Even British People are Stupid

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Sometimes I think the American public are some of the most ignorant and intolerant people on the planet. Okay, most of the time I think that. There are lots of reasons for this opinion – race relations, gay rights, the religious right… but I won’t get into all of them here. I want to focus on one specific genre of ignorance – that of parenthood.

As a parent, I see a lot of other parents do things I disagree with. Children drinking soda out of baby bottles. Children with pacifiers in their mouths when they are almost ready to enter kindergarten. Children out in public wearing just a diaper and a dirty t-shirt. Children not buckled into car seats in vehicles… the list is too long.

But I’m just disgusted by an article I found today about a couple of  shows in England that are produced for children under the age of six. One of the hosts is a lovely girl who has performed extensively in stage productions, and is a successful actress and entertainer. Oh yeah, and she also has a deformity in her right arm. She was born with it undeveloped below the elbow. But the article is not about her deformity, that’s not what disgusts me. Would you believe that the show has received “at least 25 official complaints” about her and her arm? And the CBeebies Television Network reports dozens more negative comments in chat rooms and blogs as well.

One of the complaints that is highlighted in the article is from a father that said that because of this show, he has been “forced to have conversations with his child about disabilities.” Really? Forced? And that is bad… um… how, exactly?? Does that guy make sure he never takes his child to the supermarket or the mall in case they might – god forbid! – see someone in a wheelchair, or a child who has Down’s Syndrome?

Most of the comments on the article itself were along the lines of “this is unbelievable!” and “those people are idiots.” But there was one comment from a women who said that THOSE commenters must not have kids. Here’s part of her comment:

“It’s very hard, as a parent, to have every social issue jammed down the throat of your kids before they even hit first grade. Kids need a certain level of emotion maturity and understanding to be able to MAKE SENSE of the things they see. Otherwise they can’t categorize it properly in their minds.”

Now, as most of you know, I do have children. Two teenagers and a four-year old. When my four-year-old asks why someone is in a wheelchair, I tell him because that person’s legs don’t work as well as his own do. Done. He doesn’t have an emotional breakdown or anything. In my opinion it is the mistake of some parents to pretend that kids can’t comprehend certain things, and try to shelter them from stuff that they, as parents, are uncomfortable about.

There is nothing wrong with being different. If children are exposed to the wonderful diversity of life and the people we encounter in it when they are young – by being “forced” to see it even – they will (hopefully) learn that not only is perfection of ability or appearance not attainable by everyone, it’s not necessary to be happy or successful.

What does that woman do when she sees a differently abled person while out shopping for Ho-Ho’s at Wal-Mart? Cover the kids’ eyes and drag them into the video games aisle until the emotionally-disturbing moment has passed?? Her ignorance, and that of the complainers referenced in the article,  will just be passed on to her children and create another generation of people who think everyone who is different is wrong. How sad.

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About Laurie

I have too many hobbies, but have finally learned (sort of) how to focus on one at a time and stifle my desire to add more. ;) I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, an artist, a seamstress, a gardener, a backyard-chicken farmer, a fundraiser, a movie-lover, a book hoarder, a junker, a thrift-store-shopper... I also love to laugh, make people happy, and take road trips. Some of these things make it into blog posts. I'm almost 50 and I'm still able to sleep through the night. I consider that a success.

7 responses »

    • Oh I don’t disagree with you on that one – I live in Arkansas. Sometimes it seems like the Nile valley in terms of the fertility of ignorance.

      Thanks for the visit Nullifidian, I’m loving all these new blogs I’m finding through UF’s commenters. My blog isn’t nearly as intellectually stimulating, of course…

  1. I was also mortified on reading that article on the BBC. It’s obvious that the ‘problem’ of explaining disabilities wasn’t with the children, but with the parents and their prejudices.

  2. Yes, this blog is old. But it reads as ignorant and hypocritical. You are a bigot yourself and also ignorant, then criticize others for their ignorance. You said ignorant things about the US, which are unfounded. How much time have you actually spent in the US? Gays have more rights in the US than UK. Race relations? What evidence is there that people in the US are more racist than any other nation like the UK? The religious right in the US is small compared to the entire population, they just get telly FaceTime because of drama, etc. Are there not religious people in the UK? You did get one thing right though, yes, even the British are stupid!

    • Thanks for visiting, Fiddsy. But, if you’re going to try to insult me, at least get your facts straight.

      First of all, I LIVE in America so I am sitting right down front to see the ridiculous behavior I reference in this post. The post which is about PARENTING, by the way… I think you missed that. Since I said, right up front, that I disagree with a lot of what I see in America’s parenting, I don’t quite understand how you’re labeling me as a hypocrite. I dislike bad parents equally, no matter their citizenship! 🙂

      Next, I agree – I am ignorant about much of the racial tensions and gay rights issues of the U.K., but again, that’s not what this post is about. For the record, I never said that the U.S. cornered the market on racism or religious persecution. THIS post is about the television show that featured a woman with a deformity and the parents who had complained to the network about her visibility making them uncomfortable. That’s not ignorance, it’s a disgusting brand of bigotry and intolerance.

      Yup, I judge people by their behavior and comments (just as you do, apparently!) Sometimes, I choose to bad-mouth them on my blog (MY blog… which means I can write whatever I want, thank you.) But I do NOT judge people by their color or religion or country of origin. My dislike of people who hate others for those reasons (or for their sexual orientation either) doesn’t observe national borders. So, I guess I’m ignorant, but not a bigot. So thanks again for stopping by, but you’re pretty much 97% wrong, it seems.

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