Thursday, July 17, 2008

Irritated

Okay, I need your opinions, and I really want your honest thoughts or opinions.  The neighborhood I live in started a blog about a year ago to keep everyone in our community updated on new developments, for people to post questions, comment on things about our neighborhood, etc.  The person that started the blog lives here in our development.  So today their was a new post just letting us know he gave the blog a new post, and posted a 'funny' picture.  Well for some reason the picture really bothered me. I don't want to post the picture here, but want your opinion on this, so if you click here you can see the photo.  If you look closely at the person in the photo it looks like this person may have down syndrome.  My first reaction was, 'this really isn't appropriate to post on a community blog,' and obviously having Kaela, I'm a little more sensitive to things like this. I don't know if the picture is poking fun of that person (but we all know how people can be), but I thought it could really offend someone...so I left a comment. This is what I said:
"I'm not usually one to comment on something like this, but I am feeling a bit bothered by the pic. I don't know if the intent was to poke fun or not, but it seems as though the person in the picture may have a disability and being the parent of a child with a disability I think this is a bit insensitive.  I just think that this could offend someone, and I really am not sure what the point is? I can understand how the photo itself can be funny, and I'm sure you did not intend to make fun of the person or disability, but I'm not sure that the picture is appropriate for a community blog. I really am not trying to be the annoying neighbor, I am just trying to think of the affect this could have on someone that may read/see this. Sarah

So I was trying to be nice and say this in a nice way.  Just my opinion. This is what he wrote back:
Um-it's not poking fun at anybody. It's a picture of a person who is using a couple of trees to prop up a champion stand and that person just happens to be in the middle of it. The point is, the trees just happen to be positioned in the 2nd and 3rd place spots. If this picture is TRULY offensive to anyone else, I'll take it down.

Okay, I really am not usually like this, but this pissed me off even more. I felt like what I had to say didn't mean anything and I felt like I was being treated like I was stupid. Maybe I'm just having one of those days, but it really bothered me. I came home and cried. I said to Matt, if that person in the middle was a little person I would be really mad. It just so happens to be something different. I mean I could be wrong, (it wouldn't be the first or the last time!) but it sure looks like this person has a disability.  So anyway- I was really upset. I thought, oh, okay, if two people are offended then it's worth taking down, but not just one person. Plus I was pissed about the way he explained the picture. As though I'm an idiot and I didn't understand the 'joke.' So I wrote this:
"I have enough sense to understand what the joke is, and even GET IT! But my point is that their happens to be a person with a disability in that picture. I guess I'm sensitive to it since my one year old child has a disability. Apparently one person being offended is not enough for you-and apparently you'd rather have this turn into an argument about who thinks what. I just stated my opinion as a person who has to deal with this kind of ignorance every day. I don't find the joke offensive, I said I believe it could offend someone seeing as though it happens to be a person with a disability, obviously that doesn't seem to matter."

So after this he decided to take it off the blog.  Maybe I am being overly sensitive, but I just found it to be rude and and I found it to be even more rude when he made that second comment. So I want your opinions. I really do, so tell me the truth :)  I know people who have children with down syndrome and I'm sure they would not appreciate seeing that. I don't know, just as this person does not know, if their is a family in our neighborhood that has a child with DS and might not appreciate that picture.  UGH. It is 11:33 at night. I sat here thinking about blogging about it so had to get up and get the laptop so I could do it.  I just picture Kaela standing in that picture and knowing I would appreciate it if someone stood up for my child in a case like that.  Anyway. I'm off to bed.  





























12 comments:

Tonya said...

I get the joke. Ok, haha funny. But I understand what your saying. As parent's to children who have an "obvious" disability, things like this we don't find funny because we project that it is our child standing there. Was the poster making light of the fact that a DS person "beat two trees"? or were they just saying this is a funny picture? We will never knew their true intend. Don't let things like this upset you sweetie. You said what you had to say, that is all you can do. It is the poster's responsibility from here on out to re-evaluate what they find funny and as I always say to end the "joke" God forbid you ever have a child who the world views as "imperfect"! You certainly won't be laughing then!

Sarah and Matt said...

yes, exactly! I didn't mean this person that posted it was making fun of but who really knows what the joke was (as you said)! What started upsetting me enough later to post this was wondering if maybe I was wrong...but I really didn't think it was appropriate for a community blog when their is a possible question in the meaning of the joke. and you said it perfectly God forbid they ever had a child who was 'imperfect' thru someone's eyes. I was truly thinking of parents with a child of DS with my first reaction to it- then I started thinking more. That must be my problem...i should just stop thinking..it's 2:53 am I'm surprised i can think..anyway thanks tonya for understanding my side of it.

Kim said...

I see your point-I am sensitive to DS since my ex's nephew (Preston's cousin) has DS and is probably the cutest most adorable sweet boy in the world. So I completely see your point. I'm glad they took it down! Itwould have rubbed me the wrong way too since it is a community blog. It was immature on his part to post it, even though I get the joke. Go you!

Katie said...

I think it is always important for you to stand up for what you believe. It doesn't really matter what the joke was because that's the way you took it and there were probably other people who took it the same way. It would have just eaten at you if you didn't say something. A community blog is no place for 'jokes' that my be insensitive. I would have been even more angry that a neighbor would respond to me in that way. I couldn't tell if the child had downs, but he could have. If that was a LP..I would have been REALLY mad and really raised some hell! People just baffle me sometimes!

Rachliedel said...

I think the picture was really inapropriate and I didn't think the joke was even a little funny. I think the thing that was most upsetting was the way he responded. He should have at least tried to understand where you were coming from, but instead he took no responsibility and made it seem like you were the one that was rude. I wouldn't let him bother you because he doesn't deserve that much of your time, but I'm glad you told him how you feel.

Anonymous said...

OK...I was all ready to be "oh don't be so sensitive etc."...then I looked at the pic!!! My take on the pic is that indeed the caption was making fun of the person between the trees(otherwise what was the point) If the person was...lets say Matt..flexing his muscles pretending to be Brad Pitt again...OK..that's funny. My Mom taught me not to make fun of people who might not think it is funny and I can't think ofwhy this girl or her family would think it was funny. My Mom also taught me that if you hurt somebody's feelings you say that you are sorry and try to fix it. You rock Sarah !! Love Aunt Shell

Neicy said...

I always say you should think before you put something out there with your name on it! It was careless for the poster to place the photo on a community blog, truly not considering the people in the community, but even more so to respond the way he did, to a concerned person of that community. I believe you were trying to make the poster aware of their responsibilities to the community in a nice way and they chose to make lite of your comment, when they should have apologized (like Aunt Shell expressed). I truly think Sarah that you are growing as an advocate for a lot of things you may not have expected, as a mother of your two babies, but you've got a lot of support, SO DO YOUR THING, GIRL!!!!

Jayna said...

Hi I saw the picture and it seemed kind of mean to me too that child with DS yes with down syndrome is in the middle of the 2 trees and the sign says you beat two trees like the child only has the ability to beat a tree they are more capable then that and can beat a lot of other things it did seem like they were making fun of that person. I agree with you being that I have a disabilty like your daughter and it takes a lot to bother me but, this just seems kind of insensitive. Sometimes though when people don't know anyone with any disabilty they don't realize What they say or do you did the right thing you go girl.

How Life Is Measured said...

Good for you for standing up for yourself. Owen is in PT with 6 kids with Downs and I really doubt their parents would have found this picture funny. People who don't have kids with disabilites just don't understand. Hopefully, we can give the guy the benefit of the doubt that he really didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings and that his reaction was out of embarrassment. He did take it down which was the right thing to do. See, one person (you) can make a difference!

Charmaine said...

good for you I would have done the same , i know how you feel , but you stood up for what was right and thats what counts!!

Emily said...

I agree, the picture was totally inappropriate!
em

Catie said...

I know I am a little late on voicing my opinion on this one, but I'll give my two cents anyway. Most of the time I am oblivious to others when they are making remarks about Hannah. Unless it is blatant, I think they are noticing both of my children because they are so darn cute!! The point, I have not faced much controversy with others who are to stupid to realize where the line is. However, I realize that sometimes people truly do not know where that line is and it is our responsibility to show them where it is. So, I think you did the right thing because that picture was insensitive and uncalled for. Way to go Sarah!