Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Will Never Understand

I will never understand how blog posts like When a Cashier Reminded Me My Son Has Down Syndrome garner such a universally positive response.  All I see when I read the cashier's ableist remark is the mother's horrifying reply (which I will not post here because it's too awful) in front of her 2-year-old child no less.  And then?  The ableism of this cashier and people like her is excused by the mother who says "It's not their fault.  They just don't know."

We cannot think it's okay to speak the way this mother did, in front of her child or not, in jest or not.  Because disabled children are being killed by their parents.  In 2014.  Just within the last month, I have learned about five recently murdered children (Olivia, Ben and Max ClarenceNancy Fitzmaurice and earlier this month London McCabe.)

Why is this mother being praised for making such a horrifying remark?  For "using her wit" as she claims to have done?  Why are so many oblivious to the harm posts like these are causing?


  1. First of all, I do wonder whether she actually said those things aloud to the cashier. They sound like the hard-ass comebacks people WISH they would have said in these situations. Second, the content of what she said was perfectly sarcastic and cutting to a woman who had said something very hurtful to her. The problem is saying them in front of her son. If she really said those things, that is awful, or at least ill-advised. Third, I totally agree she need not have backtracked and given the cashier an "out" for ignorance. Ignorance can excuse things said that are clearly not intended to be hurtful, but no reasonable adult, even an ill-informed one, could think that what the cashier said wouldn't be offensive and hurtful.

  2. My gut instinct (having read the entire post) was that she said those things allowed and in front of her son. Now, I could be wrong. I just feel like so often people say things and they don't think them through. They don't think the kid is watching or listening or will understand or remember. I've never been a parent, but I have been a child - a disabled child at that - who cannot forget hurtful comments people make.