The controversy continues around U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump. This week, we heard a very passionate and emotional sermon from award-winning actress, Meryl Streep.
In the midst of her acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Golden Globes, Streep spoke about her most memorable performance of the year. It wasn’t a presentation by any of her fellow actors, rather, it was an act performed by Mr. Trump.
While on the campaign trail, Mr. Trump displayed his tendency for unadulterated actions by mocking a journalist who had a disability, which in Streep’s mind, was rotten and repulsive. She explained that it was wrong for a presidential candidate, a potential leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world, to role model such unacceptable behavior.
Of course, there are varying opinions about whether or not the speech was warranted however in my mind, that’s irrelevant.
What is more important, is that Streep, who doesn’t have a disability, nor is she the parent of someone who does, spoke up in support of vulnerable people. Trump’s actions are abhorred because he ridiculed someone who was, “outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back.” She went on to say, “When the powerful use their position to bully, we all lose.”
People who have a disability and their families struggle every day to overcome barriers and fight for inclusion. We live in a world where the term “retard” is still widely used and in a society where there is still a lot of fear and ignorance about disability and mental health disorders. While abuse of vulnerable, whether obvious or subtle, is still an unfortunate reality.
Meryl Streep’s message brings light to the importance of respect for one another; the significance of embracing diversity; the merit of standing up for what is right and the greatness in using rank, position and status for modeling values and beliefs that value all people.
It is so difficult for people who have a disability and their families to continually “fight the fight”. It is reassuring to know that there are other people who will advocate and not be shy to do it.
On behalf of all people who have a disability and their families, I want to say, “thank you” to Meryl Streep. You were undoubtedly, “right on”!