Why This Political 'Humor' Insults People With Disabilities


Today an ad for a mug with the word “Libtard” for sale on Amazon.com came into my Twitter feed.   I found several sellers with such mugs and a magnet with the same word labeled as “political humor.”

Clearly the hybrid term hearkens back to the days when “retard” was hurled as an insult. I am offended, and it’s not about right and left, it’s about right and wrong.

Aside from the fact that name-calling is immature, the last resort of those who have run out of logical positions from which to debate, it is not acceptable for anyone to demean a person with intellectual disabilities. I worked for several months as a parent helper to a lovely girl with Down syndrome in seventh grade. Julie could read and recite passages from Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.”  She worked hard and contributed a lot to the classroom. There’s a value to emotional intelligence, which Julie had a lot of.  Her joy in learning and just being was contagious.

Emotional maturity allows adults of various intellectual abilities to engage in civil conversation, to hear the other person out, and conceive of the idea that just maybe, they could be wrong. Admitting that possibility, however remote it may seem, is the first step to listening with an open mind.

Wherever we stand on the political spectrum, can all thoughtful people agree to stop using the r-word, in whole or part?

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock image by Willard.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Intellectual Disability

Girl being bullied.

To Those Who Mock People With Intellectual Disabilities

To Those Who Mock People With Intellectual Disabilities, My first question is why? Why do you make these jokes? Why Does it make you feel so giddy, so powerful, to make hateful jokes and constantly drop the r-word? Why are you so determined to mock other human beings that you even continue them after you’ve [...]
Lauren Bianco photo of an eagle in a nest.

How Wildlife Photography Has Improved My Life With a Developmental Disability

I am 31 years old and live in Moriches, New York. I am a wildlife photographer and I am also developmentally disabled. I face many challenges in life, but photographing wildlife and nature is one of my favorite passions. To get outside and be with nature is very therapeutic to me and taking these beautiful [...]
Teacher helping a student with Down syndrome.

I'm Not 'Brave' for Working With People With Disabilities

There are a few things in this world that upset me. For the most part, I am a pretty laid back person. Until you say I am brave. I am an advocate for those with a disability, run a company that showcases people with disabilities, and am a life coach for adults with disabilities. Almost [...]

This Nonprofit Created 6 Different Small Businesses To Give Job Variety

Extraordinary Ventures creates small businesses for people with developmental disabilities to pursue jobs they are passionate about. Read the full transcript:  To Give People With Disabilities More Job Choices… This Nonprofit Created 6 Different Small Businesses Extraordinary Ventures (EV), based in Chapel Hill, NC, creates and supports businesses employed by people with disabilities. These self-sustainable [...]