Sunday, May 01, 2011

Trump Owes An Apology to Stutterers

If you saw the recent White House Correspondent Dinner video that is circulating, then you know that Donald Trump got roasted pretty thoroughly by both President Obama and by the head writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live, Seth Meyers. You can watch the full video here...and Seth Myer's contribution here.

In my opinion, President Obama did a much better job and was genuinely funnier than Seth, although Seth got in a number of well placed zingers and one joke he made actually caused President Obama to laugh hysterically, as you'll see when you watch the video.

In response to the roasting, The Donald made a number of ridiculous remarks on Fox News in a phone-in-interview, most of which suggest that Donald Trump is a humorless grump...but also, at least one remark that shows his insensitivity to those with a disability. Criticizing Seth Meyer's monologue, Donald Trump had this to say, ""I thought Seth Meyers — his delivery frankly was not good," Trump added. He's a stutterer."

Now, I have no idea if Seth Meyers is indeed a stutterer...but, if he is not, does that make the remark okay? What if Mr. Trump had said, "He's a retard," or "He's Autistic," or "He has Tourettes." Would that be okay? Of course, it would not.

What Donald Trump did was to turn a real disability...one that millions of people the world over struggle with on a daily basis, into a pejorative...an insult...something to be poked fun of. He marginalized Seth's words, not on the basis of what he said...but by *how* he said it. He isn't attacking Seth Meyer's words...he is attacking his manner of speech. He is, in essence, saying that, because you are a stutterer, Mr. Meyers...you shouldn't be taken seriously.

While it is understandable to be somewhat insulted or put off by a roasting, it is not understandable to use ones offense as a platform on which to then denigrate those who suffer from a very real and often debilitating neurological/developmental disorder. 
Shame on you, Mr. Trump. If you truly aspire to be the Leader of the Free World, I strongly suggest you think more carefully about what you say...before you say it.

3 comments:

Gee said...

I'm a stutterer and was not pleased to hear Trump's comment. But then again, it's the kind of thing you expect to hear from a bigoted blowhard like the Donald.

stutterrockstar said...

Totally agree. I cannot fathom why someone in a highly visible role would choose to say such a dumb thing, especially in light of recent increased awareness about stuttering.
And I don't understand why stuttering continues to be the disability that people think its OK to take potshots at.
Is Myers a stutterer? Not that it matters, but I did not detect any of the tell-tale signs that one stutterer can usually pick up in another. He sounded quite fluid to me. If he stutters, then he is quite adept at being covert.
I do hope he realizes he needs to make a public apology!

Mandy said...

As a person who stutters, I find that emotional support is just as important as therapy when it comes to stuttering, so when someone - anyone - makes a comment like this, it's a blow. To meet other people who stutter who can relate to what we go through helps us accept our stuttering more than anything else. For 35 years the National Stuttering Association (NSA) has connected kids and adults who stutter to other kids and adults who stutter through local chapter meetings, workshops, on-line support groups and annual conferences in which over 600 people who stutter attend each year! Conferences have included such keynote speakers as VP Joe Biden, Arthur Blank (Owner, Atlanta Falcons), Adrian Peterson (Chicago Bears), Annie Glenn, John Melendez and John Stossel. They all shared truly amazing stories. To learn more, visit www.westutter.org