Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23, 2009

     I don't know, maybe it doesn't mean anything, but it's odd.
     There was President Obama in California last week, talking, among other things, about the handicapped.  "We need everybody," he told a handicapped questioner at a Los Angeles forum. "Every program that we have has to be thinking on the front end how do we make sure that it is inclusive and building into it our ability to draw on the capacities of persons with disabilities."
     But there he was a little later on the Jay Leno show taking about his bowling game as being "like the Special Olympics or something."  That's crude and insulting to people with handicaps, of course, and it came from a man who normally seems careful in his speech, aware of the words he's using.
     The Leno crowd laughed, but that's not the point.  Obama apologized to the Special Olympics people, but that's not the point either.  I remember years ago when a Congressional colleague referred to Barney Frank, the Massachusetts democrat who was the first openly gay member of the House as "Barney Fag."  The Congressman apologized and said it just "slipped out." Frank said, correctly, "If it isn't in there it can't slip out."
     So did we learn something new and unpleasant about our president last week?  As I said at the beginning, I don't know.  But I'll keep listening.     

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

No comments: