I know it brings you such joy to think that you are beacon of peace and the lighthouse of equality, but all you really are is a tool. One that does more harm than any possible good you claim to perform.
This letter comes on the heels of a recently resolved controversy involving the television series, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. In a recent episode, a beloved fan character by the name of Derpy Hooves was given spoken dialogue for the first time.
While many fans rejoiced at this love letter to fans, you, in all your “infinite wisdom” decided to sound the alarm, saying that the combination of crossed eyes and stupidity, as well as the word “derp” was offensive to people with mental disabilities.
I’m not here to complain about the Derpy controversy, I merely use this as an example of one of the biggest problems with society and the way it treats people who don’t fall into this “box” that defines the ideal human being.
You may think that you’re being “sensitive” that you’re “building a world that’s more accepting.” You, my good sir, are a moron and a hypocrite of the highest order. You are a fool lost in the mists of your undeserved self-righteousness, putting words in the mouths of hard-working people and speaking for a “minority” that does a pretty good job of speaking for itself.
Now before you begin accusing me of “not understanding” or being “insensitive,” let me explain a few things. During my childhood, I had to attend special education classes. My younger brother had to go to a separate school that was meant for helping people with various psychological issues. In the case of my brother and I, it was to treat a speech impediment that was mistaken for a developmental disorder.
Another thing to consider is that one of my childhood friends who died tragically of heart failure 12 years ago, on my birthday might I add, also had developmental issues. So you are in no position to use the “insensitivity” argument.
The point I’m leading up to is that people with mental disorders can take a joke. They often make their own jokes about the fact that people label them as “special” all the time. On that same note, they are also capable of learning and growing like any other human being walking on this giant rock floating in the middle of space. All that is different is that they process things differently from other people.
People like you often chastise me when I say that I didn’t enjoy volunteering for the Special Olympics back in 2008, but events like that only work to prove my point. By sheltering people in this “bubble” where there is no failure and everyone gives them special treatment, you don’t give them any room to grow.
Your biggest argument is “they’re like children; they can’t cope with the concept of failure.” All that does is show that you are no better than people who make fun of those with mental disabilities. If one never experiences loss, how can they possibly know the true feelings of success? They are like children, I’ll give you that, but like children, they are capable of learning and growing.
To hopefully educate you on matters of modern vernacular, the word “derp” is not derogatory towards those with mental handicaps. It is a word used to describe when someone, anyone, does something stupid, like walking into a window or putting a shirt on backwards and inside out. The word and the associated crossed eyes is a term of comedic endearment, not verbal assault.
So the next you feel like going on another “crusade pf acceptance,” I want you to consider the fact that these people can speak for themselves and often do a much better job of handling themselves than most of you self-appointed “speakers.” They are capable of understanding things like sadness and failure as they are happiness and success. They are able to laugh at themselves. If anything, you’re assumptions about Derpy Hooves should be seen as a step forward instead of a step back like you claim. In closing, get off of your high horse and actually think for once.
P.S. Leave Derpy alone! She didn’t do anything to you!
Palin saw this as an attack on her son, Trig, who has Down syndrome. This lead to both Sarah and Bristol Palin blasting the show for its perceived insensitivity.
Unlike the Derpy Hooves Controversy, this was handled as a failed attempt to gain pity from the public.
The situation was quickly diffused when the voice actress for the character, Andrea Fay Friedman was revealed to have Down syndrome.
“Sarah Palin didn’t even get the joke,” Friedman told ABC News when the controversy was still new. “It would be nice if she did have a sense of humor. Come on Sarah, laugh a little.”
Gail Williamson, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles said in a New York Times interview that “…we should appreciate full inclusion with other genres. Even if those genres are not what we appreciate.”
The Derpy Hooves Controversy
Debuting on Oct. 10, 2010, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” has become popular with fans outside of it’s target demographic. Most of the popularity is due to the fan communities that have amassed on the internet.
The character Derpy Hooves was a background pony that, due to an animation error, had crossed eyes. Fans were quick to embrace this character, prompting the creators of the show to put her in other backgrounds as an Easter egg.
In the 14th episode of the shows second season, the opening scene shows main character Rainbow Dash talking directly to Derpy, who is given dialogue for the first time, official incorporating Derpy into the series canon.
After the episode aired, rumors spread that the people found the character offensive, prompting Hasbro, the company producing the series and merchandise, to pull the episode of iTunes.
With the character in danger of being renamed and changed, a large fan petition began circulating, with many artists creating artwork or otherwise bringing attention to the cause. This video is what actually prompted me to write this article.
Hasbro UK has responded by saying that they have no intention of changing or renaming the character. Many people outside the fandom speculate that this was a misunderstanding on a massive scale.