Obama doesn't hate the Special Olympics he hates retarded people

I'm not sure what this whole thing is about since at no point did Obama make fun of the Special Olympics as an organization - he straight up made fun of retarded people (or whatever the P.C. term is nowadays).

Here's a little snippet from People:

President Barack Obama's lighthearted Thursday night appearance on NBC's Tonight Show didn't leave everyone clutching their sides with laughter.

Obama's comments to Jay Leno about his low bowling score - in particular, an off-the-cuff remark that it was "like Special Olympics or something"
....
In a statement issued Friday, White House spokesman Bill Burton said, "The President made an offhand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics. He thinks that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world."

Seriously... give me a break. Mentally challenged people (is that the right term?!) bowl much better than Obama if they are in the Special Olympics. People's sensitivity to this kind of thing appalls me. I appreciate a president who can sit down and be a real (well as real as one can get as a person on national television who is the leader of the free world). I also bet that some of the things that Obama and his wife say in the bedroom is much more offensive than this ;)

Stop holding presidents to some unrealistic standard. They are people as well.

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Perhaps its because we just went through eight years of having a special needs president.

People need to learn how to deal with issues like this.

YES, I agree that Obama is only human and that everyone makes mistakes. So on the one hand everyone needs to chill out and not think that Obama is some sort of bad, insensitive person because of this remark.

However, I still think the comment was offensive and that he needed to apologize for it. If you just let it go after the freaking PRESIDENT makes a comment like that, then you're basically condoning those sorts of jokes, which is incredibly disrespectful.

It's just that the mistake people make is to label the joke-teller/comment-maker as some terrible person who is morally bad when in fact most of the time the comment really comes by accident. Then the mistake that other people make is to say, "hey guys, it was an accident. Just forget about it and brush it off" when in fact it should be addressed so that people can have some awareness about what is being said and be less likely to say something like that again.

Also, I agree with you that people in the Special Olympics would bowl a TON better than Obama, on any day.

By Katherine Moore (not verified) on 20 Mar 2009 #permalink

Katherine -- I would argue that not all people in the Special Olympics would bowl a TON better than Obama. Assuming that anyone who is in the Special Olympics means that they are good bowlers is - correct me if I'm wrong - a logical fallacy. Okay, so if you said, Bowlers in the Special Olympics would bowl a TON better than Obama, on any day, I'll give it to you; they are -- after all -- bowlers. However, assuming that any Special-Olympian can beat Obama at bowling doesn't make sense.

By mercurianferret (not verified) on 21 Mar 2009 #permalink

... and why not check out what Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver said (from: http://www.specialolympics.org/obama_response.aspx):

âI think its important to see that words hurt and words do matter, and these words that in some respect can be seen as humiliating or a put-down to people with special needs do cause pain and they do result in stereotypes and result in behavior that is neglectful and almost oppressive of people with special needs,â said Shriver on the ABC-TV âGood Morning Americaâ program on 20 March. âThis kind of language needs to be a teachable moment I think for our country. That would help every parent who is at home this morning watching this show turn to their children and say that this is a chance for us to recognize that when we talk about Special Olympics, when we talk about people with special needs, lets make sure we talk about it in an affirming way.â

Not exactly calling for Obama's head, because:

Shriver noted that President Obama and his administration have shown their commitment to be strong advocates of people with disabilities by designing programs to improve the lives of Americans with disabilities and special needs. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, during a visit to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho, on 12 February, characterized advocacy for people with disabilities as âa civil rights movementâ and added that there is a need for policy changes to address the challenges. During his visit, Vice President Biden announced that Kareem Dale, a former member of Obama's campaign in charge of coordinating the vote of disabled Americans, had been named special assistant to the President for disabilities policy. The appointment marks the first time a U.S. President has had a special assistant focused exclusively on disability policy.

By mercurianferret (not verified) on 21 Mar 2009 #permalink

dude everyone lighten up get over it its a joke its not like he is gunna take all the "mentaly challenged people" and put them on an island he put a little laughter in the world

By spankey hayes (not verified) on 31 Mar 2010 #permalink

To the young man who wrote these words
dude everyone lighten up get over it its a joke its not like he is gunna take all the "mentaly challenged people" and put them on an island he put a little laughter in the world

I feel U may be n your twenties, or younger, so you have not discovered how to be sensitive to your fellow man. Do U use the "N" word? Whenever or wherever U please, just because u want a little laugh at someone else's, expense? How small and pathetic U must feel if U have to use a cognitive challenged person to boost your ego. They are innocent, and thru no fault of their own, have disadvantages.. They have feelings just like the rest of the world. How can anyone want to degrade them through a joke, to boost their own ego? It is not cool. Sometimes the bravest people are the ones who are not afraid to stand up for those less fortunate than themselves.