A national group sworn to advocate on behalf of people with Down syndrome won’t say a peep about Bill Maher blasting Sarah Palin’s children, including Trig Palin, as “inbred weirdos straight out of ‘The Hills Have Eyes.'”
Has Palin Derangement syndrome trumped common decency?
It’s hard to imagine another explanation why groups dedicated to the dignity of people with Down syndrome have been so silent about Maher’s broadside, unleashed during a recent “Real Time with Bill Maher” telecast on HBO.
“And when I point out that Sarah Palin is a vainglorious braggart, a liar, a whiner, a professional victim, a scold, a know-it-all, a chiseler, a bully who sells patriotism like a pimp, and the leader of a strange family of inbred weirdos straight out of ‘The Hills Have Eyes,’ that’s not sexist. I’m saying it because it’s true, not because it’s true of a woman.”
For non-horror fans, “The Hills Have Eyes” involves an inbred family feasting on the flesh of innocent travelers.
The New York-based National Down Syndrome Society “does not have a comment on this clip at this time,” says Jordana Stern, the group’s Communications Associate.
Perhaps the NDSS mission statement, which reads, “to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome,” is suspended when the attack is launched against Palin’s brood.
This reporter reached out to multiple people in the Down syndrome community for comment on Maher’s vicious commentary with similar results.
“We are going to stay quiet on this one being that it is specifically politically focused and does not address someone with DS directly, but by association,” said Gail Williamson, Director of Programs and Outreach with the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles.
So it’s game on to verbally taunt someone with Down Syndrome if the person belongs to a political family?
Williamson did point out a protest she did support, assailing an online piece at GQ.com, the offensive part being quickly removed, that compared sloppy fashion choices to Down syndrome.
“Boston suffers from a kind of Style Down Syndrome, where a little extra ends up ruining everything.”
Jennifer Wade Greiner, Program Director with the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia said her board “discussed this issue and decided not to respond at this time,” adding, “We do often weigh in on these kinds of issues.”
People from three other like-minded organizations contacted by Big Hollywood did not respond to a request for comment. The only person to flash any anger over Maher’s statements was Mac Macsovits, executive director of the Mile High Down Syndrome Association in Denver.
“The Mile High Down Syndrome Association stands on the firm belief that individuals with Down syndrome (or any other disability) are capable of achieving great things when given the same opportunities and resources as anyone else. When deprived of their dignity and attacked by so called “comedians” people with disabilities deserve the chance to defend themselves. Unfortunately Maher will never host anyone such as myself, a person with Down syndrome, or the leader of any organization that is in business to promote their abilities instead of the disabilities.”
In today’s culture saying the wrong word at the wrong time can get you in trouble. Often, the outraged parties seem a tad too sensitive, like the imbroglio surrounding the use of the term “gay” in the trailer for the 2011 comedy “The Dilemma.”
Here, Maher’s comments deserve plenty of outrage. So … where is it?
Would groups like the NDSS be so silent had Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter said the very same thing about President Barack Obama’s children? Isn’t that a fair question to ask?