Anyone can make a mistake when speaking off the cuff, and no one knows this better than politicians. But Barack Obama, as the first black President of the United States, probably knows better than most how hurtful and damaging off the cuff discriminatory remarks can be.
Far from being a metaphor for comically poor sporting performances, as the President unfortunately implied, the Paralympics have become an equal and accepted part of the sporting world, and a showcase for the dedication and skill of elite athletes with disabilities across the world..
The President has now apologized for his thoughtless remark; RADAR welcomes his apology.
Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of RADAR said: "In a time when difference can be divisive, global citizens - including disabled citizens - look to our leaders for messages of unity and inclusiveness. In Britain, leaders of all parties recently offered such messages powerfully - when they responded to the tragedy of young Ivan Cameron's death, respecting the huge contribution he had made in his short life. It is my profound hope that President Obama, who came to power in part on his image as a symbol of equality, will take the learning from this unfortunate event and in future demonstrate to disabled people across the world that he truly embodies the values of equality and respect for all."
Reference: RADAR, founded in 1977, is the UK's largest disability campaigning network with over 900 individual and organizational members. RADAR stands for the Royal Association of Disability and Rehabilitation. RADAR is a charity run by and for disabled people that depends on the financial and voluntary support of others including public donations. To find out more please visit our web site www.radar.org.uk