Open Letter to The Jerk Who Thinks It’s Okay to Ridicule Disabled People

Ashtyn Britt
abritt@lc.edu

 

I really wish I did not have to write this. You would think now that we are all adults in college and working toward our own individual and collective future, that things like this would not have to still be explained, but here we are.

For the sake of this article, I will kindly refer to you as Carter, which is much less profane than what I would like to call you. You may think that I, or that nobody else, heard you harshly ridiculing the College for Life Students on campus in the cafe, but I did. While I am sure you would tell me that you “didn’t mean it like that,” and to “calm down and take a joke,” allow me to explain why I am not going to do that.

It is not funny, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Usually, I would try to be more tactful, but in this case, that simply will not do given the fact you have shown a severe lack of basic civility. In case your mother, your teachers or anyone else with common decency forgot to tell you, differently-abled people are not a joke for your extremely low-brow amusement. They are real people who most times were born the way they are, and are still capable of learning and accomplishing great things. I am not sure the same can be said for you, based on the character you have decided to show around others.

Lewis and Clark Community College has stated many times clearly that hate has no home here, and that a diverse range of students belongs here. Disabled people are not less-than, or subhuman for you to make yourself feel superior. They are your fellow students, trying to enjoy the many events and activities on campus the same way that you are. They have ideas, lives, feelings, and are just as valuable as anyone else.

For the other readers out there, I implore you to spend time with the College for Life Students, as they are often funny and kind to everyone that they meet. They enjoy the same events that you do and are very friendly with those around them. Also should you hear Carter or any of his cronies continue these antics, please call them out. Let them know it is not okay, and that such behavior should not be tolerated on campus. While they may be differently-abled, they are still humans deserving of respect as much as anybody else on this campus.

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