Local Tap Bar and Grill Sign Starts Online Debate With Dyslexia Joke
When is it OK to joke about a learning disability, chronic illness or other health condition? The answer, unless given expressed permission, may be never, one San Francisco based bar learned on Tuesday.
Local Tap Bar and Grill drew some online attention when a photo of its chalkboard sign was posted to the Facebook page “A Special Community of Love & Acceptance.” The sign read, “I have sexdaily. Wait, I mean dyslexia — Fcuk!” Kerry Magro, a man on the autism spectrum who runs the Facebook page, shared the picture, asking the bar’s owners to take the sign down.
“To the people who run this bar, I’m VERY disappointed in you,” he wrote. “You decided to make a mockery out of people with Dyslexia by your sign right outside your restaurant.”
Magro’s post quickly received a variety of comments, with many of the page’s fans echoing his sentiments. “There’s a difference about being funny and having fun at someone else’s expense. You can be funny and not have to make fun of a disability to do that,” a commenter shared on the post. “My mother is extremely dyslexic and struggles with life and has a hard time figure out what people mean. Not only is this sign about dyslexia, it’s also vulgar and disrespectful.”
“Not funny at all,” another wrote. “Any person should not make fun of anyone with disability seems these guys don’t have heart.”
Not everyone, however, was bothered by the sign. “Sorry, but I think we are too freaking sensitive,” one commenter wrote. “I have both autism and dyslexia in my immediate family and although it’s not an appropriate sign for children to read, for a bar, it’s on par for low brow humor. Lighten up or everyone and everything is going to offend. Just worry about you. Love and light.”
“As a person with dyslexia — I think this is pretty darn funny,” another person shared.
Since posting on Monday, the bar has taken the sign down.
We asked our community if it bothers them when people make jokes about dyslexia? Here’s what they had to say:
“I’m dyslexic. I make light of it all the time (e.g. “hahaha look how I mangled that sentence I was trying to type”), but I think that’s acceptable as someone who suffers from it. If someone who does not have it makes jokes about it (e.g. “Wow I’m so dyslexic today. I can’t spell right”), they should be educated on why that’s not acceptable.” — Kenkire K.
“My son is dyslexic and dysgraphic. It does bother me. He struggled and fought very hard to learn to read. Dysgraphia is much harder to overcome so even at 20 years old he still fights with that. Both of them are literally fighting your brain to see and write correctly. It’s not cute or funny to use someone’s struggle as a joke or even as a put down on yourself. Especially a put down on yourself or someone who doesn’t have it. Because then you are making fun of a person who does have it. If it’s so bad for you to have it as a joke just think how it feels to actually have it and hear that.” — Carla E.
“Like most of the other respondents, I am dyslexic. Jokes about dyslexia are just that jokes. Not everyone’s sense of humor is the same so even if I don’t find the joke funny, I don’t let it affect me and just go about my business. There are much bigger and more important issues in my life to be concerned with than potentially stupid jokes other people make.” — Josh C.
“‘I wrote that backwards. I must be dyslexic, too, right?’ My daughter works so hard every day on learning to write properly. She’s not lazy, distracted, or “just in a hurry.” It looks right in her head, but not on paper. There is confusion between her brain and her motor skills. I don’t find humor in that.” — Rex A.
“I think it is fine if you have it, however, it really annoys me when someone says that they have cause they spell something wrong. I don’t think the jokes would bother me if it they weren’t just on the stereotype.” — Tasha W.
“I find the most difficult part about having dyslexia is how if I’m flustered or anxious it gets so much worse. Having jokes made at them exact moments it’s like been kicked when you’re already down. My closest friends sometimes make jokes that I’m ok with, but other times if I’m already been so hard on myself that any remark/joke even in jest really re-enforces the feeling of been a failure.” — Stevie H.
“Does it bother me when people make jokes about Dyslexia? Yes sometimes it does and other times it doesn’t. It depends who the joke comes from and what the intention of the joke is. I can joke about my dyslexia most of the time. I can really laugh about it. The mistakes I can make are hilarious. Other times I can cry about it. Really cry. On the days that I want to cry because I am intensely struggling due to an overloaded dyslexic brain I can not take a joke about it. On those days jokes bother me and I am likely to show people it bothers me. I also work as a school counselor with students who have dyslexia. It bothers me when they are the brunt of a joke about dyslexia. Young people (and even adults) might call another person dyslexic as a joke due to a mistake they have made. Funny for them. Not funny for the student listening who really does have dyslexia. Ok, some students with dyslexia may also find that funny. On a good day. On an overloaded day, they probably won’t. It’s the same with anything really. Someone with one leg might find it funny to make a joke about themselves one day and on another day they might just be having a hard time of excepting life is like it is for them.” — Annabelle V.
The Mighty reached out to Local Tap Bar and Grill and has yet to hear back.