An Open Letter to A Troll

An Open Letter  to A Troll

Dear Troll,

Since I started blogging about my son Quinn and his disability, I knew this day would come.

There’s no shortage of trolls on the internet who hide behind the anonymity of a screen name with the intent to be cruel, and I’ve seen their hostility many times before. In fact, just last week, in the wake of a robbery at the Down Syndrome Association of Houston’s headquarters, in which $10,000 worth of technology was stolen, there was no shortage of ignorant comments on the news story reporting the incident.

One user asked, “how will they learn to count to potato?” Another claimed that wasting computers on “retards” was stupid anyway and that the organization deserved to be robbed. These comments, while offensive, simply serve to showcase people’s hate-fueled ignorance and aren’t worth my time. I grimace when I read them, but realize there’s little to be done about such stupidity.

I don't want to make assumptions about you, but I can guess from your immaturity and ignorance that you know little about the helplessness that parents feel when caring for a sick infant with respiratory issues.
Quinn was sick last week, but was feeling much better by Friday. We decided to sit in the backyard and soak up the sun after school.

There aren't many things in this world more beautiful than seeing your recently-ill child light up in a smile, and I snapped a few photos to celebrate his recovery, then posted them on Instagram with the hashtag “#downsyndrome.”

I love to look through those photos myself in my spare time because damn if those kiddos aren’t adorable. Of course, you feel differently because you found this photo and left a comment with one simple word: Ugly.

The fact that you find my child ugly is one thing. You are entitled to your opinion. But the fact that you intentionally search #downsyndrome to find pictures to insult (sadly, Quinn is not the only victim of your behavior; I came across many other inflammatory responses) is both childish and sad. Your profile is also full of offensive posts and crude statements, all of which point to your own illiteracy. In one such photo, featuring two kids with Down syndrome and the word “wiitard,” you get bent out of shape because many, MANY people called you on you prejudice. You claim it was a joke and that people should lighten up. But what about purposefully seeking out pictures of our children? What about the fact that a beautiful photograph of my son was tarnished by your hatred? That’s not a joke. That’s cyberbullying. Needless to say, I reported your profile, which has been removed.

This will not be the last time someone discounts my son because he is different.

It will not be last time someone makes a joke at his expense, but to actively seek out actual people to tease goes beyond cruel. It’s inhuman.

I recognize that you want to see me get worked up about your little “joke.” I’ll be honest, it’s hard not to be angry about it, but I can’t allow myself to carry that weight on my shoulders.

I can’t allow myself to feel anything but sorry for an individual with so little tact. Because in end, you will be the one to face the consequences of your choices someday. There are few people in this world who tolerate that kind of backwards thinking, and you’ll eventually mouth off to the wrong person. My guess is that you already have, which is why you hide behind a screen name like a coward.

God knows there were plenty of cruel adolescent boys in my time: boys who took pleasure in pranks and jokes at others’ expense. There were even a few of them that were directed at me, but it gave me tough skin and I grew from the experience of facing such mistreatment. Maybe that’s why I’m willing to let this one go; I know where most of those boys ended up and it’s nowhere I’d want to be. And as a teacher, I've seen kids like you crash and burn. Go outside. Read a book. Compliment someone. Most importantly, enlighten yourself; there's already enough cruelty in this world and anyone worth their salt should be striving to make this place better, not worse.

I simply hope my own children learn to look past ignorant comments and actions and treat others with respect and dignity. We all deserve it, even you

Sincerely,
A Proud Mama


Megan is a wife, a mother, and a teacher. When she is not busy keeping up with the aforementioned people, she loves to read, write, make music, and attempt to complete Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle. To follow Megan's  blog click HERE or visit: www.meganmennes.blogspot.com

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Comments

  • Julie - December 28, 2016
    Your beautiful child, by the time they are six will have achieved so much more than this sad person has ever done. Your child will understand right from wrong, be loving, kind, and caring to everyone around them, a true joy, and excelent example of how to behave. You and your family have so much to be proud of. Enjoy every second of your wonderful journey.
  • thomas mccausland - December 28, 2016

    your child is guift from god every child is specal no matter what we love them all pray for those who pass judgment on others for thay need help god to drive out the devil in them lots of love to quinn and a big hug for him

  • Susan Kinyon - December 28, 2016

    ALL are God’s children. Even the trolls. They just need more love than most.
    Mom always said “Two wrongs don’t make it right.”
    Paraphrasing for the Bible, not to repay an evil with an evil."
    That’s hard when they are your flesh and blood or adopted(yours)!
    God is Love, God is Love, God is Love, God is Love . . . . . .

  • Debra - December 28, 2016

    I’m behind your message. I had a down syndrome sister who was very special to me. I defended her to the end. It’s just not my style to call someone a name ie. troll, like you did. If we want to stop people from using the “R” word I believe we should go higher and not call anyone names. We lose the fight when we call people names and are asking them to not call us and ours names. Instead, try to plead with people to get educated on the topic by asking them to read Spread The Word to End The Word. Please don’t call them stupid, only uninformed or ignorant of the facts. Try not to refer to their tactics as stupidity, either. You can catch more flies with a teaspoon of honey rather than a barrel of vinegar. Therefore, I would like you to reconsider your words and give honey which your son deserves. Peace!

  • Elizabeth Foley - December 27, 2016

    I have never seen anything but beautiful babies and children, how can anyone be so bloody cruel!

  • Darlene - December 27, 2016

    I have learned so much from our son with Down Syndrome, it would take pages to express. Somethings are small steps and some are huge. I would love to post more but have always shied away from all the negative things others say so most time I refrain, we should all remember our children are the love of our lives no matter what the ingrates out there have to say. We have just learned to love different milestones for different things, whether it is a kitchen floor strewn with potatoes while we practice counting to 20 or endless skinned knees are they try to keep up with their brothers riding a 2 wheeled bike. Enjoy all your small miracles because every child is a miracle.

  • Mary wyatt - December 27, 2016

    No matter what this stupid people say
    You have a beautiful son everyone is a child of God but some are the Devil s
    child …love to both

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