A large number of students are unbelievably cruel to these people. They call them names and make fun of them right to their faces. Sometimes they don't do it in front of the person, but I also think it is very rude to talk about people behind their backs.
When I see or hear it happen, I would like to be able to say something to help them understand that what they are doing is not acceptable. What should I do when I am caught in these situations? -- TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OHIO
DEAR TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: People who ridicule others because they are physically or developmentally disabled sometimes do it for attention because it makes them feel superior or because they don't realize the damage they are doing.
One way to correct the perpetrators would be to speak up and say you don't think what they are doing is funny because you have a brother who struggles every day with the challenges of . You should also talk to a counselor or the principal of your school, describe what has been happening and suggest that the student body could benefit from sensitivity training regarding discrimination, which is offered at many schools.
DEAR TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Don't fucking say a thing! Have you ever heard the expression, "It's always safer in the eye of the storm?" That means fit in with the rest of the group or suffer. Let me run through the scenario for you if I may,
"Hey guys, you shouldn't make fun of people with handicaps, they are people too and they have feelings! It's wrong!"
"Shut up, bitch. That's retarded."
"Don't say that! My brother is mentally handicapped, he has autism!"
"You hear that guys? The bitch has a retarded brother, that makes her retarded." And then you spend a couple years of your life being ridiculed. Just let it be.
If you feel strongly about it, and it eats at your soul, and it consumes your every waking second, and there is no other option, dress up like a creature of the night and take your vengeance and lash out against those that have wronged you.
Either of these two options are the best way to go.
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law was unhappy in her relationship, so my husband and I offered to let her stay with us. We moved her and all her stuff into our home. We even kicked our 3-year-old out of his room so she could have privacy.
She stayed with us for two nights, then went to her mother's. She was gone a week, then came back and spent one night. Then she returned to her mom's for two weeks. Most of her things are still here, but she hasn't said she's living with her mother permanently.
Do I still have a houseguest? I'd like to give my son his room back, but I don't want to be rude to my possible guest. -- POSSIBLE HOSTESS
DEAR POSSIBLE HOSTESS: Your little boy needs his room back! Unless you are ready to establish some boundaries, your sister-in-law could bounce back and forth indefinitely. It's time for you and your husband to talk to his sister and his mother and determine where his sister plans to nest, because it is unfair to use your son's bedroom as a storage locker.
DEAR POSSIBLE HOSTESS: Two things. If the chick has good taste: have a yard sale. If she has bad taste: have a bonfire. Don't tolerate her indecisiveness.
DEAR ABBY: Several months ago, my husband -- whose eyesight is fading rapidly -- was forced to depend on a cane indicating that he is blind. Since then, we have encountered many individuals who have no idea what a red-tipped white cane means.
We have heard people say things like, "Isn't that fancy!" or, "I love the way you decorated your cane for the Christmas season."
Abby, please inform your readers that a white cane with a red tip is not a fashion accessory or a personal whim. Its purpose is to allow a vision-impaired person to move around independently. Vision impairment also affects a person's balance. People have brushed past my husband, bumped into him and expressed annoyance because his slowness held them up.
I'm sure a "word to the wise" from you would make a decided difference. -- NANCY IN LACONIA, N.H.
DEAR NANCY: I'm pleased to help you spread the word, and you have described the situation very well. Allow me to add this: It's rude -- and can be dangerous -- to touch a stranger without permission. Not only could it cause the person to react in a hostile fashion, if he or she is blind, it could cause a nasty fall.
DEAR NANCY: To be fair to those people who don't give a shit about your husbands dissability, there are more of us than you. You don't surround us, we surround you! And we'll knock over as many blind people as it takes to live in a blissful state of ignorance. THIS IS OUR STAND! IT IS YOUR HUSBANDS FALL!