Lost in translation? Stereotypes in Olympic manual

So far I’ve taken down 22 racist stickers around town.  Just a drop in the bucket, I’m sure, but at least it’s that.

Meanwhile, Chinese Olympic authorities are apologizing for stereotypic statements in a manual regarding Beijing’s Paralympic Games.  Here are a few choice excerpts:

…paralympic athletes and disabled spectators are a special group. They have unique personalities and ways of thinking.

To handle the “Optically Disabled,” the guide said: “Often the optically disabled are introverted. They have deep and implicit feelings and seldom show strong emotions. … Remember, when you communicate with optically disabled people, try not to use the world ‘blind’ when you meet for the first time.”

Physically disabled people are often mentally healthy. They show no differences in sensation, reaction, memorization and thinking mechanisms from other people, but they might have unusual personalities because of disfigurement and disability. “For example, some physically disabled are isolated, unsocial and introspective; they usually do not volunteer to contact people. They can be stubborn and controlling; they may be sensitive and struggle with trust issues. Sometimes they are overly protective of themselves, especially when they are called ‘crippled’ or ‘paralyzed.’

The guide said volunteers should “not fuss or show unusual curiosity, and never stare at their disfigurement.” It also advised volunteer to steer away from words like “cripple or lame, even if you are just joking.”

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