Making fun of the mentally ill is never OK. I do not care who you are, ridiculing people living with an illness or disability is despicable. Unfortunately, Thursday, that is exactly what an elected NCDP Congressional District chair and popular liberal blogger did in an open, public post on Facebook.
Many of us are still shaking our heads after Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam equated homosexuality with bestiality, pedophilia, and necrophilia on the floor of the People's House. It is easy to feel superior to Stam because someone from our side - a Democrat - would never say something like that. We have more compassion for people. We are more caring. At least, that is what I thought. Then, I read the above post from NCDP 8th Congressional District Chair Grace Liem and saw the follow up joke from George Fisher and honestly, it wiped away any notion of superiority I might have felt.
Liem's Facebook post is even more surprising given the fact that a few years ago she brought a complaint against the North Carolina Democratic Women after she was asked to remove her therapy dog from an event where food was being served in a buffet-style setting. NCDP Chair David Young and Executive Director Andrew Whalen asked David Parker to mediate.
According to Parker, the complaint was resolved genially. As a result of Liem's complaint, the Executive Council participated in a sensitivity training session and a formal policy was adopted by the SEC acknowledging that service and therapy animals must be accepted as legitimate without requiring an individual to justify their need for the animal.
I don't expect anyone to be perfect. I don't expect people to always say the right thing, but I do expect those who set themselves up as leaders in the Democratic Party to behave in a way that doesn't hurt those we claim to protect and lift up.
In what context would anyone think it is OK to make fun of the mentally ill? I thought we were better than that.