An Open Letter to Tom Segura

Tom,

I feel badly for you. I heard that in your new “comedy” special, you found it appropriate to make fun of people with Down Syndrome. You really titled this special well, as the only word to describe such “jokes” is disgraceful. I tried to look up the clip on YouTube, but I’m gathering this particular special was just released on Netflix within the past couple of days. I cancelled my Netflix subscription a few weeks ago, so I guess I will just have to go off of what other people are saying about your “jokes.” Although, you have pretty much confirmed what they are saying by spreading their comments on your Instagram for your fans to ridicule.

George Washington Carver said, “Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater.” I’ve always found this to be true, which is why I feel badly for you. Since you seem so afraid of people with Down Syndrome, I have to assume you don’t know anyone with Down Syndrome. My first piece of advice to you would be to seek someone with Down Syndrome out and get to know them and their family. You will see the joy they bring their family, and everyone who has had the pleasure of knowing them. I’m even from your hometown of Cincinnati, so next time you come to visit, I would be glad to let you meet my daughter, Hannah, and talk to you about what Down Syndrome means to us.

My second piece of advice would be to educate yourself on what Down Syndrome actually is, and the lives that people with Down Syndrome have the potential to lead. Sujeet Desai graduated with a 4.3 GPA, and can also play seven instruments. Chelsea Warner is a four-time national champion at the Special Olympics, and Madeline Stuart has walked the cat walk at New York Fashion Week twice, and has her own fashion line. I would wager to say most people wouldn’t think the R-word properly defines them or their accomplishments.

My third piece of advice is to not bully and make fun of people who are stronger than you. In just 11 months, my daughter Hannah, has had breathing tubes, more blood draws than I can count, a spinal tap, a catheter procedure to insert stents into her pulmonary artery, open heart surgery, NG tubes, PICC lines, arterial lines, and more. She has been hospitalized multiple times, and spent months with oxygen support 24/7. All of this while still smiling. She was laughing and rolling over within 3 weeks of her 10 hour long open heart surgery. Unfortunately, her experiences are shared by thousands of people with Down Syndrome. They go through unimaginable things at a young age, yet they grow up to be the most caring, loving, outgoing, happy people in this world. How dare you mock that.

Lastly, I would tell you to repent. I don’t know you, and I don’t know whether you are a religious man, but I can tell you that God does not look kindly on people who bully those who are marginalized. Every person with Down Syndrome is made in God’s image, as is everyone else, and they are just the way He intended for them to be; they are not mistakes. People with Down Syndrome have so much to offer this world, and truly make it a better place. I hope you come to see that one day, and choose to celebrate those who are different than you instead of ridiculing them.

Sincerely,

Amanda Yeary


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