Friday, March 20, 2009

Fallout from bowling...

All’s fair in politics. Gov. Sarah Palin has criticized President Obama for his dismal remarks about bowling and the Special Olympics (see item below).

“I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics,” Palin said in a statement. “This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world."

Palin, of course, is the new mom of a baby with Down Syndrome. And she’s right to be miffed by Obama’s remarks. But let’s be real clear here. For Palin to characterize people with disabilities as “our world’s most precious and unique people” is as condescending and patronizing as it gets.

We have enough to do to carve real lives out of the smothering hostile jungle of discrimination clothed in hostility or paternalism without the characterizations of Palin or Obama. The difference with Obama is that he has the great opportunity to take action and create policy to advance our inclusion in society. We’re watching…

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