July 28, 2008

Choosing Michael Savage as a Teacher



When we give someone a national radio show, we are, in effect, choosing a teacher. When we pay that teacher, or go back again and again to be taught by him, we endorse that teaching.

Ask yourself, is this a man that you want teaching your children, your parents, your friends, your neighbors, your child's bus driver, the woman at the grocery story and the angry young man on the corner? Is this the teacher that you want to learn from?

There are SO many voices today available for us to learn from. There are teachers out there who have many of the same core political and social beliefs as Mr. Savage, but speak to those issues with engaging wisdom rather than the irresponsible cruelty.

If there is one theme that conservative talk radio can be boiled down to, it is that of personal responsibility. The irony of being taught lessons in personal responsibility by someone whom cannot simply apologize when they do something wrong, something my six year old with autism can do, should be obvious to everyone paying attention to this issue. I want to remind everyone of Mr. Savages response to the criticism of his comments when they first appeared.  From Radar:

While advocates for those suffering from the disorder are outraged, the unrepentant chatterer expressed pride in his ability to inspire "discussion on the subject," which has resulted in exactly the kind of publicity he desires. "What else do you think I should make fun of," he went on to ask a reporter, "pediatric cancer? Juvenile diabetes? Seriously, I'll say anything! Just keep writing about me!"

One of the themes in my writing is the immeasurable damage that is done in our world, and to our disabled children specifically, simply from the inability to repent.  We teach our children to say that they are sorry and clean up their messes when they do something wrong, but we don't hold ourselves to this standard, nor do we hold our leadership to this standard.

If we do not hold Michael Savage to even a minimum standard of wisdom that someone with a bully pulpit like his should maintain, and if we do not hold him even to a minimum standard of repentance for this attack on disabled children and their struggling parents, then truly, there is no minimum standard.  If this is not enough for people to walk away from him, then ask yourselves if there is anything that can be said that will leave a bad enough taste in people's mouths to cause them to walk away?

And if not, what does that say about what we have become?

It is time for us to move on from this teacher to one who will exercise his or her gift for teaching with more wisdom and grace, who has the maturity to learn from those they injure and is responsible enough admit culpability and clean up their mess when they wrong.


HT: Theresa Cedillo

6 comments:

Sam's MAMA said...

Ginger,

My dear, dear friend, you have truly out done yourself this time. Thank you for so eloquently teaching others, while at the same time fighting the good fight for (and with)us and our loved ones.

Always,
Lin

FieldingHurst said...

The Weiner Nation ... http://autismparents.net/the-weiner-nation-great-michael-savage-pic/

MOM-NOS said...

Ginger - an unrelated comment (though, of course, I totally agree).

I just wanted to let you know how much your recent comment means to me. You were among the first people to make me feel welcome in the blogosphere and, as such, I think of you - and, of course, Chandler - as some of my oldest stranger/friends.

Much love to you all.

Casdok said...

Well said!

Bec said...

Ginger, Here is a copy of what I sent to WLOB today.

Greetings,

I am emailing because I heard the Morning News with guest Ginger Taylor speaking about autism and Michael Savage's remarks on the topic. I join her in wishing to have Michael Savage's program removed from your station. His remarks were cruel and his response lacks any real apology or acknowledgement of his ignorance.

Like Ginger, I am also a mother to a child on the autism spectrum. My child isn't a brat -- in fact he is so sweet and innocent that my biggest worry is that he will be taken advantage of, even by children his own age. He will be five later this year. Other than a few instances in grocery store check-out lines, there isn't any reason for anyone to think he is a brat.

My husband was greatly offended by the remarks about these children having uninvolved parents. He is involved with our son, and most of the children we know with autism have very involved parents -- both mother and father. If Mr. Savage doesn't care about calling 1 in 150 children brats, then perhaps he might have some regrets for telling all the father's who love and partipate in their autistic child's life that it is somehow their fault for not doing their best. That's right up with there with the old-school thoughts about "refrigerator moms."

I realize that the government spends a lot of money funding early intervention for young children with autism diagnoses. I'm not sure anyone has bothered to measure how much it would cost society NOT to help these children. There is no denying that early intervention can make a big difference, as well other things that may depend on the child such as diet changes, supplements, and medication. I wonder how much more could be done if the medical side of autism was more clearly studied and some of those treatments funded as well.

I hope you will have Ginger back again, and I hope you will give serious consideration to removing Michael Savage from your station. The children need your support, he doesn't.

lovemom said...

I too am a Mom of a child on the autistic spectrum. Not only myself,but others have described my child as having a "purity" about her,as I've seen with other autistic children.
Thank you Ginger for vigilance and loving help for the helpless.
I personally think Savage is just another selfish entertainer seeking attention not caring that his victims are children,disadvantaged no less.