What the heck? CBeebies controversy in England
I have been pretty busy at work... and I've been a bit behind on all of the email discussions from the Sammy's Friends group. What I missed was a controversy that is brewing in England about this woman:
This is Cerrie Burnell. She's had the job of helping host a children's program on BBC for the last month. Since then a number of British media outlets say parents are complaining about her participation on the show. An article on the Mail Online say Cerrie scares their children. I visited the show's website and found a whole string of people talking on the discussion boards with horribly ignorant reactions to her appearance on the show. Here's an example of some of the comments:
"I understand that in todays society we have to be politically correct. But how do you explain to a three year old child why the one of the presenters has half an arm. She was extremely upset and confused by this and continues to ask questions."
What? Ask questions! That isn't a bad thing. What parent considers a child's questions as a bad thing? The child keeps asking questions because that parent is ignoring the question. Help our kids understand differences are okay!
More and more websites are mentioning the reaction to Burnell's arrival to the show. I happened to join a Facebook group with 19,000+ members just so I feel better. But then I went inside the discussion groups on that page and found the same exact bias. I'm trying to not get enraged to a level that isn't productive. I realize there will always be a set of adults who are unable to understand that a limb difference is not the end of the world. I know it isn't something we're all used to seeing all the time. But it isn't a horrifying thing. It is different, but we're all different. I wear glasses. My son has a wacky skin virus that left little bumps on his check that will go away some day. Randy is losing his hair. Seriously. No one is perfect.
Get. Over. It.
So, I'm sad. I'm disappointed. And I realize this isn't the first or last time I'll hear this kind of attitude. I'll just continue to do my best to educate the people around my world. I'll make sure Jordan is confident about herself. I'll continue to speak out against discrimination and hope I can help at least one or two people understand Jordan, Cerrie and so many people aren't so different.
UPDATE: I had three calls and two emails this morning after the Today Show did a story on this controversy. I even felt the need to leave a comment on the Today's Show's discussion board. I welcome any and all to rally together and help people living in the United States, England and around the world that limb differences are okay!