Monday, March 23, 2009

President Obama's Comment

President Obama's comment on the Tonight Show last week comparing his bowling game to the Special Olympics, though not funny, is not the end of the world. He could have used a better analogy of his bowling game than the Special Olympics, but it was not done to deliberately disparage anyone or done out of mean-spiritedness. It was an attempt at self-deprecating humor on his part that fell flat. He realized his error and apolgized to the Special Olympics. But, this story is turning into a tempest in a tea cup. Now if he said, he bowled like a retard, or did something akin to Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's related movements, then I would be upset.

This is an opportunity for the Special Olympics to publicize what they are all about and to dispel misconceptions about the atheletes. President Obama's comment reflects the common misconception that the Special Olympics are for atheletes that aren't that good. Since he is not a very good bowler, he used the Special Olympics as an analogy. It was an honest mistake. The disabled community has to stop being so thin-skinned about some comments about the disabled. I think we should be in on the jokes, as long as it's not done to disparage, mock, or denigrate people with disabilities. It is time to get over this comment and move on to more important things, like the economy.


Lance Anderson said...

Hey John

Way to break it down.



Kareem said...

Oh my god your joking me right? Big deal, he played like special olympics, if it was hurtful, I can't imagine how dull everything is to you. You want to talk economy? Tax payers give you money. That's the sad truth buddy... I'm sorry about being negative but open your eyes

Earl said...

Nice posting, John. I think there are a lot of people out there who need to thicken their skins about a lot of things! Thanks for taking a stand. (Oops...sorry!)

mark b said...


You were spot on with this entry. People make mistakes but that's life. Pres. Obama had no ill will towards Special Olympics and people need to get over it. Keep on bloggin' John!


Dwight said...

I would have to agree John, the disability community can be very thin-skinned at times. Which is interesting because living as a disabled person you would think we would be great at developing a thicker skin. But all of us especially the media love to blow things out of proportion. Good post.

Anonymous said...

Great post John. I agree with Dwight that sometimes the disability community likes to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Raising awareness of inequities is great, but when every little thing, intentional or not, gets blown out of proportion and talked about for weeks then pretty soon people stop listening all together. It would serve people better to save their big voices for things that are a BIG deal. That way their audience (general public, business owners, politicians etc.) would be more likely to take notice.


Anonymous said...

It is not logical

Anonymous said...

I better, perhaps, shall keep silent