Tuesday, October 18, 2016

LA Times Op-Ed: Trump's Pattern of Discrimination

An op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times calls Donald Trump "the most ableist presidential nominee in modern American history." David Perry, a disability rights journalist who has a son with Down syndrome, describes ableism as "discrimination against and stigmatization of people with disabilities or people perceived to have disabilities." He writes, "Ableists convey the message that disabled people are not full members of our society, leading to exclusion and even abuse. Trump is fully complicit in sending precisely that message."

Perry cites numerous examples of Trump's pattern of discrimination:

  • He mocked a reporter who has a physical disability.
  • He made fun of Hillary Clinton for her alleged illness, including pretending to wobble and faint to draw laughs from a crowd.
  • He has made fun of people's weight, including Alicia Machado, Rosie O'Donnell, and even Chris Christie. 
  • He has stated that some people are born with qualities to lead, while others aren't.*

But Perry explains that words are not what he's concerned about -- it's what Trump would do as president. He's promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would once again make it legal to discriminate against people with a pre-existing condition. When asked by Perry and disability advocates to explain Trump's position on issues, his campaign has been silent. Read "Trump's Not Just Racist and Sexist. He's Ableist."

* Trump's biographer Michael D'Antonio has said that Trump's father taught him that "there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring." Called "eugenics," this theory until the 1940s was used to justify sterilizing disabled people. And Adolf Hitler's theory of racial hierarchy was the justification for the Holocaust. Read "Donald Trump Believes He Has Superior Genes, Biographer Claims," from The Independent.

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