A mile in our shoes

I may live in my own perfect, little world, but I believe  if you are smart enough to write a TV script for a nationally recognized show, you are smart enough to know the difference between hurtful comments and funny comments.  Apparently, the writers of Family Guy don’t live by the rules in my perfect, little world.

On January 6th, Family Guy aired an episode in which the character Peter says: “… on the way back we’re stopping at that Down syndrome camp we passed.” Lois responds, “Peter, that was the University of Florida.”

In my perfect world, I would personally invite the Family Guy author, Seth MacFarlane, to spend a day with an adult with Down syndrome. The reason is two-fold…Mr. MacFarlane could see up close and personal who he is making fun of, and the reason I’d suggest an adult, is he could see first hand how very capable and productive people with Ds are.

Its in my nature to advocate for my son, Wil, who is almost 6 and has Down syndrome, in a proactive and positive way.  I don’t try to beat anyone down who I feel has mistreated him.  I don’t want to give Mr. MacFarlane a big punch in the gut the way his “joke” hit me in the gut. The way I see it, it all boils down to lack of understanding.  Think of all the things we make fun of…differences in politics and religion, the way people dress, how someone acts.  We laugh about someone doing something differently than we do.  There is that old saying, “Before you criticize, you should walk a mile in their shoes.”  Well, I don’t know the path of Mr. MacFarlane’s shoes, and what has brought him to enjoy making jokes about people who have tried their hardest to be accepted in the mainstream world, but I do know a little bit about what it is like to walk in my son’s shoes, and he works so hard to do the things we take for granted.  In the not too distant past, doctors told parents that their child with Ds would be better off in an institution because they would amount to nothing.  Today, my son is in a mainstream Kindergarten class with a teacher helper. I call that some amazing progress and I’m fooled into thinking that jokes like this are a thing of the past.

So, because I have not walked in your shoes, Mr. MacFarlane, I will not judge you, but I will make this request.  Please spend an afternoon with a person with Down syndrome. You will get to know a little bit about what its like to be in their shoes, and I can guarantee you will walk away the better for it.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kodiak My Little Grizzly
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 03:26:58

    I hate family guy anyway!!! I agree some things should never be brought up in a joke… stop picking on the little people out there that were born and had no choice in the matter… It’s not fair.


    • Christie
      Jan 10, 2013 @ 10:09:46

      Yes, that choice you mention is a big thing for me. Our kids have to work so much harder to do what we take for granted, so the way I see it, TV shows should be standing up and applauding our kids, not knocking them down with insensitive jokes.

      Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog! Keep up your great work, Heth! Its all about spreading the word and education


  2. Kodiak My Little Grizzly
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 08:48:40

    I forgot to mention… I had a cousin with Downs… She was two years older a than me and she died when she was 14… Complications from an illness and then her poor little heart gave out. But I learned a ton having her as a cousin. She died in 1983 and her siblings got picked on because of her as well…
    And YOUR little one is very adorable!


    • Christie
      Jan 11, 2013 @ 13:52:39

      I’m so sorry for your loss, but also happy for you that you were able to have the blessing of your cousin in your life, even if for a short time. Thanks for sharing that with me!
      And, yes, I am head over heals for my little guy…he is definitely a very bright light in my life! ❤


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