Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oops, GQ did it again

I'm afraid that it's time to beat a dead horse. 

Yes, we're gonna have us another little talk about GQ.  Sorry.

Remember when I shared those offensive statements they made regarding parents and adoptive families?

Well, now they've gone and insulted people with Down syndrome.

I know, right?

In an article arguing that Boston is America's worst-dressed city, GQ included this little gem:

"Due to so much local in-breeding, Boston suffers from a kind of Style Down Syndrome."

Now, I know GQ is a random magazine that probably none of us reads.  And I don't expect anyone to ascribe to my personal ideas or beliefs.  Especially the writers at GQ.

But people, this is just not okay.  Not.o.kay.

I'll start by pointing out that it belies some major ignorance on the part of the author: does he really think Down syndrome is the result of in-breeding?  Really?

Yet more importantly...why on EARTH is he using Down syndrome as an insult?!  Comparing bad fashion to people born with an extra chromosome??!!

Let me tell you, in case you didn't know, that people do not "suffer from" Down syndrome.  Down syndrome is not a disease, and it is not an illness.  It is a term used to classify a group of people born with some extra genetic material on their 21st chromosome.  This group of people tends to share certain characertistics, but they do not "suffer" from Down syndrome.  They will face some challenges unique to them, but then don't we all face challenges?  Good grief.  People born with Down syndrome are PEOPLE.

Stuff like this makes me fighting mad.  (If you couldn't tell.)

GQ or not, dumb men's magazine or not, you don't say things like that.  It's ugly.  It's ignorant.  It's mean.

As if those with Down syndrome in the US aren't fighting enough of a battle as it is.

92% won't even be born, because they will have been eliminated by their own mothers and fathers, thanks to a medical establishment that does not value life as it should.

Then the 8% or so fortunate enough to make it to birth have to put up with stupid comments and mean people.

So, I'm speaking up again, because I think this is a dialogue worth having.  Sure we can write off these statements because they come from a less-than-honorable publication, because we don't expect a worldly magazine to have the corner on morality or, you know, basic human decency.

Or we can address the unfortunate fact that these attitudes aren't limited to the pages of a sketchy periodical.  They are alive and well in our communities, our schools, our churches, and yes even our homes.

That 92% statistic?  Yep, that says it all. 

I now need to share some time-sensitive information with you.  (And yes, it relates to what we've been talking about).  This beautiful little girl, born with Down syndrome in Eastern Europe, is living on majorly borrowed time.  She needs a family.  In order to live.  Please spread the word.

When I read her story the other day, my heart broke into a million and one pieces.

Then, reading GQ's article today, it broke again.

Because people who trivialize the very existence of God's precious, most-vulnerable, made-in-His-image children are participating in a grave evil.  Maybe this journalist working for GQ thinks he has nothing to do with an orphan living on another continent, or with a pre-born baby in the womb, but the truth is, our world is a hostile place for children with Down syndrome.  And attitudes are shaped by what we see and hear in the media. 

So every time someone diminishes the life of a person with Trisomy 21, it is a nail in a child's coffin.

And that's no exaggeration.  It's the truth.

In addition to the horrific abortion rate for these children in our country, there is also the reality that orphaned children with Down syndrome world-wide have a horribly difficult time finding a family.  Most adoptive families want healthy young infants.  So these precious, especially vulnerable children sit and wait and, in Eastern Europe, are transferred to mental asylums where they eventually die.

So, yes, it's all related.

And, yep, I have a vested interest in this.  Oh yes I do.  Because I now have two daughters who were born with Down syndrome.  And they may be only 4 years old and 2 years old respectively, but they've got awesome style, and we have seven people here in our home who can't wait to get these girls here and start living life together under one roof.

GQ, I think it's time your magazine put more effort into whatever it is that you are supposed to do, and leave parents, adoptive families, and now people with Down syndrome(!) alone. Comments like the one above make you sound ignorant, but far worse, they're hurtful and cruel. Words matter--and for goodness' sakes, people who write for a living should know that!

(And if for no other reason--PLEASE stop saying such ridiculous things--I've got other stuff to blog about, yo!)


Blog Template by YummyLolly.com