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The Life of a Disabled Child, From Taunts to Hate Crimes

ADA Sign Depot

January 07, 2017

ADA Sign DepotThe Life of a Disabled Child

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It’s called politically correct and squishy liberal or nannyish to protect the weak among us — transgender children, minorities, the homeless, old people — but it’s really just human

Since the days when my mother wouldn’t let my older brother go out to play stickball if I wasn’t with him, there’s been a lot of progress in attitudes toward those we now call developmentally or intellectually challenged. There’s mainstreaming them into public schools, the Special Olympics, TV shows like “Speechless,” Down syndrome children in clothing ads. There are group homes, not warehousing. There’s awareness that words can wound. I flinched when someone yelled “retard” at my brother, Jimmy. For some comedians, it was a laugh line. You don’t hear it much anymore.

And now a barbaric attack in Chicago on an intellectually disabled teenager is rightly being treated as a hate crime. Authorities cited the virulent racial epithets shouted by the four African-American attackers at their white victim, but also noted that they hurled insults about his developmental limitations as well.

His being different may be the main reason they chose him. The developmentally challenged so crave kindness they make inviting prey. The victim, who knew one of his attackers, was taken to an apartment where he was tied up, punched and kicked. His mouth was taped shut, his scalp sliced open with a knife. For added humiliation, the assailants forced his head into a toilet and ordered him to drink.

Read the full story here

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