There is so much about Sarah Palin to find offensive. Her fans are so entrenched that she can do no wrong in their eyes. I have discussed many times in the comments section of the blog one particularly distasteful aspect of her persona, the way she shamelessly exploits her special needs child. What I get in response from her tireless defenders is that I am the one exploiting this child to make political attacks against Sarah. So I was pleased to find an eloquently written letter on the web today. This letter comes from the mother of a special needs child and she did a much better job than I could ever do of calling Sarah out.
I am the mother of a 16 year-old girl with severe intellectual disabilities. I am disturbed by Mrs Palin’s insincere comments when she speaks out for individuals with developmental delays. I watched The Colbert Report last night, and I have never been more proud to call myself a fan of Stephen Colbert.
But also, as a mother I wonder what is in Trig’s future.
If his Down Syndrome does not severely effect his ability and he is able to read, he will read his mother’s autobiography and learn that she questioned if she could love him. He will read interviews that his mother considered even for a split second to terminate her pregnancy, he will become aware that many consider his mother a hero for not terminating her pregnancy – thus knowing that among her fans he is considered beautiful but somehow a burden.
She needs to start treating him quietly as a child who will grow into a man. She needs to learn to advocate for him and not allow him to be a victim of satire when it suits her and a victim of discrimination when it can get her attention.
And she needs to stop using him as a political prop. A child with such needs should surely not be hauled around half-naked in front of flash photographers to promote a book tour, or be routinely referred to in speeches for applause lines. It’s unseemly. But then so much about this person is.
After I read this, I wanted to find this woman and give her a hug. You see, the “hero card” that Sarah plays with respect to Trig, how courageous Sarah was not to terminate the pregnancy, sends the exact opposite message from the one a true advocate of the disabled would send. As the mother above points out, if you view your child as a burden, you’re already starting off on the wrong foot. There is no nobility in Sarah keeping Trig. She was supposed to have kept Trig. Had she placed him (or terminated him) it would have been a sign of her weakness as a human being, perhaps a forgivable weakness but a weakness just the same. You don’t get points for doing what you are supposed to do.
The mother also mentions a segment on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” where Stephen Colbert takes Sarah to task for her junior high school cheat notes written on her hand and the “retard” hypocrisy she exhibits for attacking White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel but giving Rush Limbaugh a pass for the same behavior. Apparently, so long as satire is involved (and in Rush’s case there was no satire), it’s ok to use the word “retard” according to Sarah. So Stephen Colbert invites us all to declare:
Sarah Palin is a f*cking retard.
It’s just satire right?Vodpod videos no longer available.