Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Trig Palin




"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care."

In the above statement, Sarah Palin not only distorted President Obama's healthcare reform proposals, but she also implied that Trig will not achieve an acceptable “level of productivity in society”.

I did a bit of searching on the internet and found information about a variety of people who were born with Down Syndrome.


Chris Burke, born August 26, 1965, in Point Lookout, New York, is an American actor with Down syndrome, best known for his character Charles "Corky" Thatcher on the television series Life Goes On.

His parents were told to institutionalize him when he was born, but they decided to raise him at home and nurture his talents. He was encouraged to follow his career objectives no matter how untraditional they seemed for a young man with Down syndrome. His siblings also worked with him. Many were surprised at how bright Burke was when he entered formal schooling.


Blair Williamson was born with Down syndrome weighing 3 lbs. 6 oz. He had 9 surgeries by the time he was 5 years old and didn't walk until he was nearly 4 years old. By the time he was a healthy 10 year old he was running 400 meters for Special Olympics. His ability to run got him a lead role in a national commercial for Procter and Gamble in 1990.

Blair has been running to jobs ever since. He guest starred on "The Guardian," co-starred on "ER" and he has been murdered on "CSI" and had his nose done on "nip/tuck." His film credits include a co-star role on USA's "My Antonia," as well as many independent features and shorts. Blair is most proud of his work on the feature film "Unknown," to be released in 2006, where he plays the janitor. The role was physical and demanding.


When Andrea Fay Friedman was born in Los Angeles on June 1,1970, nobody would have predicted that she would become a well-known actress and public speaker, go to college, hold a job, drive a car and live a full and independent life. Because Andrea was born with Down syndrome, the pediatrician told her parents to send her straight to an institution because she would not develop beyond the mental age of four or five. Her parents, Harold and Marjorie Friedman, ignored the doctor's advice, took Andrea home, loved her, taught her and worked to help her develop to her full potential.


When Jane Cameron was diagnosed with Down syndrome at four months old, Jane's parents were told their daughter was "retarded" and that they should: "Put her in an institution and forget about her." They were shocked and, despite knowing little to nothing about Down syndrome they decided that what their child needed was as much love, care and education as they could possibly give her.

Although her artistic talent was not discovered until Jane was about twenty, her tapestries now hang across the world. Jane's embroidered tapestries are glowing statements of her imagination and her love and affection for all living things. A life that could have been a tragedy became one of joy for Jane's parents and hope for other parents of children with Down syndrome.


27-year-old Sujeet Desai is an accomplished musician born with Down syndrome. Sujeet plays six instruments. Bb and Bass clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Violin, Piano and drums. In June 2001 he graduated from high School with honors and in May 2003 from the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in Massachusetts after two-year residential Post-secondary study in Music and Human services. Sujeet travels around the world to do his inspirational solo performances and self-advocacy workshops.


Michael Jurogue Johnson has been painting fulltime for nine years. This gifted artist was born with Down syndrome, but he was also born with an inherited artistic talent. His family tree is filled with artists, engineers, and classical musicians.

When he graduated from public school at the age of 21, Michael decided to become a fulltime artist, rather than working in a sheltered workshop. Michael learned how to paint by painting every day, building on what he had learned in school, and experimenting.

Raymond Hu is a twenty-one-year-old artist residing in Alamo, CA. Born with Down syndrome, Raymond graduated from San Ramon Valley High School, Danville, California in summer 1996, where he was enrolled in a full inclusion program for four years. Since Sept. 1996, he has been attending a Transistion Program in the high school, and taking art and other classes at Diablo Valley College and Laney College.

Raymond has been studying Chinese brush painting with renowned San Francisco artist Lampo Leong since 1990. He has developed a uniquely free and expressive style of painting that has won much critical acclaim. In the last few years, he has concentrated on painting animals, ranging from lions to tigers, lizards, elephants, birds, and fish. He uses photos of animal images as models, but his interpretation is quite unique. The medium he uses is ink and watercolor applied with round brush on thin absorbant rice-paper.


Born in Nashville TN with Down Syndrome, Bernadette Resha has become well known in the art community worldwide.

Her exposure to the art world and culture started as a child attending as many art galleries, museums, concert halls and plays as her time would allow.

From an early age she was encouraged to draw and color in her own style as a form of expression and therapy. This has resulted in a body of work which documents an artist developing a unique style entirely her own.

With an artist grandmother and a mother fully committed to allowing her to use this medium of self expression for as far as she would care to take it, Bernadette now exhibits in numerous art galleries, art and craft shows throughout south east and attends many conventions throughout the United States showing and selling her work.


The parents of many of these very talented and productive people were advised to place them in institutions because "they were retarded and would not achieve anything". This kind of advice was given many years ago.

Trig was born in a different world, but his own so-called mother seems to believe he won't amount to very much, or she wouldn't have used him as an example of a person with a low “level of productivity in society” when facing Obama’s “death panel”.

Hopefully Trig will prove her wrong and his bio will show that he was born to be more than a political prop, not defined by his disability and Sarah Palin's ambition, but by his own achievements.
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34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing research, and an amazing story! It is Sarah who has devalued Trig, no one else. We have to wonder at what kind of therapy and support she has given him while she is so busy promoting herself.

Anonymous said...

Trig's level of productivity will depend largely on how engaged his parents are in getting him treatment and education. Considering Sarah's statement, I am going to guess that she is the one who feels that he cannot be a productive member or society, and therefore has written him off already.

BuffaloGal said...

By way of Palin's own words or actions Willow is now associated with "rape jokes" , Bristol is famous for being an unwed, teen mother and a brand ambassador for a line of slutty clothing and Trigg is now known for being "desecrated", "hated" by the Palin haters for being born (the world needs more Triggs, not less), and in line for the death panels of the near future for being a non-productive member of society. Oh right - and also a mistake that she decided not to abort.

No one else put those concepts out there. It's all been her doing and that's only the tip of what she's done. The damage she's inflicted on these poor children is unforgivable.

The Yellow Porcupine said...

The woman has no shame - using her child to promote her wacko agenda.

Virginia Voter said...

By her own admission, Sarah has condemned her parents and special needs baby to being of limited productivity. She truly is warped and twisted.

As a mother, I am continuously appalled at the whacked out, insensitive, and just plain embarrassing statements Sarah has made about her children to the media. She has no shame, no regret, no apologies for all her lies, and hateful rhetoric.

I still blame John McCain for this monster. He needs to pay for this big time. His recklessness and quest for glory took over when he chose this psycho...maverick my ass, more like delusional idiot.

Ennealogic said...

Wow Regina, what a freaking powerful post! You have done more for DS children and adults than SP ever has in this uplifting recitation. What a joy to read about those who have achieved so much in spite of those who thought so little of them early on.

At the same time, you've put your finger on a major hypocrisy in SP's "world view." Nobody who spoke out against the Death Panel lies seems to have picked up on how the crazy ex-governor lady views her own DS child. My god.

Bravo, brilliant. Thank you!

midnightcajun said...

How very interesting; I never knew.

Amen to BufaloGal's remarks. I think it's interesting to compare the reactions to Sarah's various statements that are expressed by the residents of the Pee Zoo vs those of us who see her as an abomination. Her followers lined up beside her when she came out with her fantasy about Trig facing the death panel; the rest of us saw it as an insult to her own child and parents. The Pee Zoo cheers and laughs when Sarah dispels rumors that she's divorcing Todd by commenting on his good looks; the rest of us are appalled that a woman would admit to being so shallow. There is a fundamental difference here, and it probably explains why nothing this woman does will ever alienate her base--they're all on the same sick wave length.

CGinWI said...

What a wonderful series of examples. Thank you for finding and sharing them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Regina! What an excellent job you have done to expose Palin's continued discrimination towards Trig. Fact is, each child is unique and those who have disabilities should be provided services to help them achieve their maximum potential.

Palin continues to use Trig's medical condition for her own political gain. And her recent comments were deployable. She has shown her lack of understanding in the uniqueness of a child by projecting that Trig is less of a person because of his medical condition. I have often wondered what that poor child will think when he is older and learns all the things Palin has said about him.

Thanks, again, Regina. Keep up the good work!!

Pillow said...

Excellent post. You're absolutely right that SP is the one who devalues Trig. I really hope that he is getting more love and the therapy he requires than it appears SP is giving him.

FEDUP!!! said...

Great work, Regina! Thank you for bringing some of these accomplished DS people into our parent's basements where we sit in our PJs...

Yes, I have always thought how abominable $P is for denying Trigg the interventional help he needs in order to become a successful member of our society, and I always thought that she is actually doing it ON PURPOSE - so he will have a SHORT and empty life - one where he cannot function on any level at all. The way he is being treated, he will NEVER learn to read or write, and thus will NEVER KNOW how abominable this woman is who claims to be his bio mom. IMHO, at THIS moment in his life, he probably would be better off in an institution - he WOULD get some help there! (Better yet would be if his REAL bio mom would take him back and nurture and love him, and give him all the help he can get - there must be SOMEthing that is still available, even in Alaska, and even AFTER $P has cut the programs for special needs children...

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Regina. You truly have a talent when it comes to articulating the truth and getting to the heart of the matter. Please keep it up. Your rational thinking and writing efforts will hopefully one day catch the eyes of the right media outlet and hopefully this frightful blight which is Sarah Palin will be revealed for what she is, pure evil masquerading as a Christian.

Shameful and scary.

Daisydem said...

What beautiful, inspiring stories. Thank you for finding these and sharing. I hope Sarah Palin and/or someone close to her will read this and realize that we are not the ones demeaning Trig or his special place in society, but rather his own mother is.

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

What an inspiring and informative post!

Though $P probably equates "productive" with "famous," one supermarket chain where I live makes a point of recruiting, training, and retaining workers with Down syndrome. All of these people seem to be immensely proud to be part of a professional team, and productive members of the work force.

What saddens me immensely is $P's blatant usage of TriG as an emblem, an extension of HER. Had she sincerely said, "I'm going to concentrate on my family, particularly TriG," and then actually done so, $P today would be one of the most admired women, across the board, in this country. XGINO, you're no Eunice Kennedy Shriver!

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

her ambitions will cost that child dearly. those late nites of months on the campaign trail as a drugged prop told me all I need to kmow about this POS crazy lady.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post Regina! Thank you so much! Trig thanks you as well, I am certain.

Ivyfree said...

We'll never know what gifts Trig could have; his mother will make sure that he doesn't have the chance to develop them. Is he getting any therapy at all?

OTOH, if you look at the rest of the Palin family, they haven't done much, have they? Talk about low expectations. Bristol graduating from high school seemed to be a real achievement for her.

regina said...

It has occurred to me that the examples of people born with Down Syndrome in my post would have been exceptionally talented whether they had DS or not. The vast majority of "normal" people are not brilliant actors, musicians or artists. This group in the post were lucky to have had their talents nurtured.

There are countless people with special needs who have less glamorous jobs, just like the rest of us, with an average “level of productivity in society”.

We all perform according to the input we receive from our families, our education, etc. Some may need a little extra, that's all.

Reading your comments, I can't see how we can be called haters...

AKPetMom said...

Thanks Regina! This really opened my eyes to the broad range of talents some Downs children possess.

I was always of the thought that life truly was bleak for those born with Downs, but wow, this is just inspiring to read about all of these young achievers.

I personally will look at these people in a whole new light now thanks to your post!

Anonymous said...

great insight Regina.
I can't believe how $P's fans could possible admire her as a mother. Although I do believe it is possible to work outside the home and have kids, I chose to stay home. It is tough work, not always admired by multi-taskers,hoterma but rewarding in that I know my kids got the best of my time and energy. I can't imagine giving them less of me, especially if they were special needs kids.

LisanTX said...

Beautiful post! As others have said up the thread, you have a knack for finding FACTS and telling an interesting story about those facts. This was wonderful; thank you!

Amritha said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for the links.

Anonymous said...

We sold a home and rented a condo until we could find a home closer to our workplace.There was a woman next door to us who had a Down's syndrome child (A Daughter) for some time it seemed as if she was hiding her. One afternoon I was near our front door when she came up the walk with her daughter.The little girl was walking by herself, ran toward me and threw her arms around me of course I picked her up! Her Mother was embarresed and apologised.My first thought was, why?I still dont know how old she was I think about 7or8 anyway she kissed me and held on to me.I dont think I have ever seen such genuine love for a stranger! What was obvious was that the Mother was ashamed of this wonderful little girl.I got a wonderful slobbery kiss which I'll never forget.She could barely talk and the child was obviously stifled.Need I say more

Bree Palin said...

Wow Regina - how fantastic! Thank you for sharing these stories.

Sarah Palin put out a statement on Facebook on the passing of Eunice Shriver:
On behalf of the Palin family, we are saddened by the passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Her passionate dedication to improving the lives of so many people created new opportunities and hope around the world, including for our precious miracle, Trig.
With sympathy to the Kennedy and Shriver families,
Sarah Palin

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Of COURSE $P had to stick TriG in that statement. One otherwise would have to stick red-hot wires under those French-manicured nails in order to get $P to say ANYTHING positive about ANY member of the Kennedy family.

trish in SW FL said...

Regina, those are some beautiful and talented people you have shared with us!

It's a sin, that Scarah can't seem to value, love and appreciate her beautiful grandson, and help him become the best he can be.

KaJo said...

Re your heads-up @ 23:34 about Palin's Facebook, Bree...

Palin's minions/bloglurkers must have read my remarks on several blogs about her tardiness in posting any acknowledgement of Shriver's passing yesterday...

/sarcasm and facetiousness

Anonymous said...

Just thought it would be fun to contrast the way Palin holds her own baby with the way Obama holds children not even his own.

http://yeswecanholdbabies.wordpress.com/page/9/

Rogue

Eileen said...

Fantastic, will share with my kids. Inspiration to take your individual gifts and public education more seriously. Will share with my friend who left the bush to raise her child in Fairbanks where there is Special Ed services.
Forget Sarah! This is the week to concentrate on the achievements of Eunice and Kennedy-Shriver clans regarding advancing the understanding, potential and services for physically and mentally challenged fellow Americans for decades.
And then then is Ted. Since it IS the Health Care Reform debate that- idiot of the human family-Palin is messin with. Once again, she does so much harm. Jeez, I pray for the Lion of the Senate to have the health and luck to recover and come back to the Senate and have his say in front of tv cameras. Blasting the witch who must not be named with sharp wit,poise, insight and lightning words to strike her sown in shame in front of the Nation as the intellectual baboon, fraud and self-server that she is. An Alaskan who hopes she moves to Texas.

regina said...

Oh, Eileen...

The Texans might not like that last suggestion! LOL

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can send her hunting with Cheney?

I am not Star Jones said...

You have more faith in Trig's potential than his own mother.

What a wacky world we live in.

Anonymous said...

Your writing and research just gave me chills. Every individual has their own gift to contribute to this world. Your pointed analysis of Sarah's lack of faith in Trigs potential resonates. How very very sad for Trig.

SS

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post. Just to add to your collection, you might be interested in this link with an Australian television series which was produced about 10 years ago. The program was absolutely brilliant, using actors predominantly with downs syndrome. We had a friend who worked on the program and she said it was the best and most rewarding television she had ever worked on. The name of the series was "House Gang" and this is the link http://www.australiantelevision.net/housegang.html
I actually grew up with a neighbour with downs syndrome and he loved me to bits. I feel so privileged to have had my life enriched by this person.