We learn as we grow.
The Niagara Falls Reporter published a picture last week that was originally posted on an internet site. It was a mock KFC ad for their “Double Down” sandwich.
We did not create the image.
It struck us (at the time) as being humorous that two cute kids were stuffed inside a junk food sandwich, considering parents often feed their children junk food.
We published it under the category of humor and never gave it another thought.
Later in the week, a couple of people surprised us when they wrote to us, saying, "How could you make fun of handicapped children?"
“Down syndrome. Double Down sandwich. See the connection?”
No. Not until you mentioned it.
We did not see the picture as mocking handicapped children because (maybe we're stupid), we did not think they were handicapped children and because we would never mock handicapped children and frankly we never believed there is any human being so low that they would mock handicapped children.
It may have been the intention of the people who run the internet site that originally published the picture to make a connection between Down syndrome and the picture for (sick) laughs.
We hope not. You can check their website and try to determine that for yourself, if you wish, at www.funmeme.com.
By the way, the Reporter is not a timid publication. If we intended to publish a mockery of poor, handicapped, defenseless children, there is nothing that would make us retract it.
We stand by what we publish -- intentionally.
And, frankly, we will mock out almost anything, even that which the howling, bed-wetting liberals of this country will not tolerate.
And sometimes we even mock out ourselves.
But it never has been, and never will be, fair game to mock those who through birth or accident are suffering, like those who are suffering from Down syndrome.
While we would not go as far as to inhibit free speech to prohibit this kind of (sick) humor, frankly, it never occurred to us that anyone would try to make a joke out of Down syndrome, a terrible affliction that breaks the hearts of parents and presents deep challenges every day for those afflicted and for those who are close to those afflicted.
Coincidentally, we have an article in this edition that we have been working on for several weeks about a young and wonderful man who lives in Niagara Falls who has Down syndrome and who has overcome great obstacles in becoming a successful musician and a marvelous performer.