Society's discomfort with the open presence of disability in community, and especially in positions of power, was obvious this weekend when Saturday Night Live broadcast a skit featuring Governor David Paterson in which the cast mocked his blindness. As this post points out, any politician is fair game for policies, etc., but ridiculing his disability by airing a skit portraying him as wandering around a stage and holding a chart upside down amounted to nothing more than mocking his disability.
This kind of mocking comes from a sense of entitlement, where the person mocking disability feels superior.
Worse than the actual mocking, however, is society's refusal to even look at the dynamics of such cruel jokes. A lack of dialogue on this subject spells out a tacit agreement to sanction blatant disrespect to people with disabilities . It maintains the status quo :the able bodied have a right to make fun of disability and those in a condition of disability. This has been going on since biblical times. There is nothing creative or cool or new about it.
If all some see with their eyes or hear with their ears leads to cheap laughs at the sake of another human being's dignity and feelings, if their hands only move to applaud this kind of mockery, I pity them their so-called abilities. They are failing to see or hear or embrace the full humanity of those with disabilities.