This article originally appeared at WALReader.com, the website of our magazine.
I’ve seen this video shared around a ton the past few days with comments mocking Biden, calling him “senile”, “stupid”, dumb”, “retarded”.
He’s not any of those things, he’s just got a stutter.
I do not support Joe Biden.
I will never vote for Joe Biden.
There’s so, so much to criticize Biden for, from his complicity in the Obama administration’s crimes to his constant collaborating with Republicans.
But for goodness’ sake, please stop mocking him for his stutter.
I had to have speech therapy all through almost all of elementary school (my name is Ryan and I struggled to say Y and R sounds), so believe me I know firsthand how embarrassing speech impediments can be and how cruelly others can react to them.
I still fall into slurring and mild stuttering if I talk too quickly (or even at a normal pace, if I’m not consciously trying not to or if I’m nervous, tired, etc.). There’re times it still makes me feel stupid (though thankfully, no one has been mean enough in several years to say something to me along those lines).
Until you know what it’s like to always be desperately searching in your head for a word or sound without finding it; until you know what it’s like to see a word coming up that you have to read allowed and dread it; until you know what it’s like to be so embarrassed by your voice that you just don’t talk, shut up.