So you think you can hurt me?

So You think you can hurt me? You email me links to awful t-shirts. They say things like I <3 Midget Porn. Pet Midgets are Awesome, depicting an LP on a leash. The evolution cycle, with the last man as an LP.

These images are saved directly from cafepress.com

These images are saved directly from cafepress.com

Guess what? I wasn’t hurt.

I was shocked by the ignorance. I wish I thought You sent me this to alert me and not to hurt me… but soon after You sent the email, You deactivated the account You sent the email from and Facebook tells me they cannot give me any further information. I wish they would so I could thank You.

Thank you, You, for being so cruel that You showed me how funny these t-shirt and onesie designs were to You. Because of You, their evolution is on their way to extinction (see what I did there?). Sure, hatred similar to this will always be around- and I will, again, rely on people with your high level of compassion ignorance to share them with me. To try and hurt me and to illustrate that You do not think my daughter is human. I will wait for You to email me again and show me where my efforts are most needed. And I will, in turn, respond to the uneducated, the haters and the people who are simply mean.

I posted a link on A is For Adelaide’s Facebook page with the link that was sent to me, and one on my personal page. Within minutes there were comments, shares and the community that welcomed us, answered all of our questions and has been a rock amidst the waves of uncertainty since Addie’s diagnosis, were quick to action. Information regarding Cafepress.com, the company allowing the production of these shirts, was up on all of our POLP (parents of little people) and dwarfism awareness sites. Petitions. Letters. Emails. Phone calls. I’m sure some people were upset, but for the most part all inquiries into the 50+ pages of “midget…” attire were a calm request: please, take it down.

We don’t want our children to see this. Our spouses, cousins, friends, extended family. We don’t want to have to explain to our babies, looking into their eyes, shining with all the hope for the future, and innocence a child possesses and explain: people with dwarfism are not always seen as equals. It’s not just because you’re different, it is how you’re different. It is the visibility, rarity and vulnerability of your difference that some will not see you as human, but an object.

I know we can’t save the world, but companies like Cafepress, eBay, Zazzle, even Etsy are selling items that are degrading and humiliating- they all have rules about what can and cannot be posted. There are rules as to what is more than just unsavory and borders on cruel, hate and prejudice… yet designs that portray little people as objects, pets, or promote tossing or leashing and slavery (owning a human as a pet) is not considered as such? Cafepress has 54 pages of “midget” gear. While I respect car racing and do not want to upset the community, I went through all of the pages and the items referring to cars were enough to take up just three. That being said, things on Etsy are just strange. Pictures of LP as entertainers- sure, a collectors item, but then one of just a man with a cigar. THIS is something to sell? I will start selling pictures of my friends smoking cigarettes. Are they not intriguing enough?

Perhaps this is a challenge. Maybe You are out there reading this and looking for worse things that will break my heart. Whatever the outcome, I will continue to advocate, educate and bring awareness to dwarfism and the inhumane treatment of other humans that still goes on in the world United States today.

So far, one image has been removed from cafepress. One product gone. We are making changes. The community and beyond. Friends, family, people who are directly related to dwarfism and others who just saw these images and were appalled. We are making the world a better place for our babies. Come back tomorrow and read about another amazing change that a family in Pennsylvania made just this year! And, until then, join us with THIS petition. Share and educate. I will, as I’ve said in the past, remain true to my goal to be proactive and educate.

Thank you for your kindness.

Below is what I sent to cafepress:

I know you have been bombarded this past day with emails and calls regarding midget attire.

This happened because someone emailed a link to me with one of your tshirts. I have a daughter with dwarfism and I am a blogger. I posted the link sent to me on my Facebook page. Previous actions to incite change have made me a target. Months ago I made a video and wrote an email to a pickle company asking them to change the name of their product from midget to something (anything) else. The story was picked up by the news. People were supportive and thankful. Other people were mean, hurtful, threatening. Someone sent me a letter in the mail, and the hundreds of thankful emails were met with almost as many hatred. People saying some of the ugliest and most verbally aggressive things I’ve ever heard in my life (and I’m a Philly girl!).

People are still sending hateful things to me. A link to a shirt being one. I wish I would just shut my mouth, but I cannot. I cannot know that a company sells tshirts that promote laughter at the idea that tossing or owning another person, for any reason, is OK.

I just cannot.

I appreciate that you have removed one of the items. I appreciate freedom of speech. But this is not freedom, this is oppression. This is a hate crime slathered on t-shirts and onesies- clothing made for babies and toddlers.

Please, consider extending your removal to all clothing that pertains to hatred and prejudice. The word midget is referred to as the m-word, and just as the n-word is not spoken, written or mentioned via innuendo, I ask you to help end the casual use of this word for the promotion of love and a brighter future for all of our children and future world leaders.

Comments

  1. says

    You are my hero of “I cannot shut my mouth”. You change lives. You instill humanity. You push hatred and ignorance and cruelty into the abyss. You change the world, my friend. If there is anything you need me to do… just tell me. I cannot shut my mouth either and man, am I learning from you… xo

  2. lilly says

    I’m not as brave as you. This just breaks my heart. True enough – we should actually pity the parents ? or ‘loved’ ones of that person. How ashamed they must be! How extremely worried. How sick a mind like that must be? How small? Surely he ? is trying to compensate for something lacking in him?self. Thus my heart breaks. For my own little one – and for the darkness in this person.

  3. Kate says

    “I will wait for you to email me again and show me where my efforts are most needed” brilliant! You go, Chelley!!!

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing this info, I just read on FB that they have taken them all down, I checked it out and they have. If we work together we will save this world from the awful few who dwell on it. I bet that coward who sent you the email will be pissed they’ve all been removed, ha. Serves them right for trying to hurt another, good on you my friend. Good on all of us willing to stand for what is right. I mentioned it on my blog if you want to visit it. Keep up the good work! http://waitingforalexa.blogspot.com/2013/06/really-in-this-day-and-age.html

  5. Joy says

    Your efforts will make a difference. You are changing the world for your daughter one person at a time. I see a more aware world out there for your daughter to enter when she becomes more aware of what is going on herself. I found you because of the pickle controversy and you’ve already helped to change me. I used to use the m-word to describe my children when they were small, Just jokingly, never thinking that it might be offensive to anyone. Brad Williams uses the word in his comedy so that was part of the reason I never thought it was offensive. I now think of it as the n-word, blacks can use that word and it is okay, but I would never call a black person that. I’ll never use the m-word again. One person changed on the west coast.

    • martinkadelux says

      Joy,
      You are a blessing. Thank you for your new awareness and your support in continuing to educate!

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