Updated date:

Mocking Those With Mental and Physical Challenges Is Poor Leadership

Patty uses advanced degrees in preventive medicine and health psychology in research and treatment for public and private health agencies.

Problems in a society can be illuminated and solved.

Problems in a society can be illuminated and solved.

A Country Over Two Centuries Old Can Eliminate Bullying

As an advocate since high school for preventing and eliminating bullying, I particularly denounce verbal and physical mocking of individuals that endure developmental disabilities and genetic mutations that make life more difficult. They did not choose these conditions and, in my professional experience, cannot simply "get over it" as many bullies insist. Burdened with physical or bring-based issues to overcome, they should not be further burdened with maltreatment.

One of a mass of potential candidates for POTUS 2016 showed that he was an abuser when he was filmed at a public podium as he denigrated a reporter who had a challenging joint-and-muscle condition, but still holds a responsible and visible full-time job instead of accepting assistance in the form of SSI, SSDI, or similar.

Such bullying should not be tolerated in a potential American leader, any leader, or any person..

A Little Thing Can Destroy Everything

Some observers claim that the filmed taunting was a "little thing." This is the same term used by William Shatner after filming Leonard Nimoy without permission during a convention after Leonard, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and wheezing, clearly said he did not want to be filmed (Leonard Nimoy, My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man. William Shatner; 2016).

Making fun of a disability, diminishing such a person publicly, or filming a person for profit when he is visibly ill and stating he does not want to be filmed are all abusive behaviors that hurt the target of bullying.

Mocking disabled people, whether as a public figure or not, gives other people permission to do the same.

— Elizabeth Wright, Columnist for Startup; November 22, 2019.

Leadership is Different From Bullying

The potential 2016 electoral candidate in question did not repent and went on to denigrate several other people.

An opposite example is Jerry Lewis (1926 - 2017). At the start of his comedy career, begun when he was just 19 years old, Lewis developed his well known goofy persona for the stage, but sometimes went too far with it, mimicking the mannerisms of people who suffer muscle spasticity. In just a few years, he dropped those mannerisms and began working as a volunteer year-round for 59 years to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The comedian may have become involved with MDA in part because of an error in judgement that resulting in his mimicry of patients with muscle problems. I think it is likely that this us true and thus, the basis for changing a short-lived hurtful mimicry over to long term public service. Stopping harmful and making amends is good leadership in action,

Hate Groups Rising?

Some abusiveness and bigotry associated with the history of the Ku Klux Klan rose in America after the 2016 election. The rise of activity among hate groups in general, and an increase in the number of hate groups in America became more evident after the 2016 election, spurred on by abusive actions of elected officials. This culminated in a riot called The Storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 before the inauguration of a new president and administration later that month.

I’m overjoyed to see ... most Americans embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for years.

— David Duke, former KKK Grand Wizard; TheWrap.com. 7/22/2016

White sheets.

White sheets.

David Duke, former KKK leader, says Americans are coming into his KKK-way of thinking.

Jerry Lewis or a even cat might make a better elected official that the abuser who ran in 2016. At least two American towns elected a cat as mayor, there being no adequate human for the job. Mayor cat Stubbs served in Talkeetna, Alaska for 20 years from 1997 to 2017. Stubbs's brother Denali then took over the office.

Should a Corporation or a CEO Be POTUS?

Corporate Money Handling Not Always Good

When MDA eliminated Jerry Lewis, light shone on the incredibly inordinate yearly salaries of the cadre of several MDA vice presidents.

MDA leadership became immediately unable to collect a fraction of the donations pledged, in comparison with Lewis's yearly haul.

Very soon, the short yearly MDA event pledge monies became hidden within other financial document line items and the public became unable to learn either the total yearly pledge amounts or annual percentages of collections.

What other corporations may have hidden aspects of their businesses?

Bad Behavior in Adults

Bad behavior! This is all bad behavior by MDA Leadership, who are severely criticized on Glassdoor.com by employees and some of their own executives, bad behavior by adults who shunned the opportunity to teach children at a picnic about understanding developmental disabilities from a compassionate viewpoint, and bad behavior from a potential President of the United States of America.

Jerry Lewis is a hero compared to all of them, to the extent that he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mockery of disability, exploiting people who are different for laughs, should be an extinct phenomena these days. With social media and global connection, everyone can be held accountable for actions that are mean and degrading.

— Elizabeth Wright, Columnist for Startup; November 22, 2019.

Mocked for Illness, He Fought For Others' Health

Mocked and denigrated himself for "playing sick" until his 30s, Jerry Lewis was finally diagnosed with Type I Diabetes and no mocker apologized to him.

Lewis could have died any one of several times, having no insulin in his body, unable to produce it, and not knowing he was diabetic. As of 2016, the award-winning comedian had outlived all of the mockers as well as the entire Rat Pack that included Dean Martin (Dean and Me, A Love Story. Jerry Lewis; 2005).

People who are mocked for disabilities can sometimes prove to be stronger that the bullies who attack them.


Your Opinions Please!

A Japanese citizen killed 19 handicapped patients in a long-term care facility and wounded 26 others, because he felt all handicapped people should disappear. He first used words - written correspondence - that he would do this, but was ignored. Let this not happen in America (Letter foretold Japan rampage that killed 19 disabled people. Chicago Tribune, 7/28/2016)

We Cannot Wait for the Law

All possible bad behaviors cannot be eliminated or punished by legislating and enforcing new laws. Individuals in communities can take the responsibility to address these behaviors at the local level in daily life, to teach children which behaviors are unacceptable, and to vote for candidates in all elections who do not exude bad behaviors.

Which is America?

IssueSounds like a Human Rights ViolationSounds like Reasonable Action

Special Needs Children

Cut educational funding and send the kids to home school, the attic, or institutions.

Improve educational funding, personnel, and resources to provide the best lives for special needs children.

The Elderly Sick

Cut Social Security Retirement, push Medication Expenses up for maximum profits, and warehouse Seniors in substandard housing.

Respect and protect these living history resources and eliminate unnecesary economic threats to their lives and well being.

People with Physical Handicaps

Bully them into obscurity.

Everyone deserves respect.

How Do You Feel?

How do you feel, yourself, about being mocked, spit on, called horrible names, or discriminated against for your gender, race, ethnicity, income (any level), religious belief or non-belief, political affiliation or none, your age, your intelligence (high or low), your weight, or some other temporary or long-term condition?


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Patty Inglish MS


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 09, 2017:

@FlourishAnyway - You are as correct as you can be on all these points! I remember an unfortunate woman who was proud that she could refrain from using the restroom all day at work and sort of looked down on others who could not do the same. When she became aged and ill, the first faculty she lost was being able to "hold it." That was a lesson too late learned.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 09, 2017:

The thing about disabilities is that they can strike anyone at any time. Trump and everyone else needs to remember that when they are tempted to poke fun at someone. Those adults in the personal story you relayed missed a teaching opportunity that could have changed enlighted and educated.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 21, 2016:

Thanks, Shryron!

This type of abuse seems to be everywhere and it needs to stop.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 21, 2016:

Patty, congratulations on a Hubby award, you deserve this award.

I wanted to vote that it is morally wrong but it should be illegal also. Trumps mockery of a disabled reporter, made me ill.

I have been bullied and I know the hurt and shame where there was nothing to be ashamed of, I was also beaten, when I was a child by four adults and the grocer came out of her store and saved my life...

Blessings and hugs my friend

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 21, 2016:

Patty, congratulations on a Hubby award, you deserve this award.

Blessings and hugs my friend

Kathleen Cochran on September 17, 2016:

This is a hub on an important subject that is worthy of the award it just won. Congrats and keep up the good work.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 13, 2016:

Thanks for the props! Really, I'm happy that more people are reading and commenting about this topic.

Patty on September 13, 2016:

Congratulations on your Best Hub on Soapbboxie Award. All your hubs are exceptional!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 12, 2016:

@Faith Reaper - Thanks a million - you're very kind!

Faith Reaper on September 12, 2016:

Congratulations, Patty, on winning a Hubble Award for this well-deserved hub!


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 12, 2016:

@mckbirdbks - Oh, thank you very much! The awards DO help gain notice for important societal topics. Congratulations on your own award on LetterPile - we all love your Carriage Driver stories no end.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on September 12, 2016:

Congratulations Patty - Best Hub on Soapboxie. Glad to see you honored for all your hard work here on HP. You certainly deserve the recognition.

Patty Inglish, MS on August 03, 2016:

@mckbirdbks - Not much publicity was out there about Jerry Lewis's nomination for a Nobel, but a few people remember.

This is an important topic, so I hope many people will be able to read about it and do something. Thanks for your comments!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 03, 2016:

Thanks, vocalcoach! I will look that up today. The young woman is a hero!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on August 02, 2016:

I recently posted a video on my FB timeline. A cheerleader and popular girl asked a special needs boy to go to the prom dance. It's short but paints a strong message. If you havent come across it before I think you'll like it.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on August 01, 2016:

Hello Patty - Here we have heros and villians. I did not know that Jerry Lewis was nominated for a Nobel Prize. How does a person keep that quiet? And for our villian, well the man has no class. I base that on his comments regarding a K.I.A. Army Captain and his family.

You have out done yourself with this one. And I see you are on 'Soapboxie' another splinter group of HP.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 01, 2016:

@vocalcoach - I feel the same was as you feel about human tights violations and what an effective job Jerry Lewis has done to help special needs people.

Since he was criticized and mocked for illness as a younger man, perhaps he became more empathetic to the needs of special needs people.

@MsDora - Thanks for your comment as well! Human Rights is a major issue and I hope the outcome of Election 2016 helps to improve it.

MsDora on August 01, 2016:

Applause, applause to Jerry Lewis and people like him who work to help people with disabilities. It is cruel to see anyone as less than human. Thank you for highlighting this issue.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on July 30, 2016:

I cannot hold my tongue when I'm within ears reach of bullying or making fun of others. The ymca here in Nashville employee those with disabilities. What a great example they set for other businesses.

Gerry Lewis is a remarkable human being. Needless to say, he's one of my heroes. Bravo Patty for bringing this Human Rights Violation to the forefront.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 30, 2016:

We see a lot of nasty behavior every day, don't we? This makes me so thankful when I receive good service in a store or see someone being nice to an elderly or disabled person or child. We hope those scales tip back!

breakfastpop on July 29, 2016:

Great to see you too. I honestly think the scales have tipped , and we have far too many people with horrible instincts.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 29, 2016:

Indeed not. I suppose some people think it's funny, like the Three Stooges when they used to really hit one another on stage. Not funny.

Good to see you breakfastpop!

breakfastpop on July 29, 2016:

There is no excuse for making fun of people with disabilities...period!!!

Related Articles