Monday, March 23, 2009

Special Olympics Jokes

I hate to get all heavy on this blog, I prefer a more lighthearted, irreverent, giggly type post. I also realize that the majority of my readers don't need to hear how I feel about Special Olympics jokes and the "R" word, because you guys feel the same way. But, since in my last post I noted someone had Googled looking for Special Olympics jokes and ended up on my blog, I'm going to make this post. Maybe someone googling that same phrase will read this, and get something out of it.

I frequent 3 horsie type forums online, and actually a good portion of the posting on those is non-horse related. A lot of it is endless fighting about something minor (OMG you're riding yearlings?) that really in no way effects the other posters. Pages of bickering ensues, and then eventually someone posts this picture to try and make a funny point to end the fighting:

(Ok, ignore the part about driving a Honda, normally it says "Arguing on the internet is like being in the Special Olympics.." I just couldn't find the one that is normally seen on the boards.)

People get all surprised and upset when they're called out on this. Apparently anyone who doesn't find that funny must just be a real stick in the mud. Maybe I'm humorless, but when I see crap like this, all I can think of is how horrified that child's mother would be to see her son's image used to degrade people with developmental disabilities. It would be like me posting a picture of Jaymes doing something incredible online, then later finding it had been captioned to make fun of him and anyone like him. I would be shocked, disgusted, and angry. Why would someone find humor in a photo of a child's achievement being mocked?

I see kids with various disabilities twice a week at therapy, and I've gotten to know their parents, we're all pretty friendly in there. There's one sweet little boy, N, who comes in with his mom on Thursdays. He is the cutest little thing you've ever seen, and he knows more signs than Jaymes or I ever will. He makes the nicest little art projects in therapy. I can't imagine anyone mocking that adorable little boy.

If I posted on that same board, a picture of an African American man, with some funny caption that demeaned the entire black race, I'd have a hundred pages of furious posters telling me how awful racism is, and how unfair and inappropriate my post was. WHY is there a difference? Why AREN'T people outraged when a Special Olympics joke or pic is posted? Why is it no big deal to call someone a "retard" in school, but calling someone a racial slur will get a kid suspended? In my eyes the word "Retard" is just as awful as the word "Nigger." Hate speech has no place in society, doesn't matter who the hate is directed at. It's ALL wrong.

The ARC of America has some good reading on the "R" word and hate speech in general. Click here.

Click here for the "R" Word Campaign

Those of you who go on the forums, and see these things used, please stand up and make people aware that's it's just not ok.


Bobbi said...

So true! I see jokes like that all over and it makes me really mad.

Halo said...

It is so wrong and disgusting. They call children like my daughter 'window lickers' i boils my blood!

Odd Mom Out said...

Incredible blog entry. Thanks for posting that and the youtube videos.

Skye said...

Thanks for this post, I couldn't agree more.

Wrynn said...

I couldn't agree more. Making fun of the accomplishments of disabled persons is dispicable. I always admire the courage and willpower it must take for the families of these individuals, and the individuals themselves. Terri Clark's video "No Fear" always brings tears to my eyes.

tora said...

actually, no. i'd bet anything that that picture originated on 4chan (probably /b/) like most of the other horrible things you would find on the internet. and 4chan isn't politically correct or even polite about ANYONE. people with disabilities, anyone of any race, gay people, straight people, any religion (or lack thereof), even themselves are fair game. i don't know why everyone gets so angry about things that trolls do. don't you understand, that's what they WANT! that's why they exist! posting angry blog posts is not the way to deal with it. one fundamental rule of the internet: don't feed the trolls.