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Monday, May 14, 2018

Trump v. People with Disabilities

David Cross at USA Today:
The White House hosted a ceremony April 27 to celebrate U.S. Paralympic athletes. But rather than honor them, Trump remarked that they are “a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could.” Some were quick to defend Trump’s comments, arguing that they may not have been derogatory. Such generous interpretations, however, ignore two realities: Trump’s own prior disparagement of disabled people (among many others) and just how close to home his particular remark regarding the Paralympics hits with those of us who are disabled.
I was born without a left hand. I’ve never known life without a disability. Being physically different from those around you, and in such an obvious way, can be a deeply isolating feeling. That feeling is exacerbated by the realization — or at least perception — that others view you not only as less capable than them, but as abnormal. Trump’s callous remark regarding the Paralympics was a harsh reminder of this reality and what disabled people experience nearly daily.