My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dear Mrs. Palin ~ This is not about Politics

Dear Mrs. Palin, I spent a good amount of time today reading and speaking with friends about your recent statements regarding the "r-word." Yesterday I wrote a message, using what some might call tongue-in-cheek humor, satire I believe is the word you used. Today I am going to be brief and to the point. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR POLITICS WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORD "RETARD." THIS IS NOT a DEMOCRAT Versus REPUBLICAN ISSUE. This is an issue of acceptance. humanity. unity. passion. but most of all RESPECT.

I recognize that you are new to the world of Down syndrome. I do not believe you were ready to be thrust in the public eye when Trig was still so young. I doubt that most moms would have been. It helps to have your footing underneath you before you are asked to defend that extra chromosome in public. Unfortunately, the moment you walked across the stage to accept the nomination for Vice President of the United States with Trig in your daughter's arms, you became a national spokesperson for Down syndrome. I understand this has been harder for you that you first realized.

However, you do have the national spotlight. Like it or not, you are now speaking on behalf of not only Trig, but also my daughter and all the other boys and girls, men and women who belong to this club, this NONPARTISAN Club of Trisomy 21. I strongly recommend that you take a step back. Hug Trig. Then look him in the eyes. Allow yourself to fast forward several years. To the day that Trig is old enough to ask you why. "Why mom? Why did you let individuals from the Republican party slide when they made fun of "Retards? That is not satire mom. It's not funny. It hurts when people make fun of me. Mom, why didn't you stand up for ME?"

Sarah, I strongly suggest you seek an advisor, a confidante, someone to help you navigate this additional world of developmental disabilities you are now in. It must be an individual that understands the unique issues I am referring to. It cannot be anyone associated with your political aspirations whatever they may be. Assuming you do run for President, even get elected, you will be in the White House for a maximum of eight years. If you are as lucky as I am, Trig will be in your life for at least quadruple that amount of time.

Sincerely,

Joyce

For additional information and to view video footage of events leading up to this post, please go to Rejenerations, Down with Oz, One more, More than one, A is for Aidan, Finnian's Journey, T-Cubed, A Hapa Girl, The unknown Contributor, Little Miss E.

23 comments:

Alex's Mom said...

Well said! I believe Gov. (ex) has a lot to learn and does not seem to be asking the right people!

Kristin said...

I'm still trying to figure out how she got elected... and from day one of even knowing her name and situation, I couldn't figure out why in the world she would take time away from her son who clearly needs his mommy, for politics of all things!

ds.mama said...

Very well put... now how do we get her to read it?

Brandie said...

Thank-you for getting me up to speed on current events. Can you tell we don't have cable tv?

Tsquared417 said...

I certainly hope she reads this. Well said!

Carol N. said...

Good job, Joyce. I hope she reads this.

I would like to see a dialogue brought into the schools about this. I think now is the time...here at least - when funding cuts are looming.

Karen said...

I'm standing for YOU. Thank you for being such a role model as an advocate. Maybe those in power can learn from you.

Mandy said...

I'm going to start this out by saying I read your blog a lot and understand where you are coming from. I would also like to point out that not everyone is at the same point of the race as you and your family.

Please don't call out Mrs. Palin on her mothering abilities. Like you said, she is new to this group that she didn't ask to be a part of - just like you and I. Yes, she does carry a LOT of clout and IS now representing our children, you are right about that. What I don't agree on is bringing her down. She is just a mom. She needs us and especially YOU to show her the ropes. Just think of how you would feel if someone brought you down on what you knew about Down Syndrome back when your baby was just a tot. Have you tried writing to her or inviting her to talk with you?
If our "group" is going to blast her then how will she feel safe to embrace it and learn.
Just my 2 cents.

To Love Endlessly said...

well said indeed. I think it's a great point for her to fast forward to the future.

one_plustwins said...

Fabulous, Joyce......simply fabulous. The words of Trig in the future made me cry. I hope it makes her cry too.

Kele said...

I thank the Lord you are on Presley's team, I don't think this could of been said any better Joyce. Thank you! Presley and I thank you for speaking up for 'the club'.

Tara said...

I have to disagree with Mandy. My son is younger than Trig. I can tell you that by 6 months after his birth, I was an EXPERT in the health issues of Ds, the research, and most certainly, the language. I am a busy mom, too. I was working at the time, homeschooling, starting a business with my husband, and did I mention Eon is our SIXTH?

Why did I become and expert so quickly? Because the moment my mw issued the words "Down syndrome" was the moment I became an advocate for my beautiful baby boy. It wasn't until later that I realized my responsibility as an advocate extends to all people with T21.

I expect the same kind of knowledge and passion about Ds from anyone walking this road, whether they are in the public eye, or not. We signed on for that responsibility when we decided to become a parent.

Palin needs to get with the program.

JRS said...

Well said Joyce.
@Mandy: Palin NEEDS to be called out about this. Needs to. Whether we like it or not, she's in too big of a position to allow her to get away with this.
By the way, it's not just Rush that she's giving a pass to. Ann Coulter, Glen Beck, Tucker Carlson, & Dave Carney are also guilty of using the r-word and Palin has said NOTHING!
I'd really like to hear more from Palin's supporters in our community. Sadly, those outcries have been few and far between and that is truly disappointing.
Family BEFORE politics!
---Jen

Lisa said...

Bravo, Joyce, Bravo!! I'm glad to have you in our corner!

Bethany said...

Love this!

Kristen said...

Great post, Joyce! Thank you!

The VW's said...

I happen to be a Sarah Palin supporter, and if she isn't sticking up for her son and others like him.....then I say, "Shame on you Sarah Palin!!!"

Someone needs to stick up for our children, ESPECIALLY since many of them cannot stick up for themselves! Sarah Palin has a great platform to do this, so if she's not, then my appreciation for her has just gone down a notch! Hopefully she starts doing her job! Her job.....as Trig's Mom!

Tom P. said...

The problem is that she turned this into a political issue by demanding that Emanuel (a Democrat) be fired for using the word at a private meeting back in August but letting it slide when used in public by Republicans. This has nothing to do with her parenting abilities or her understanding of Down syndrome. This has everything to do with her trying to use her child for political advantage and that disgusts me.

Mandy said...

Ugh, should have read up on what all was happening behind the scenes. Guess I held her up more as a mom, like me, than a politician. Boy I was wrong.
Scratch that previous comment I made.

Jessica said...

EXACTLY.

SheilaC said...

Dear Sarah,
I have only recently found your blog and I am enjoying reading all your past posts.
I have a sister who is developmentally delayed and I work in a middle school with students with a wide range of disabilities.

I always cringe and immediately correct any students who call another by the "r" word. Most of the time they don't even understand the meaning behind these derogatory words that they use; they hear them used by others and believe it to be acceptable. (the "n" word is also used and the "j" word seems to be making a comeback)
As early as 6 or 7 I knew that the "r" word was wrong as I remember beating up a kid who lived in our neighborhood for calling my sister that word.... needless to say I didn't get in trouble when that mother complained to mine...

I put the button on my blog if you care to visit :)

Nice to meet you!

SheilaC
http://myemptynestisfullofcathair-sheilac.blogspot.com/

Becca said...

VERY well said, Joyce!

FBF Rothkopf said...

Well said, Joyce!