On Monday, Palin, whose 10-year-old son, Trig, has Down syndrome, posted a meme suggesting that Democrats are viewed as bratty children, amid protests against Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault, and his nomination to the Supreme Court.
The meme set up a contrast between how protesters think they appear and how they really come off, and it included photos of a crying boy with Down syndrome.
Palin didn’t outright identify the boy in the photo as Trig; if it is, she may simply have intended to show her child having a typical meltdown. One person, who defended Palin’s post, wrote, “That’s her kid, she doesn’t look at him as disabled. She was just making a point [about] people acting like little kids!” Another person wrote, “She can’t show a picture of her own son crying like a baby? … All I see is a little boy fussing in a store.”
But several accused the mom of mocking people with the genetic disorder. One person wrote: “Why would you compare this to your developmentally delayed son? What is wrong with you?” Another commented, “This is a disgrace and demeans all developmentally disabled.” And another wrote, “I love you Sarah but I don’t get it.”
It’s doubtful that Palin meant offense — in August 2017, she slammed reports that Iceland was “close to eradicating Down syndrome” due to frequent genetic screenings that often resulted in terminating pregnancies after a positive test for the genetic disorder. And in 2015, she threw support behind a bill that would ban abortion based on a child having Down syndrome.
“I don’t think because the child has one extra chromosome they should be able to snuff that life out,” Palin told CNN. Speaking of Trig, she added, “There is some fear there of the unknown. Certainly, there was fear in my heart about how in the world are we going to be able to handle the challenges up ahead, not necessarily thinking of the beauty that could come from a child being different, being unique.”
Palin also criticized a 2010 episode of Family Guy for a character with Down syndrome that said, “My dad’s an accountant, and my mom is the former governor of Alaska.” In a Facebook post, Palin called the cartoon a “kick in the gut” and included a statement from her daughter Bristol Palin, which read, “People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them?”
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