McBLOG: No ‘pride month’ for Down Syndrome

Last Thursday was World Down Syndrome Day – and as part of the celebration they encouraged a #LotsOfSocks day. Did your workplace have a #LotsofSocks day? Probably not. It was about celebrating ‘diversity’. Woke media, companies and schools love diversity. Just not this diversity as much as the letters one, sadly.


On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day. The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year, and invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome. Last Thursday was World Down Syndrome Day – and as part of the celebration they encouraged a #LotsOfSocks day – including in NZ

And to our shame, it was largely ignored. Now why is that?

World Down Syndrome Day” is observed and celebrated each year on March 21, a now annual occasion to educate the world on the beauty and uniqueness of those with the condition, as well as highlight the extraordinary value they bring to our communities.

March 21 was selected because it’s the 21st day of the third month, representing the third (and extra) copy of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome.

And the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association celebrated the day.

Did your workplace have a #LotsofSocks day? Probably not.

It was about celebrating diversity. We all love diversity.

Just not this diversity as much as the letters one.

Did you see the media coverage of World Down Syndrome Day – no I didn’t either

Did you see all the politicians talking about World Down Syndrome Day – no I didn’t either

Did you see Chris Hipkins wearing his shirt with “supporting down syndrome day” or Christopher Luxon turning up to the celebrations like they did the Big Gay Out?

Did you know that Parliament has a special room honouring people with Down Syndrome – no they don’t. There’s a Rainbow Room tho.

Did you see the Down Syndrome symbol on all woke company’s websites or the lanyards -nope

Down Syndrome doesn’t have a pride month. It has a day. It doesn’t have a ratepayer funded parade. Without pride because most people ignore the day.

What it did have was an online Big Connect zoom gathering opened by the Minister for Disability Issues Penny Simmonds. And a few small events which sadly you probably weren’t aware of.

It’s quite telling, isn’t it.

The theme this year for World Down Syndrome Day is “End the Stereotypes.”

Tragically, false stereotypes have led to astronomically high abortion rates for preborn babies who receive a diagnosis.

In fact, data suggests that in the U.S., pregnancies with a Down syndrome diagnosis will end in an abortion 60% – 90% of the time. It’s even worse in Iceland and Denmark, where 97% of preborn babies are Down’s being aborted.

In NZ, it is estimated that as a result of screening and abortion on demand that 71 per cent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are now killed before birth. It is estimated that there would be 3 times the number of babies living with Down syndrome in New Zealand, if there was no screening for Down syndrome and abortion available.

Organizers of this year’s international effort say that children and adults with an extra chromosome are often underestimated and excluded because of incorrect stereotypes.

For example, many people seem to assume people with Down’s lack special gifting or are incapable of developing and cultivating an individual identity and interests. They often falsely believe they’re not as smart or sharp. It’s just not true.

CoorDown, an Italian non-profit organization established to raise awareness about the potential of people with Down syndrome, recently released a new ad campaign video that has gone viral.

The campaign is called “Assume That I Can” and it challenges the stereotypes pushed on people with the condition.

According to PR Week, since its release less than a week ago, it has been viewed 4.1 million times on TikTok and 5 million times on Instagram.

Since releasing the viral ad, CoorDown has followed it up with shorter videos of individuals with Down syndrome rising above the low expectations of Down syndrome stereotypes, including:

Sofia Sanches giving a TedTalk.

Connor being an actor

Anneka being a model

There’s even a Kiwi in the campaign – Luka

The popular campaign has featured many other individuals with Down syndrome rising above the stereotypes such as going to college, being in a relationship, learning to ski, becoming athletes, writing books, playing instruments and representing organizations as spokespeople.

Maybe the reason that many politicians don’t talk about this issue is because their radical new law championed by Jacinda Ardern removed the current 20-week gestational time limit for disability. Jacinda Ardern betrayed her promise to the Down syndrome community. In 2017 during the election campaign, the organisation Saving Down’s highlighted their concerns around Jacinda Ardern’s pledge to change abortion laws, saying that this would introduce abortion through to birth for babies with disabilities. Previously it was a 20 week limit. In response, Jacinda Ardern made a commitment to not increase the time limit for disability-selective abortion.

Abortions are now available up to full term under the new law with a wink and a nod from two abortionists after the 20 week mark. An explicit ban on disability discrimination abortions was voted against by a majority of MPs.

So while the media and the woke politicians and virtue signalling workplaces are all over pride month and pink shirt day and pride week in schools – and international women’s day, even though they probably can’t define it, down syndrome day is largely ignored.

In fact in 2018, Members of New Zealand’s Down syndrome community say they are “appalled” by an “insensitive and ignorant” recent Shortland Street storyline.

Unfortunately students with a disability don’t have a cultural & media based ‘lobby group’ or ‘cross party parliamentary network’ and a down syndrome tick for the workplace.

A survey of parents of disabled children found that almost 60% of children with disabilities have experienced bullying in the past five years.

Our culture is obsessed with sexuality and gender confusion, but can’t find the energy to honour the blessing of children with Down Syndrome.

Now there were a couple of exceptions

Eden Park posted this. Tonight we are shining yellow and blue for World Down Syndrome Day. People living with Down syndrome are individuals with their own interests, preferences and talents, and we want to help amplify their voices and End the Stereotypes. We are proud to support UpsideDowns to help give a voice to Kiwi kids with Down syndrome.

And the NZ Herald did a piece related to the schools Polyfest happening last week where they highlighted a student from Marcellin College

But I did a survey on all our social media pages asking whether they were aware of the day and whether they had observed it. Overwhelmingly, it was a no and no.

Let me finish with a kiwi example.

South Aucklander Pearl Vaafusuaga and her husband didn’t need to ‘think about it’ when they were told by doctors that their son had Down syndrome. As far as they were concerned, every human deserves life. As a mother of a Down syndrome son, she has an important message. Have a watch

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