The persistence of prejudice in the world is a harsh reality. Despite centuries of progress, there are still those who engage in acts of discrimination against those who are different from themselves.
Social media has been blamed for exacerbating this problem, providing a platform for anonymous bullies to harass others online without fear of repercussions. In many cases, these individuals are able to get away with their actions.
Recently, a father from Merseyside, England, spoke out against trolls who mocked a video of his daughter Megan, who has Down syndrome, eating her birthday cake. Despite the video being shared to celebrate Megan’s first birthday, commenters called her a “downie” and a “retard”.
Scott, Megan’s father, was understandably appalled. While his initial reaction was anger, he ultimately decided not to let the trolls ruin his daughter’s special day. Instead, he resolved to educate those who engage in such abusive behavior.
“I’m going to share the love and I’ll do that by sharing pictures of Megan,” he said. “I’m going to educate the uneducated idiots.”
Scott’s experience is unfortunately not unique. Parents of children with disabilities often hear tales of abuse and discrimination. It is a heartbreaking reality that some people still see those with disabilities as different and deserving of mistreatment.