What Jeremy Lin has to do with Down syndrome (and a few other things to think about)

Jeremy Lin has overturned assumptions about the ability of Asian Americans to play basketball. So has David Andrews, a teenager with Down syndrome who contributed (with a 40% 3-point throw percentage) to his team's district championship this year. To see him in action, click here.

And while we're at it, a few other articles I read this past week that might be of interest:

David Brooks writes about the rise of Americans living alone in "The Talent Society," and his words have particular implications for people with disabilities (though Brooks doesn't mention them). He writes:

It's more accurate to say that we have gone from a society that protected people from their frailties to a society that allows people to maximize their talents.

Over all, we've made life richer for the people who have the social capital to create their own worlds. We've also made it harder for the people who don't — especially poorer children.

These trends are not going to reverse themselves. So maybe it's time to acknowledge a core reality: People with skills can really thrive in this tenuous, networked society. People without those advantages would probably be better off if we could build new versions of the settled, stable and thick arrangements we've left behind.

So let's start building those settled, stable, thick arrangements. I have to imagine we'll all be better off.

Finally, is it okay to use the "r-word" to portray realistic speech in movies? One blogger thinks not, and she writes about it in The Hypocrisy of the 2012 Oscars. My sister Brooks, who alerted me to this post, wrote:

I struggle with the arguments made for movies that are trying to be "realistic" and therefor use the r word because it's commonplace in these times. I follow the argument but I'm still against it. I can easily argue that it shouldn't be used in comedies for comedic value putting someone down, but I don't have a good solid argument against those arguing it's use for realisms sake...

What do you think? Can/should writers and actors use the r-word for the sake of realism?

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