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Posted by Philip on 13 August 2014, 11:24 am in , , , , , , ,

The most offensive part of this meme is its spelling!

George Takei, Star Trek's inimitable Mr Sulu, has been chastised by disability rights activists for posting a Facebook meme.

Said meme depicts, from behind, a woman standing from her wheelchair to reach a bottle of (presumably) wine, with the words, "There has been a miracle in the alcohol isle [sic]."

Among the cries of outrage:

“It displays an attitude many of us have to deal with every single day: we don't 'look' or 'seem' disabled enough to do many things without the judgment and criticism of others.”

“Mobility issues don't always mean you can't stand... sometimes it just means you can't walk, or you have to walk so slowly that a chair works better.”

Takei's response, also criticised, was overly reasonable in my opinion, in the face of such a mirthless pity-party:

“Fans get 'offended' from time to time by my posts,” he wrote. “There hardly is a day where something I put up doesn't engender controversy. Concerned fans, worried the sky may fall, ask me to 'take it down.’

“So I'm also going to ask them also to take it down - a notch, please.”

If activists have nothing else to criticise but a harmless ironic observation, they have obviously not had enough to be offended by. Takei's so-called ignorance actually trumps their intelligence ten-fold. If anything, they should be condemning the store for being inaccessible .

Righteous indignation of this kind proves to me that the human rights movement has reached its use-by date. We need more sophisticated ways to create the next level of social change needed to truly value diversity. Humourless attacks on harmless satire aren't going to build the leaderly relationships we need to take that next step. 

Not correcting the spelling mistake — 'isle' instead of 'aisle' — however, is inexcusable. I'd like you to step up a notch in that regard please, George.

A woman standing from her wheelchair to reach a bottle of (presumably) wine

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