There's Naive, Then There's STUPID.......  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

With the death of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, there has been examinations on NPR radio of her contributions, the most famous being the establishment of the Special Olympics, and her efforts on behalf of the "intellectually disabled".

Now THAT got me to thinking.

Like most Americans I am well aware of the mentally disabled amongst us, most often which are those born with Down's Syndrome, who although can learn life skills and can function fairly well, still cannot be left to their own devices, and are forever dependent upon their families or the government to support them and keep them safe. But "Intellectually" disabled?

No, no, no, no NO!

This is a really off-the-mark mislabeling of a real and quite pervasive deficit that more and more Americans are suffering from. In order to be "intellectually" disabled, you have to have the CAPACITY to be INTELLIGENT in the first place. Now, in most cases this is an affliction suffered by those who drop out of high school in pursuit of the glories of Foot ball, Basket ball, drug dealing, or flipping burgers at McDonalds. These people otherwise have the brainpower required to learn, to succeed in non-criminal enterprises, and to develop critical thinking skills given the motivation and desire to do so.

There are other means in which otherwise normal and capable people can appear to suffer from some mental deformity, usually having to do with political or religious affiliation. As we witness now on the news everyday, crowds of people claiming to be alarmed at terrible things our government wants to do to us are being deployed by the Republican Party and special (and threatened) interests to disrupt and overwhelm with hysteria those town hall meetings that congressmen are trying to use to communicate the facts of health care reform to their constituents. Any THINKING person with a shred of common sense and yes, INTELLIGENCE, can see right thru this charade, yet the hysteria seems to be spreading. Yes, the people getting worked up by all these lies and propaganda are quite CAPABLE of grasping the facts, except that they are "INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED", and thus can't participate in reasonable discourse without getting violent.

No, NPR, please do not insult these unfortunate citizens who through no fault of their own entered this world with genuine mental deficits that prevent them from fully functioning in the wider world without guidance. Most often these are genuinely sweet, gentle persons who despite their shortcomings still manage to bring joy to their families. If you want to harness this term "INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED", please apply it in a more accurate manner, to those bozo's with brains who refuse to use them.

P.S. Yes, I have researched this term on the web and it is meant to refer to those who we usually refer to as mentally handicapped, but I personally think the phrase is used in error.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at Wednesday, August 12, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

3 slick comments

I personally believe you are right on The Michael! Thank you for setting it straight. Maybe you should send this on to NPR. Maybe I'll hear your letter read on the radio. That would be cool.

I know some of these "Intellectually disabled' folks too! There IS a difference.

August 12, 2009 at 3:43 PM

And who's to say that all our vaunted intellect isn't some form of vicious diability in itself?
I too agree that it's a weird and misleading use of the words.
Intellect ...hmm, could we be using it in the way of meaning 'ability to destroy one's own home' ?
Terri in Joburg

August 12, 2009 at 4:26 PM


August 13, 2009 at 11:54 AM

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