Saturday, btw, is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. March 21st was chosen for its numerical representation–3/21–being symbolic of the third “bonus” copy of the 21st chromosome, which is the genetic cause of Down syndrome. This discovery was made 50 years ago by Jerome Lejeune.
I will have Mark Leach on Friday’s show to discuss children with Down Syndrome, as I did last year. There is an effort underway among the eugenics-minded to encourage the abortion of children identified as having Down Syndrome. Casual cruelty of the sort President Obama engaged in is, sadly, routine, and reinforces the popular idea of children with Down as somehow second-class. Perhaps the president will use the inevitable apology to draw attention to the hundreds of thousands of wonderful children and adults who are fully human and fully citizens but who have to work through this condition with the love and assistance of their families and communities.
Preident Obama no doubt regrets his remark, and perhaps his certain apology will call attention to the fact that such casual mockery is simply unacceptable.
For more information on Down Syndrome, visit Down Syndrome Education Foundation.