We do not deserve to be the subject of your jokes!

[CN: ableism, classism, racism, elitism – all the -isms!]

This morning, I woke up to discover that a Facebook page that I (used to) follow had shared a deeply offensive status. The page is for a company that offers a multi-sensory reading program, and it is a pretty effective program.

Copied here in all its glory with my comments interspersed between:

“My daughter and I went through the McDonald’s driveway window and I gave the cashier a $5 bill.Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her 25c. She said, ‘you gave me too much money.’  I said, ‘Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar coin back.’ She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the 25c, and said ‘We’re sorry but we don’t do that kind of thing.’ The cashier then proceeded to give me back 75 cents in change. Do not confuse the people at MacD’s.

We had to have the garage door repaired. The repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a ‘large’ enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, ‘You need a 1/4 horsepower.’ I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said, ‘NOOO, it’s not. Four is larger than two.’ We haven’t used that repairman since…”

Sure – let’s laugh about people not understanding mathematical concepts, but could it possibly be because they did not have access to education? Could it possibly be because they have dyscalculia which makes getting an education, specifically the acquisition of mathematical concepts, difficult? So, those “jokes” are fairly elitist, classist, and ableist.

“I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local city council office to request the removal of the DEAR CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: ‘Too many dears are being hit by cars out here! I don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.’

IDIOT SIGHTING IN FOOD SERVICE.

My daughter went to a Mexican fast food and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for ‘minimal lettuce.’ He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.”

Are you aware of how hurtful the word idiot is? Do you realise the deeply ableist origins of that word? Do you also realise that your later status used another ableist slur? I refer you here, and given that *apparently* it needed to be mentioned that it was a Mexican fast food place, that contains racist undertones as well.

“I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, ‘Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?’ To which I replied, ‘If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?’ He smiled knowingly and nodded, ‘That’s why we ask.’

The pedestrian light on the corner beeps when it’s safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an ‘intellectually challenged’ co-worker of mine. She asked if I knew what the beeper was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, ‘what on earth are blind people doing driving?!’ She is a government employee…..”

Seriously, “intellectually challenged”? How did the person behind that page think that that was ok to share?

“When my husband and I arrived at a car dealership to pick up our car after a service, we were told the keys had been locked in it.We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. ‘Hey,’ I announced to the technician, ‘its open!’ His reply, ‘I know. I already did that side.’

STAY ALERT! They walk among us, they breed, and they vote……. You now have 2 options… Delete it….. or Send it along to put a smile on someone’s face today! HAHAHAHAHAHA”

Who is “they” exactly? They – the people who aren’t like the person who shared the post for a laugh. The people who have neurodivergences. The people like me, my son, and my friends who have constantly been the subject of abled people’s jokes.

We are real people; we don’t deserve to be the subject of other people’s jokes.

When I commented expressing my absolute horror that a page would share that, especially given that it is a company that has developed a multisensory reading program that can assist children with different learning disabilities to learn how to read, I received a very sarcastically-worded reply that told me I was being judgmental.

I was being judgmental? Maybe, I was. I will always choose to be judgmental of bigotry because people can choose to be better.

After a few more people commented in support of me, all comments on that post were deleted and I was banned from the page. I was accused of lying about using the program at home with my son. Apparently, if I had used the program, then I would understand how effective it is. I never questioned the effectiveness of the program; I objected to the discriminatory nature of the post shared on the page. While it has been an effective program, it will never definitely be recommended by me to anyone else because anyone who works with children with learning disabilities should be more mindful that words can and do hurt and harm us.

Another status was posted that talked about how “crazy” the comments were on the original post (which remains undeleted). Crazy, really? Go back to the list I referred to earlier.

I have emailed the company. I do not expect a response, so I’m sharing this here because I think people need to really think before they share something on Facebook: do you really want to contribute to the ridicule that we already experience? You can choose not to. You can choose to be better.


Update: I did receive a response. It contained a complete denial that anything in that post was ableist, and because the company only shared the status and weren’t responsible for writing it, they felt that they weren’t responsible for it at all.

Hint: When you share something on Facebook with comments that indicate agreement, it’s a tacit endorsement of what you’re sharing, and you are responsible if that causes harm to groups of people.