Address details

Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Obama "joke" about Special Olympics is just not funny

It's been on TV news and in newspapers all around the world, so you probably know that US President Obama made a flippant "aside" about Special Olympics on a national TV show a couple of days ago. It wasn't funny (although the TV audience laughed), and there has been a great deal of response. The President has apologised to Special Olympics International President, Tim Shriver - and SO has sensibly taken the opportunity as "teachable" moment for the community at large.

If you are interested in following the debate that has ensued, here is a selection of starting points:

Special Olympics

Disability News (Patricia E Bauer)

Blog commentaries:

Planet of the Blind

Bad Cripple

1 comment:

Ju said...

Remeber Don Imus' Comment?

Obama said: "He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women — who I hope will be athletes — that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting."

Therefore, laughter and the lack of reaction from Obama’s remarks suggest Americans have a set a rules for race, class and gender: If you touch them you will pay.

And another set of rules for individuals that have a mental or physical disability: If you touch them, it’s ok if you apologize. Oh, and by the way, it’s okay to laugh at the jokes that come at the expense of the latter.

It is just cruel.