Open letter to Dr. Amy Tuteur:
You have now posted two inflammatory and misguided commentaries about Down syndrome. The first was hurtful, and the Ds community told you so. Your second post, however, is enraging. Because instead of giving an inch and apologizing for your ignorance, you have chosen to rub salt in the wound. So I am now prepared to hand your ass to you, publicly. Start thinking about whether you want it in paper or plastic.
First, allow me to definitively answer the question posed by the headline of your initial post.
Yes, we should lament the disappearance of Down Syndrome. Because not lamenting it would speak volumes about the state of morality. Down syndrome is a random mutation - it can't be prevented with a vitamin or vaccine. Therefore, the absence of people with Down syndrome means one thing and one thing only: they have been identified as having Ds and, for their crime, denied the right to exist.
It's true - snuffing out Down syndrome would eliminate mountains of sadness and oceans of tears. But it would also eliminate a lot of the things that make life memorable and joyous and SPECIAL (pun intended) for many people. It would eliminate countless acts of courage and kindness. Sweet smiles of innocence. It would eliminate a lot of songs and paintings and poems. It would eliminate tears of joy.
Amy Tuteur, you took a particularly provocative shot across the bow of the Ds community, and you were called out for it. You may be tempted to dismiss the heartfelt comments on your blog as the ramblings of a bunch of extremists or religious fanatics. And you would be wrong. They are the war cries of compassionate, intelligent, outspoken people - people of differing backgrounds and beliefs - who feel that they are being spoken FOR instead of listened TO by a person who should know better.
And now, allow me to address your second post. You have decided to defend your ignorance by speaking, once again, for the Ds community. Your defense? We parents simply must feel that anyone who disagrees with us - anyone who chooses to abort her Ds baby - is wrong. But those are your words, not ours. You have either misinterpreted the reason for our anger, or you are purposely misrepresenting our position. And I refuse to be your straw man. So I'll clarify things for you.
The people who commented on your initial post aren't against prenatal testing. Most of us aren't even asking to take away other people's right to abortions. But we know something that you don't know. We know what it feels like to live through the darkest days imaginable. We know real fear and real pain. We know how it feels to be handed a future different from the one we imagined, and to search - frantically - for accurate information about that future. We all went through this process, and we are passionate about making it as easy as possible for others who may embark on the same journey. And instead of telling those people, in their most vulnerable moment, that they are about to be forever burdened with a child who shouldn't even exist, we are here to tell them that many, many, many people have walked this path and found it to be a wonderful road indeed. It's not all doom and gloom. It's difficult, but it's not the end of the world. It can be quite beautiful.
Our stories deserve to be heard. They are credible and worthwhile and IMPORTANT! How dare you brush us aside as if we are all delusional! How dare you act as if the world would be a better place without our children! Do you really think we're just going to sit silently as you shovel that shit?
You are, quite simply, out of your league here. Your original post isn't well thought out, your attempts to defend it are twisted, half-baked and increasingly desperate. It's obvious to your readers, and it's obvious to you, whether you want to admit it or not.
Some of the comments aimed at you are harsh. I'll admit some are rude, some are a bit offensive. But I'll look past that, because those comments are a reaction to your own low blows, which are crafted to conjure a special kind of pain. I'm awestruck that you would leave such snarky comments right out in the open for all to see. I hope your children are proud of their mom as they sit and stare, slack-jawed, at your cruelty.
In closing, I want to pose a question of my own. On what day were you halved like a melon so your humanity could be scooped out and rinsed away? And I wonder what I was doing that day? Hmm, maybe I was back in college, working my part time job in the kitchen of the local retirement home. Serving food to the Alzheimer's ward. Maybe that's where I learned to have compassion for people - even those people who need assistance from the rest of us. ESPECIALLY those people.
Maybe you should have taken a job like that one.
Eh - this is starting to get a little melodramatic, even for me, so let's just wrap things up. At this point, I don't want an apology. I just want you to crawl back into your hole and try your hardest to leave the Ds community unmolested in the future. Pretty please. You do that, and I'll try my hardest to forget all about you and your blog and your amazing intellect.
Dan Niblock (Down With Oz)