by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator
A topic I frequently joke about among friends is clowns, in particular “evil clowns.” I don’t remember as to why this has become a running gag among my group of friends, but regardless, I’m aware that many people are afraid of clowns.
Unfortunately, I feel the same is true of people with disabilities: many outsiders see only the “makeup” on the surface, and are afraid to meet the real person.
Fortunately, this isn’t true of everyone, or we wouldn’t have some of the excellent disability support services that exist today. And remember: not too long ago, most of these individuals would have been locked up in mental institutions or displayed as circus freaks (as sad as it is to admit that).
In a sense, the same concept could be used as a metaphor for racism, or any kind of fear of the unknown. Have you ever been afraid of someone or something that at first seemed unfamiliar?
So, as funny (or creepy) as it may be to joke about the “evil clown” concept, I encourage others to look past outside differences, as much as possible, and find some inner connection.
We can manage that, right?