to note that every single commenter who claims to have an immediate family member with DS speaks positively about the article as reflective of their experience. Yet those who claim to know the minds of such people are confident that it not actually the case. Some examples:
“Aside from that, consider the parents of DS children. Yes, many of them, after the fact, manage to convince themselves that they are better off somehow. People are extremely creative that way. But they are not better off! They will never have an intelligent conversation with their child. They have no hope that their child will ever achieve anything of consequence in the world, and little hope that it will even rise to the level of mediocrity. Their child will never be able to care for them in their old age, and (hopefully!!!) will never give them grandchildren. You can rationalize all this after the fact, but this is NOT what any prospective parent wants! All rationalization aside, Down syndrome is an unmitigated tragedy, and abortion is the best choice.” – JohnB.
“When I see families with a Downs Syndrom child, they don’t look happy. Often it is one parent with one child. The parent looks exhausted and aged. I don’t see smiles. The situation is very sad. One day there will be scientific procedures to screen for all kinds of physical and mental disabilities, and most people will use them to avoid have a child with severe disabilities, and thee world will be a happier place.” – I’m shocked! (A NYTimes Trusted Commenter).
And then there are those who claim to know the minds of people with Ds and seek to protect those minds from the human experience they most assuredly are unable to process:
“Most of the time, our state of happiness is relative to how we view the environment around us. We are happy when and if we have the same as or more than that possessed by another. A Down Syndrome person CAN be happy as long as they do not relate their appearances and IQ to those of a normally developed individual…Then, the advice by Dawkins may be the one you may want to actively consider.” – Sonny Pitchumani
“…My advice to anybody facings the possibility of giving birth to a disabled child is the same as Richard Dawkins’, which I find both ethical and compassionate (as opposed to the many as hominem attacks on him from the commenters below). Any intellectually disabled person, especially those on the borderline, knows that he or she is deprived of the many pleasures of the mind that others take for granted. Do not underestimate the pain such people experience, even though they may not show it. Why to doom your child to a twilight existence, striving for something they know they will never reach?” – Mor California
Some commenters argue the “suffering” involved in someone not aborting a fetus with Down syndrome is their own:
“It’s a huge burden to put on teachers, family members, tax payers, members of your insurance group and society in general to choose to birth a DS baby. It’s, overall, a selfish decision”. – A.
“It is unethical, irresponsible and selfish to knowingly have a child that the rest of the country will have to support financially for the rest of the child’s life. Our country is going to go bankrupt from supporting the 300% increase in autistic children being born, baby boomers aging etc. We can’t afford to support more unproductive people”. – Kari
In an odd twist of blaming the victim, many commenters lament the fact that our society’s social programs are inadequate and the solution is to spare everyone the burden of doing anything about that:
“…I worked for a long period of time in the field of developmental disabilities and saw first hand how difficult life becomes for those responsible for care taking…However, my main concern is what happens to the individual with Downs as they reach adulthood. The support system is pretty much burned out and they face a life of uncertainty. And no matter how hard one tries, the affected individual is never going to “get better.” – rheffner
And since this is the internet, there must be the “this is a personal decision based on particular circumstances. That said, here’s a sweeping generalization I must share because my two cents are worth a $20 argument:
“This almost makes it sound like people should actively choose to have children with Down’s syndrome, and that those with normal children are missing out on a sublime life experience. I think it should be entirely up to the parents. Though I don’t doubt that many families love the experience of having Downs members, many others would very much like the opportunity to refuse to add a cognitively impaired child to their households…” – Mimi Dubai
“To each his own. If you want to have your Down’s child or child with any other disability, it is your choice. As a taxpayer, I don’t really appreciate having to subsidize your choice, but I guess that’s what a society is for.” – Leonora
Then there’s this:
“As someone who was attacked by a boy with Down’s syndrome, only to see everyone excuse his behavior, may I speak up for all future victims? I suspect there are many more than you’ve heard of, as no one reports these crimes.” – Fredda Weinberg
Finally, 11 out of the 187 comments were chosen as a “Times Pick,” which are defined as “comments that represent a range of views and are judged the most interesting and thoughtful. In some cases, NYT Picks may be selected to highlight comments from a particular region, or readers with first-hand knowledge of an issue.”
What criteria, exactly, does this comment satisfy, except to cram all the offensive sentiments into one burst of incoherence that is only tangentially related to the article in a display of deplorable reading comprehension skills?
“One of the benefits of Down syndrome is a reduction in the divorce rate? First, where’s evidence supporting the notion that a low divorce rate is “good”? More importantly, of course parents of Down syndrome stay together: who could live with themselves after leaving a spouse to cope with a Down syndrome child on their own? Since this piece gets it moral authority from privileging disability, it is hypocritical to make distinctions between the well-being of families of Down syndrome children and children with other disabilities. Besides, it seems unhealthy to find solace in the idea that others are worse off than you are. The notion that coping with adversity makes one a “better person” is a relic from, among other things, a time before modern medicine, when friends and loved ones commonly perished from communicable diseases. It’s a balm with its roots in certain theologies and philosophies most people don’t fully understand. Given that Down syndrome can be identified in utero, carrying a Down syndrome child to full term based in part on expectations of self-improvement is morally akin to throwing yourself and your child in front of a bus so the both of you can better yourselves by coping with paralysis. The rest of the piece is pie-in-the sky speculation about the wonders of future medical advances. When I read the phrase “studies are underway . . .,” it doesn’t make me scan the horizon for rescuers. I can’t wait to see which taboo Mr. Dawkins exposes next.” – Alan
This isn’t the first time I have fumed at the responses and NYTimes inability to monitor civil public discourse with regard to Down syndrome. In the past their Motherlode parenting blog is the usual venue for this sort of deliberation. For some reason Motherlode only publishes posts on Down syndrome with titles like: Has Down syndrome Hurt Us?; Outlawing Abortion Won’t Help Children with Down Syndrome; and Growing Up with a Disabled Sibling.
There is nothing remotely like: My Son (with Down syndrome) is a Reformed Kleptomaniac or My Son (with Down syndrome) is a Narrative Photographer or even My Son (with Down syndrome) Discovered Body Surfing This Summer. All of those are my kid by the way.
I actually question NYTimes judgment more than Dawkins when it comes to enflaming discussion on the value of people with Down syndrome. Dawkins is a deliberate provocateur. He wants a fight. He likes the fireworks, folks. The good news for Ds is he will surely go on to a new victim profile to satisfy his attention seeking ways but NYTimes seems oblivious to the audience response it attracts and supports.
This is not objective content instead the paper is relating and supporting a narrative on people with Down syndrome that needs to go if we are ever to understand and lend compassion to a group of people who have been murdered, tortured, refused medical treatment and institutionalized. We know that research, health care, adequate social services and intervention have made a real difference for people with Down syndrome. Life expectancy has risen from 25 years-old in the 1980’s to 50 years-old today. People with Down syndrome drive cars, have jobs, live on their own, go to post-secondary schools and get married.
I would ask The New York Times to expand their view of people with Down syndrome. NYTimes has several sections in their paper to explore stories on say: the actor, advocate and activist Edward Barbanell; Tim Harris, owner of Tim’s Place and star of his own reality series; or Lauren Potter, actor and activist, from the series Glee. Of course it might be hard to rile up a readership in reporting on people with Down syndrome who are successful and self-sufficient but I can assure you those stories will not embolden people who are looking for a safe harbor to vent their hateful thoughts.
As far as I am concerned what a woman does when faced with a pregnancy she does not want is her business. What you think about my son is my business. Richard Dawkins is well aware of what he is trying to accomplish. The New York Times does not seem to have a clue they could do a better job in its coverage of people with Down syndrome and in promoting genuine civil discourse with regard to oppressed groups.
I know there were a LOT of people outraged by that twerp Dawkins. I doubt he convinced anyone of anything with his eloquent statements, except to unite people against aborting babies with Down Syndrome. I almost felt like it was a joke and he is really a pro-life supporter and he thought if I write something outrageous enough, everyone will be polarized to the other side.
He likes to stir the pot. The Times needs to get it together.
You nailed it!
Thank you for speaking so plainly! You make an excellent point that if any demographic group were so cruelly discussed, nobody would stand for it. I’m glad you are reminding everyone not to stand for this, either.
Thank you for speaking so plainly! You make an excellent point that if any demographic group were so cruelly discussed, nobody would stand for it. I’m glad you are reminding everyone not to stand for this, either.
Came here through DSU.
What a great rebuttal.
The Google definition is excellent and I am going to use it whenever I can.
I sometimes have trouble really explaining to people what DS really is, without stumbling over my own tongue. :-)
Thanks again for writing this.
It is a terrific definition:) Thanks for taking time to comment.
Yup. The comments on NYTimes always bother me because a, they NYT does zero to keep them civil, and b, I know the people who read the NTY and they are not bottom barrel types. Very scary. I also had a lot of issues with the articles for the reasons you mentioned (don’t need to prove worth for my daughter to exist thank you very much) but also because they do that comparison thing to Autistic children (term preferred by the community don’t hurt me!) and it reinforces this idea that there is a heirarchy in terms of what disability you want in your kid. Hate that. Anyway glad you wrote on this one. I’ve been having some conflicting feelings and just didn’t feel up to tackling this.
True — It’s clear many people commenting are regular readers. Hard to believe. Thanks for writing!
Couldn’t have said it any better, thanks for your blog!
Right back at ya!
Thank you Kari. You always nail it. I wonder if the NYT would have the guts to post your comments about the NYT?BetsyDawkins (NO RELATION)
I wonder, too:) Oh, gosh your name! I forgot:)
Excellent post; you are so correct. (Now I have another blog to read!)
I love that you wrote this. I read it earlier in the day and have been thinking about it ever since. Here are my 2 cents: There are people who say that kind of stuff about black/Hispanic/female people all the time, especially from the safety of their cozy keyboards. And you know what? They are hateful jerks. All of them. These included.
I can’t worry about people like that. I refuse to justify my kid’s right to exist to people like that (or, anyone, for that matter), though I sometimes (okay, often) do spit out a post about this kind of thing.
The best thing we can do is be those happy people that these jerks can’t believe we are. Really, I look angry and tired? Maybe because I have to look at some staring asshole like that one commenter. Did she ever think of that? NO.
Maybe I choose to see my life as good BECAUSE IT IS and that is what PEOPLE DO…all people, not just us irresponsible drains on society (What a burden my family is, paying taxes and never using welfare or social security for my kid!).
Screw, ’em!!! (She said with a huge smile on her face)
All true! The New York Times doesn’t need to support their hateful views though. Thanks, Sister!
The google definition is spot on because it starts with the words “a person ……”
I doubt many of these writers have had any contact with folk who have DS and are speaking from lofty but extremely ignorant platforms.
Why do people feel the need to comment and judge if they have no experience or real life knowledge of any topic? How does the adage go? “Better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
Right! And The Times is empowering them while violating their own standards regarding comments. They wrote the standards–that’s a head scratcher. Thank you for re-blog!
Reblogged this on Dave's (almost) Daily Drivel and commented:
This blog is well written and is by the Mum of a fantastic kid who happens to have Downs Syndrome. Here she comments on a piece in the NYT which seems to be yet another providing a platform for a desperately fame-hungry pseudo celebrity and a forum for opinionated toffee nosed folk with no life experience of disability.
My comment was “better to say nothing and appear a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”
I just find the dialogue about people being a burden to society completely abhorrent. What about the child in foster care whose parents are in prison? The person who was paralyzed in a car accident? The victims of natural disasters or refugees of civil wars? Should all these people just be killed so that society doesn’t have to deal with them? We all pitch in to help out the members of our community who need it most. No individual can ever predict when the tables might be turned and they themselves would be in need of a helping hand.
Thanks Kari for another well thought out reply to yet another instance of bigoted ignorance. I think its probably good to remind oneself that public internet forums are stupendously bad places to seek affirmation in the basic goodness of humankind. I would also suggest that we look for something positive in this. One such thing would be this blog itself, which is a standard bearer for good thinking. And by good I mean “thinking done well”. Thats really what we are up against…bad thinking. Internet forums allow people to spew garbage guised in the cloak of independent thought. But independent thought is all too often selfish thought. I don’t really know how to change how someone thinks. I know that your son is very lucky to have someone who is not going to let crap like this slide as mother. As for Mr Dawkins, I suppose he deserves whatever is coming, which is more than I can say for most people. You reap what you sow.
Thank you! I agree with everything you wrote. I don’t in general bother myself with the haters of the world–unless they are in a position to do harm. And I don’t expect The Times to be a safe harbor for hate particularly when it goes against the standards set by the paper. Craziness!
These attitudes. Is it really this horrible for someone to have Down Syndrome that there must be so much… HATE!?
Unbelievable isn’t it? Totally unchecked hate.
I think it feels like hate to some. Particularly those with friends and/or family members who have Down syndrome. I think its more a case of ignorance (which, I admit, is often the handmaiden of hate). For all his worldly knowledge and learning, Mr. Dawkins fails the most important test of what it means to be human; the ability to step outside oneself and see/imagine/understand the world from an alien perspective. Thats what is unbelievable to me. That a man with a mind like that should avail himself so miserably when it counts the most.
Oh so much I didn’t think about, thank you!!! When I read it I was just glad SOMEONE spoke out against the jerk and I didn’t read the comments. We need to read the comments. Advocates need to know where we need to educate. Boy, do we have a lot of work to do….it would be nice to have a large advocacy group for people with Down syndrome.
And if The Times monitored those comments according to their standards they would not have been posted.
There are two national advocacy groups for Ds: National Down Syndrome Society and National Down Syndrome Congress. I may not agree with everything they do but they do exist:)
This piece is incredible. I wasn’t aware of this controversy; thank you for opening my eyes. I have two sons with autism and spend most of my time educating myself/worrying about issues concerning their disability. In my travels and my work, however, I have met a fair number of people who have Down Syndrome. I am appalled that anyone would even consider treating them differently than anyone else, much less having the nerve to comment on another person’s right to exist. I have dealt with a lot of ignorance and intolerance since my sons were born, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything this stupid and cruel. (And I totally agree that the NYTimes is complicit in spreading the hate.)
My sons have always been pushed to be part of the mainstream and to be involved in community activities. Some people have been very kind, but many so called “normal” people have acted like ignoramuses. I’m forced to wonder, what is so great about the larger community that my sons have to spend half their time learning to conform to its miserable rules?
At this point in my life (my sons are 23 and 19 and I am worn out), I dream of creating an oasis for those with developmental disabilities: a place where only people who love and respect them and their families, their successes and their struggles, are allowed to live and prosper. I think we might just be better off living amongst people who share our experience to some degree. Not everyone would choose that option, I know — but just for those people like me who can’t stand the stupidity anymore.
Wow! I love your response. Some days an oasis sounds perfect. The misunderstanding and judgments of family, fighting with the school and just the average Joe on the street who says dumb stuff gets to be too much.
“I’m forced to wonder, what is so great about the larger community that my sons have to spend half their time learning to conform to its miserable rules?”
Your blog was spot on! Shame on the NYT for publishing such hate. My sister has DS……the comments made me cry. Without a doubt, I have learned more from her than she has from me. I thank God for the gift of her life.
Thank you! Shame indeed. We can’t stop ignorant hate but we can try to hold the paper accountable.
Well said. It’s important to challenge not only Dawkin’s content – but equally important to challenge the larger media outlets who turn a blind eye to what would, in any other context, be considered hate speech, and rejected out of hand by any thinking, educated person. I’ve written about this some here http://tagalogblog.com/2014/08/08/words-matter-part-one/
I will follow your blog from now on. That post is brilliant. “The past is prologue”.
How little things change. Thank you for commenting. kwp
Thank you Kari! I feel the same.
Thanks Kari! This is great!!! I sent your post to the e-mail you listed to the Ny times.
Oh, thank you! We are all in this together. I appreciate your support!
I’ve got a stepson with Down syndrome. Yes, I actually chose to marry a man with a child with a disability. My stepson may not have the opportunity to do all the things that so many of us take for granted, but that has very little to do with his worth as a human being, his right to be alive, and his right to be treated with kindness, respect, and love. I’m with you. We don’t need to justify his existence. His existence is its own justification, as is true for all of us, regardless of our abilities, our disabilities, our ethnic or racial background, our religion, our sexual orientation, or any other distinguishing factor someone might come up with. Thank you for speaking up against bigotry and for our son. Someday, perhaps our nation will develop to the point that we actually live up to the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, which identifies the rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as “unalienable rights” to which all human beings are entitled.
A quote that has lived on this blog since day is Whitman’s: “…I exist as I am, that is enough”.
Thank you for writing:)
I long ago (my son is now 18) learned that my blood pressure could not stand reading the ignorance and smug judgements written in response to any story on the web about a person with a disability. So I laid down my own personal law — whatever you do, NEVER read the comments.
But sometimes I still do. And I am glad that you did too, and that you have written such a brilliant response.
I get it–not reading them is smart. Too many people looking for places spew.
I believe the paper is ignorant to the fact this is not a productive rights debate it is a human rights debate. Ugh.
I appreciate you commenting! Thank you, kwp
We accept these opinions as legitimate when we don’t challenge them.
I don’t know if any group has changed minds by ignoring the bigots. We need to confront the bigots. All of us should not only read the comments but reply to them and “like” the ones that get it right.
The NYTimes ignored its own policies. People are supposed to use their real names and “verified” commenters are required to use their names. These people sitting in judgement on the worth of our sons and daughters and sisters and uncles don’t have the guts to use their own names and the NY Times allowed this. Every responsible party should feel ashamed of themselves and all of us have a responsibilty to make sure that happens.
Ward Peck is my name (just trying to avoid hypocrisy).
I just read an article in the New Yorker about a British woman (can’t remember the details) who confronted the trolls to great effect, so you have a point.
I’m going to look that up! Thanks!
Excellent points! Should have been in the post. My oversight. Thank you Ward Peck for all your help with this post. I really could not have done it without you. love, kwp
I have a 16 year old son with DS. I had an amnio so I knew he was coming with something extra. My response towards folks like those who commented, I can only say on a blog, because it’s caustic. You think you can challenge my son’s right to be here? My IQ was last clocked at 176. Compared to me your typical child just doesn’t measure up, but I’m not questioning their right to be here. It has been my experience that people who question whether kids like ours should be born, do so because of their own insecurities and realize if we set an IQ threshold for who should and shouldn’t be born, they might not have make the cut. Just my 2 cents.
I think you may be right– that it stems from some projection of inadequacy makes sense. It is hard to account for such venom –it is ugly and angry.
There is little we can do to open the minds of the ignorant. This why God says “Leave the room for God’s wrath. Vengeance is mine, I will pay them back.” Romans 12:19. However, I am glad there are people like yourself who are able to activated so well for those with intellectual disabilities and those who love them.
Honestly I don’t have the energy to try and change the minds of the commentators. I just want The Times to stop providing a safe harbor for their hateful ideas. If the comments were about Hispanics, African-Americans, women, gays, etc it would not be allowed.
Kari, Thank you for doing this (and being a knockout in the looks department)
My questions to Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor, I attached to the link:
“Can you ask the moderators of the Aug. 28 Op-Ed “The Truth about Down Syndrome,” why they did not follow the commenting standards that commenters should use their real names and verified commenters MUST use their real names?
Their whole job is to enforce the standards and they failed miserably. If it is possible to see what comments they disqualified (including one of my own) those should be examined to ensure the moderators are not actively promoting a particular point of view i.e. Down syndrome is an “unmitigated disaster.”
Otherwise, please explain how is saying that about people’s children and siblings and nieces not to mention the people themselves acceptable behavior? Especially in a piece that lays out evidence to the contrary? It is hate speech, nothing else.
Great! And thanks:)
This is an amazing article.
Too anyone who comes out and says that people with Down Syndrome will amount to nothing in life and are a big burden on the parents and that the parents don’t look happy are flat out ignorant. I don’t think that anyone should be allowed to give an opinion on people with Down Syndrome so harsh as some have if their comment has “I’ve seen other people,” or “A family walking down the other side of the street”
Kari this article really was just a bomb to drop on that a-hole Dawkins as well as the NYTIMES for being so wrong in ignoring their own policies.
I have worked with several people with Down Syndrome as well as my best friends in high school and now in college have Down Syndrome. Some days I cannot hang out with them. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE BUSY WORKING AT THEIR JOBS. Tell my friend Aaron he’ll amount to nothing while working 5 days a week at 3 different jobs, or tell my friends Michael and Jessica that they won’t be getting married when Michael already had the intelligence to ask her parents if it would be okay for them to get married. Tell my friend Sarah that her job 2 days a week and all the other applications shes filled out for another job she won’t have any success when she gets older.
In my opinion, don’t abort your child with Down Syndrome, call me I’d be more than happy to take them and care for them like every HUMAN BEING should be taken care of.
Thank you for this article I was so happy when I was reading it and so happy that so many people believe that everything Dawkins wrote, and what the NYTIMES did was wrong.
Wow, what a terrific comment! The difference in our perspective is that we actually know people with Down syndrome.
Thank you, kwp
I am glad you straightened out that evil man Richard Dawkins, or the non-person a-hole as he is variously described and endorsed above. Oh what a horror! Why can’t everyone be like us. Now if only we can get the 90% of women who abort their fetuses with Down Syndrome to be like us.
“Mr. Dawkins fails the most important test of what it means to be human; the ability to step outside oneself and see/imagine/understand the world from an alien perspective.” Here is my challenge to Kari Wagner-Peck taken from above: step outside yourself and see/imagine/understand the world from an alien perspective.
I understand this issue means a lot to you, and you can speak with much expertise, but when you say “Dawkins is a deliberate provocateur. He wants a fight. He likes the fireworks, folks” it shows you know virtually nothing about Richard Dawkins. As is true of your commenters.