I can count on more than one hand how many times in the last couple of the years I have been enjoying reading a novel, a memoir, a blog post, or, tonight, a Facebook post. And then, suddenly, I am jolted. My eyes screech to a dead halt. I stare and gape at the page in disbelief. I am shocked to read what was an articulate piece of writing until I get to it. The author lobbed it. They thought it funny. A jest. Just exercising everyday vernacular to toss out a slur. Wedged within a sentence. A jokey reference to people with intellectual disAbilities.
It is no joking matter. We lead a beautiful life. Full of joy. And I wish this for all people in my community. But it is also a life, regardless, that is challenging on so many fronts. Hardships that, unless you live it or see and experience it up really close and often, you have no idea the depths of it.
Dear people, especially you who write professionally, please scour your joke bag and dump your flippant references. People with intellectual disAbilities deserve the same respect as any other human being. Please don’t make them to blunt of your jokes.
I thank you.