Michel Morganella gravely insulted and discriminated against the South Korean people and their football team with his highly offensive comments on Twitter,” said Gian Gilli of the Swiss Olympic delegation. “We condemn his comments, which are in fundamental violation of the IOC’s Olympic charter and Swiss Olympic’s own ethics charter. This is why, in consultation with the Swiss Football Association, we have withdrawn Morganella’s accreditation.”
What did Michel Morganella do to deserve such a reproach? This:
Je les tous Defonce Coréens, allez vous tous Bruler, bande de trisos!
Translated this means that he wants to beat up all South Koreans and that he thinks they are a bunch of retards. “Trisos” is a derogatory French term for someone with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a genetic abnormality causes by a third copy of the 21st chromosome. Its medical name is Trisomy 21. Hence, “trisos.”
Morganella got disciplined by his federation and removed from the Olympics. Justice is served.
Except…what was that about offending the South Koreans? What about the offense to people with Down syndrome and those who love them?
In this day and age, we generally refrain from using such pejoratives as retard, gay, or, indeed, racial epithets such as the N-word, not out of concern for the object of the insult (in this case the South Koreans) but rather because of the insensitivity toward those from whom the pejorative is derived.
Calling someone who is trying to best you in a negotiation a “cheap Jew” is not an offense against the guy who is buying your car. It is an offense against Jews.
Well, you say, maybe the guy from the Swiss delegation mispoke? Maybe he meant it the other way around and just accidentally referred to the South Koreans being offended when he meant to say the developmentally disabled?
So why did the media report the story as a racist Tweet?
BBC: Switzerland’s Olympic football team has expelled defender Michel Morganella from the tournament for posting racist comments on Twitter.
ESPN: A Swiss soccer player was expelled from the Olympics on Monday for his threatening and racist message on Twitter about South Koreans.
The offense here is not against the South Koreans, but rather against all those who have been demeaned and dehumanized by words like retard and “trisos.”
But no one in the media see this. No one in the media thinks to themselves, “Hey, wait a minute. This isn’t racism, it’s a different kind of ‘ism.’ It’s worse. It’s worse because it’s directed at people who don’t have a voice.”
This is why I react the way I do when I see the words “retard” and “retarded” used as synonyms for “stupid” and “uncordinated.” Because the world is blind to the hurt that these words cause to the developmentally disabled and those who love them.
The world is blind. Open your eyes.