Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wow

WARNING WARNING WARNING: VERY STRONG LANGUAGE IN POST

I got up this morning just after midnight to go for a pee. I knew I shouldn't but I popped on the blog for a few seconds to see what was going on with comments. I discovered that my blog had been discovered by the world outside the disability community. I had had over 100 hits in an hour and there were just over 70 people on my blog at that moment. Somehow my blog had gotten listed somewhere and all these visitors were storming the gates.

Sometimes it feels like 'preaching to the choir' when writing a blog so I was pleased that some of those who are more likely to use the word 'retard' and more likely to see 'Tropic Thunder' were reading the blog. I could see from the stats that the specific blog being visited was my letter to Ben Stiller. Cool. Then just before going back to bed I wondered if these new visitors were leaving any comments.

Oh my.

A few had ... all negative. But one was so outrageous in what it said that it bears being reprinted here. Remember, I did warn you about strong language:

You're a fucking cunt. Grow some fucking balls you spineless faggot. You're out of touch. Someone makes a joke that mocks the handicapped and you write him a fucking letter holding him responsible? He doesn't give a fuck. And he rightfully shouldn't. You're the reason there are school-shootings. Pussy fucks like you raising your children to be passive snot-nosed shitlickers that will eventually snap and then pull a gun on their classmates because losers like you never taught them that sometimes they just have to ignore stupid people.

Fuck you, and fuck everything you stand for


Now here I am sitting safely in my apartment feeling, not upset or anger, but fear. I don't know who this person is (while I have the courage of having a name, my attacker has the cowardice of the anonymous - who's spineless here?) or what they might be capable of. This is the kind of person that exists in the world, this is the kind of reaction that confrontation can occasion. Wow.

I'm glad that my post made this writer angry. I'm glad their true hostility came out. This allows us all to sit up and take notice about the world as it actually is and prejudice as it actually happens. This person is reacting harshly to what? My letter to Ben Stiller? I don't think so. I think this person is reacting to the challenge that their use of a hateful word is evidence of a hateful spirit. Their denial, or rather, their form of denial gives truth to that sentiment.

The job is a big one. I don't care about convincing this writer about the rightness of our cause. I don't care if they ever believe that name calling is wildly inappropriate ... their use of the word faggot, tells me that this is a hollow dream. What I care about is that we realize that we must work hard, harder, hardest to ensure that those in our care, professionally or personally, are prepared well for the world.

Because the world has this writer in it.

A sad fact.

But a fact.

25 comments:

Jacqui said...

Dave,

Like you said, these souls were so filled with conviction for what they believed in, they left their full name for all to see - Oh, wait. No they didn't.

That says everything about them and nothing about you.

I love how you can give us a pep talk without even making it feel like a pep talk. Keep up the good fight.

Jacqui

Glee said...

we know they're out there but it is shocking none the less.

my comfort in the face of such hate is ppl like that are really just little cowards who can only bear to attack ppl they think are defenceless.

little do they know....

onya Dave and most ppl on this blog.

glee - who's exhausted from fighting other crip fights locally and can only type one finger today hence no caps :-)

Kara said...

Dave, I'm one of those new readers that found your blog through a link somewhere about that trash we've all been talked about - Tropic Thunder.

You're great and I love your blog. There's nothing wrong with trying to change the world one post, one reader, one story at a time. Hooray for you!

Kara

Gün Osborn said...

I'm sorry you had to read this awful message.

Nicole said...

What a sick, twisted mind. I'm glad that his kind are few and far between. I also hope he gets the help he needs. What a miserable way to live life huh?

HUGS Dave.

Maranatha said...

I am afraid I have to fess up at this point.....I linked the Letter to Mr Stiller in a facebook group called Boycott Tropic Thunder and I am afraid our adversaries have maybe visited more that our allies.
:) glad you wrote this and are not upset but sorry if this caused you any indigestion! lol
I linked the letter because it was written much better than anything I could ever write.
:) again sorry if this caused you any indigestion or boughts of uncontrollable laughter :)
Maranatha

Frances Furuya said...

Dear Dave-Long time,but I had to respond. I think the writer of that post said it best himself-unfortunately, some stupidity is so profound it is impossible to ignore. I mean, his utter lack of knowledge of even the basic "Queen's English" is absurd! All I got from his post is that he is angry about something-not sure what. Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with not being eloquent, but, jeez! To be stupid,predjudiced AND have a mouth that reaks of all the poo in hell and somehow think that YOU'RE the superior being? Oh, give me strength! Frances a.k.a. Poppy

FridaWrites said...

So to recap, anonymous thinks people shouldn't stand up to bullying because if we stand up to bullying, then bullies everywhere will be so devastated and heartbroken they'll have to go stock up on weapons and orchestrate mass killings. Ohhhkkkaaaay.

According to what I've read, a lot of recent mass killings have happened because the killers themselves were being bullied, not because they weren't allowed to bully. That and biochemical mental illness.

melody is slurping life said...

Dave, I am sorry you were the brunt of such words of hate. I applaud you for continuing to blog the issues. I keep blogging it, and I've been linking to a few of yours. :)

Ettina said...

I'm one of the people who disagrees with you about Tropic Thunder.
But to give such a hate-filled message - that's not mere disagreement. That's hate.

myrrien said...

I am full of different emotions sorry being the biggest. Sorrow that such trash was put there for you to read, sorrow that there are some people who just don't get it. Such hatred. The other emotion I have is pride strangely enough, pride in you Dave and all who have taken on board what you have said - we have made a difference. Change often doesn't come about without a reaction we have seen that today.

Gaina said...

Yup, there be trolls in them there woods!

Just set your blog to make it so that you have to allow any comments made. Don't worry it won't stop everyone reading, it'll just stop the juvenile drivel :D.

Shan said...

Yeah, that would be upsetting.

I have to disagree with the idea of vetting the comments, though. You don't plant the seeds of change in people by curtailing the free exchange of opinions. You can say the words "hate speech" until you're blue in the face, but an object lesson will get the job done much quicker....and your commenters certainly provided that.

rickismom said...

Well, well, well. If anyone thought that there isn't prejudice against those with disabilities, I think we have a shut and closed case!

Jessica said...

You should forward these ugly comments to Mr. Stiller. I hope he's proud of his lackeys.

Tera said...

Hi, Dave,

If you don't want to moderate comments, you can also make it so your blog doesn't allow anonymous comments. That way, even if people spew garbage, they have to do it with a name of some kind.

Susan said...

Hmmm. Interesting that these comments showed up on my screen just above the picture of the accessible loo from a day earlier. I'm not sure if they were on their way out of that pit, or on their way in! But how apt.

Nancy-Princeton said...

Dave, Unfortunately there are hateful people in this world and they seem to make the most noise. We notice them and because they hurt us, we remember them. What we have to know/remember/cling to is that there are many, many more people out there who are good, generous and kind. They just don't make as much noise!

Keenan Wellar said...

Without accepting anonymous comments, revealing to the world the extent of the ongoing ignorance and outright hatred for "difference" (particularly as regards people with intellectual disabilities) would be more difficult.

I received a lot of similar emails back in the day when the mutilation of Ashley X was in the news. I found it helpful to be reminded that there is still so much work to be done, to see that having a certain type of disability is seen by many people to mean that it is OK to deny them rights that are never questioned for others.

Heike said...

Wow indeed Dave! This is seriously cruel and rude stuff. Sorry you had that directed at you.

But you know what? The world would be a much better place if only you "spineless faggot" were a father of many "raising your children to be passive snot-nosed shitlickers" than this drivel - and hate filled person. Imagine this person procreating? Imagine being this person's child! And such a coward!

Fuck them, and everything they stand for.

Wanda said...

Wow, I don't usually blog or comment, but man this one made my head spin.... this was like standing beside a young kid who just learned when his mommma's not around he can say all those words she won't allow him to say.

visit www.therword.org

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I am appalled that this person sent you such a hate filled message. Sorry you had to read it but thanks for sharing it through the blog. It is a very hostile world out there for anyone who is different.

Every day parents of children and adults with disabilities send their kids out to possibly encounter hostility like that. Dave, that takes courage. And incredible resilience on the part of the people with disabilities who encounter hate regularly and yet keep going.

My brother has Down's Syndrome. He is 50 years old. He has been ridiculed, segragated, assaulted and rejected for most of his life. Yet he is still a loving generous person with a wicked sense of humour. I am blown away by his resilience. We need to know the stories of people with disabilities who have overcome the adversity of hate. They will inspire and lead the way to change, I believe.

One person who I met (figuratively) through your writing is Astra Milberg. Her letter to the baby who fell from a bridge says so much about resilience and having a life that is worth living regardless of social attitudes.

Thanks again Dave.

Arizaphale said...

Coming in a little late here but had to respond. It appears your commenter has a few issues there! Frances summed it all up for me :-)Mind you, the only sensible thing anonymous said was that sometimes you just have to ignore stupid people. Let's ignore him shall we?

Simonne K said...

I have a daughter with DS and I can say that she has changed my views on more than just the language associated with mental dissabilities. I hope more people like you amke their thoughts public. Our group is quite private where we live.

Nikki said...

Dave,

As I sit here looking at my son, who happens to have Down syndrome, I am also multi tasking and checking out your blog.

But anyways, I'm looking at my son, thinking, what type of future does he have? He's a beautiful child, smart, funny and extrodinary. But what does the future hold for my child and other children with Down syndrome, and then I read your blog, I say he has a pretty good future as long as people advocate for him, his rights, his dignity, and his respect.

I'm suppose to be my son's advocate, his voice, I owe this to my child, as his mother, to make certain that he get's the best education, the best inclusive environmet that life has to offer.

But you, you owe my son nothing, you don't even know him, and yet, you advocate for him and his friends. You stand up and tell the world just how it is, and you do it so matter of factly. If we had more people like you in the world, advocating for my child and his friends, maybe life wouldn't be so hard, and maybe things would change at a faster pace than it taking a life time for better medical care, better education, better everything.

I am so grateful to you. Thanks Dave, Thanks for just being you.