While taking part in Sean Hannity’s show on left wing hate language, Sarah Palin demeaned disabled Americans by referring to them as defenseless.
Here is the video from Fox News:
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Hannity asked Palin if the attacks against her take a toll on her and her family. Sarah Palin answered by reinforcing an old stereotype about the disabled, “You know when the attacks are against me, politically especially, it doesn’t really bother me, because I know what’s really important and I know what the truth is. But I do have to admit when the shots are taken at especially my youngest, my son, who has Downs Syndrome and others with special needs in this wonderful country of ours then those I do take personally. Those shots hurt, and I sure wish there was more I could do about those attacks on the defenseless. I wish I could defend them more.”
Sarah Palin has anointed herself the defender of the disabled, but in the past she has referred to the disabled as, “precious and unique.” Palin’s “defense” of the disabled community is nothing more than the exploitation of an age old stereotype for personal gain. However, this is something especially insulting about any group of people being referred to as special, unique, defenseless, or precious.
What would happen if substituted African-American and minority for disabled and special needs in Palin’s remarks. What if Sarah Palin would have said, “But I do have to admit when the shots are taken at especially my youngest, my son, who is African-American and others minorities in this wonderful country of ours then those I do take personally. Those shots hurt, and I sure wish there was more I could do about those attacks on the defenseless.
As part of the legacy of slavery, African-Americans have been forced to endure existing stereotypes that they are childlike, irresponsible, and defenseless. If Palin would have made those statements about African-Americans or gays or women there would have been outrage all over the country, but since she was speaking about the disabled, her remarks were largely ignored.
Sarah Palin isn’t a defender of the disabled. She is an enabler of the stereotypes that those with disabilities battle against every single day. Palin’s idea of defending the disabled is to place them on a pedestal and tell them everything that they can’t do or be. For the record, this isn’t the first time that Sarah Palin has managed to insult the disabled while trying to attack President Obama for his insensitive Special Olympics joke. (Note to Palin: The president apologized for his remark before it even aired on the Tonight Show).
Here are some statistics for Mrs. Palin to chew on. Nineteen percent of Americans (over 54 million people) have some sort of disability. Forty six percent of individuals with a disability age 21-64 are employed. Thirty one percent of those with a severe disability are employed. One of the biggest problems that people with disabilities face is economic opportunity. Twenty seven percent of those with disabilities live in poverty. Disabled workers earn 40%-50% less than their non-disabled counterparts. Disabled Americans need economic opportunity, not a Mama Grizzly oppressor.
The irony shouldn’t be lost on anyone that Sarah Palin managed to smear 54 million Americans while she appeared on program to complain about the hate speech of the left. Sarah Palin has spent the years since the 2008 election trying to make a buck by exploiting the ugly stereotypes about disability. Just as she has single handedly set the cause of women’s rights back a century, Sarah Palin is doing her best to turn the disabled back into a pitied class.
Babies and small children are defenseless. Disabled people are not. Despite her intellectual limitations, this is a lesson that for the good of her son, we all should hope that Sarah Palin will one day come to understand.