Dear Margaret Cho,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

*To preface this post: I typically play it pretty safe on this blog. I like to keep it clean and family friendly. I know that I have a pretty wide age range of readers. This post is a little different than my average post-- but you will see that I am still using words like "dang" and "bullhonkus", so as to not offend any of my loyal readers.

This morning after sending Archie off to school on the bus, and while Ace was still crashed out in my bed, I laid down on the couch for what I knew would be a tiny window of time to relax before I heard this beautiful sound: "Mommy! Apple Juice!"

I turned on the TV and watched the Today Show for a few minutes. I really tried to get interested in the political talk, and to learn what was going on around the world today. But it just wasn't happening. My brain was not near awake enough yet for any of that, so I checked my DVR recordings to see if I had missed anything important last night. Ahh. Watch What Happens Live. Just dumb enough to keep me entertained while requiring a very minimal amount of my attention.

The guests on the episode were comedian Margaret Cho and Rosie Pope of Bravo's Pregnant in Heels.

All was good and I was laughing with my eyes half open until Margaret Cho said something that made me want to vomit. Or punch her in the throat.

The topic of motherhood came up and Margaret started to talk about how she really wanted to have a baby but that she was forty-three, getting older, and wasn't sure.
Here is what she had to say:
"My eggs are jumping ship. Seriously, they're like, 'last one out is a retard.'"

A good portion of the audience laughed, but there was also quite a bit of silence. Andy Cohen was visibly shocked and had no idea what to say.
But she went on:
"I get worried about that. As an older woman, I don't necessarily want to have a retard."

When she realized what she was saying was not totally being received well, she asked, "is that not okay to say?" (Really, Margaret Cho? Really?)
Andy Cohen awkwardly told her, "You can't say that."

She went on with some bullhonkus about how she just meant that, "you want your kid to have the best chance in life..."

Margaret, Margaret, Margaret. Dang Margaret Cho. I don't know if you were trying to be funny and took it too far, or if you are really that ignorant. You actually thought that discrimination against an entire group of people was okay. Did you forget that you were an Asian lesbian? That's great. You go on and be you. And I have heard you poke fun at yourself saying things like how getting pregnant is "hard for a lesbian." And you would probably say that it doesn't bother you when people make fun of you, or make cruel remarks about your race or sexuality. And maybe you are able to blow most of it off. But what if before you were born your mother had said, "yeah I want to have a baby, but I just don't want to risk having a dyke. Or a Korean. That would really ruin my life."

I am assuming you didn't choose to be either of those things, right? Yeah, kind of like how children with disabilities didn't choose that either.

Like my son, Archie. He is what YOU would call a retard.

Archie did not choose to be born with Down syndrome. In fact, the course of his life changed drastically because of it. 

You seem to be quite confident and secure with yourself, Marge. Rock on. 
Just like Archie is a confident kid who is proud of himself and his accomplishments every day. For now, he wouldn't understand your thoughtless, ignorant comments. But one day he will, and the last thing I need is for people like you to be knocking my kid down. 

I am assuming that you have not been blessed enough to have ever had a person with special needs in your life. I have full faith that if you spent a day with my son, you would no longer make comments like the ones you made on Watch What Happens Live. You may still stand by the fact that you wouldn't choose to raise a child with a disability. But you wouldn't call them retards anymore. Unless you are just a sick jerk. 

Okay Margaret Cho. That's all I've got for you. I could go on, but that would turn this post into something I am trying really hard not to let it become. So peace out. 

What is the deal with people in the public eye thinking it is okay to make these kinds of "jokes". Just last week I almost wrote a similar blog post after hearing a comment made by Howie Mandel on the Today Show. At the end of the segment, Hoda and Kathie Lee were performing their own "talents". Kathie Lee was drinking a glass of wine while attempting to hula hoop, and Hoda was drinking a glass of wine while attempting to spin a basketball on her finger. Both clearly failed at their classy talents, but that wasn't the problem. What really irked me was afterwards when Howie Mandel said, "there's the special olympics, and this is special talents." Insinuating that Hoda and Kathie Lee looked so dumb that they appeared to be "retarded". Sorry Howie, you can say you meant it some other way....but you didn't. That's what you meant. 

And then of course I can go all the way back to 2009 when our President made a similar comment. Obama was on Jay Leno, making fun of his bowling skills. "I bowled a 129.....It was like Special Olympics or something." (hahahaha....he cracked himself up). 

Look, I am not trying to spark some debate or anything like that. I know many people will say, "it was just a joke...."  Yeah, I get that. They were just kidding, yada yada yada. But "jokes" at the expense of others are simply not funny. And when our own President is making jokes like that...well that's just not good. 

Be the change, people. 

Just a couple of kids trying to be awesome. 
Don't knock us.

Lots of Love! (even to you, Margaret Cho)


Hi, I'm Alysha -But you can call me Lysh said...

Your just awesome...that's all :D

Robin Rettie said...

Absolutely wonderful!! I pray that Margaret Cho will someday feel true, unconditional love - love that wouldn't even notice (or care) about her ignorance. Her scope is narrow and clearly self absorbed. Lighthouse Learning & Resource ( celebrates the beauty of difference! <3 You, Joey, Ace, & Archie are blessed beyond measure.

Dale said...

Just getting around to watching WWH and was appalled at Margaret Cho's comment. Had to google to see if anyone else was as offended as I was!

I watch for exactly the same reasons you seem to - a little mindless entertainment sometimes, and am pretty open minded, but was really shocked by what I heard!

Just hope maybe Margaret will see your comments. Bravo to you. Kids are adorable!

Anonymous said...

I was sickened by the show last night ... ANd I was a huge fan of hers ... I googled to see if I was the only person in utter shock over her comments and came across your blog .... I literally just melted over Archies pic ... He is so adorable I want to eat his face off!

Suzanne said...

I am so glad I missed that, I don't even think I can take it! What is wrong with this world, disgusting!!!!!

Un-fancy Mama said...

Another googler here. I wanted to punch the tv when she said that. At least Andy and Rosie had the decency to look horrified! I just sat on the couch with my mouth wide open shocked at the irony of the situation. And in all fairness I think you truly don't understand how horrific these comments are or how completely ignorant they are until you have a child of your own with an extra chromosome or you have a loved one in your life. I sure wouldn't trade my son for the world!

Anonymous said...

I too have a child with Down Syndrome. She is a little nine year old reading above her grade. I was so annoyed at that comment and hope that Andy Cohen chooses to have her as the 'jack hole' in tonight's episode. I am so glad you took the time to post this. I too felt like punching her and the stupid audience for humouring her. I find Andy Cohen to be typically both fair and kind hearted. I will stop watching if he in some way does not address he ignorant comments. I think it is a good think that her eggs have jumped ship. Lucky escape.

Anonymous said...

hello lisa,

i give you a tip, dont put your clean hands in dirty water or in other words, dont put archie in this stupid context.
after reading your blogs i recognize your sensible side but it make no sense at all because archie is what he is,

a lovely , god given human being.

go archie gooooo


Anonymous said...

as someone with a disability, i feel like i have been personally punched in the stomach when i here the r word. I am in college, becoming a nurse and doing all ive ever wanted to do with my life. i feel sorry that someone has so little knowledge that they feel it is ok to stoop to making jokes at other peoples expense. Im so glad to see that there is someone out there that feels the same way

go be what ever you want to be Archie and ace , you both deserve it

and thanks for being an inspiration Lisa , i have to adopt as im infertile due to my turners syndrome,and you have got me considering international adoption


Lisa said...

Thanks so much, Toni! You are exactly right-- Archie is what he is, which is AMAZING. Smart, funny, capable, loving, kind, caring. A perfect son and brother. Which is the EXACT reason why I did write this post. When Margaret Cho said those words she was referring to Archie. Of course I know that she wasn't referring specifically to him, but any child like him.
Archie will one day understand what it means when he hears the word "retard". And it will hurt him. So if I can do anything to prevent that from happening, I will. If I can open a few people's eyes and minds, I will.

mer said...

You are one amazing mom / person. So well said.

Kim said...

I love this. So much. My favorite part? You called her Marge.

Bob said...

Lisa, I love your blog and I love your photos and videos of your adorable kids. You are an inspiration to me. You're the kind of person I wish I could have for a next-door neighbor.

Oh, and Margaret Cho is a dupnik. You are much more charitable to her than I would have been.

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