Donald Trump, America’s Biggest Bully, Mocks Reporter’s Disability

Arthrogryposis is a chronic condition in which a child is born with joint contractures, often in most areas of the body, especially the arms and legs. It essentially means that the joints don’t move as much as they should, often times to the degree that those with the condition can’t perform extension and flexion in the affected joints. Serge Kovaleski, a reporter for the New York Times, suffers from this condition. He was also recently lampooned by president hopeful Donald Trump at a rally in Alabama.

Trump insists he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11 as the Twin Towers toppled back in 2001. Because all the evidence, besides Trump’s memory, point against him, he’s currently trying to find sources that support his claims. This is where Serge Kovaleski comes in. At the time that the so-called events occurred, Kovaleski worked at The Washington Post. In 2001, Kovaleski co-wrote a story for the Post that claimed authorities detained people in Jersey City who celebrated the attacks on the World Trade Center. In an effort to justify his claims, Trump used Serge Kovaleski’s article. Kovaleski responded by saying his reporting didn’t justify Trump’s claims, because he quoted no witnesses and had no real evidence that the events actually occurred. This is what led Trump to mock Serge Kovaleski at the rally.

When speaking about Kovaleski, Trump said “Now the poor guy, you've got to see this guy: 'Uhh, I don't know what I said. I don't remember.' He's going, 'I don't remember. Maybe that's what I said,'” while waving his arms in an imitation of Kovaleski’s disability. If you haven’t seen it, make sure to watch it.

Despite a very obvious attempt to mimic the writer, Trump denies that this happened and claims he has never met the man. He says he was just imitating a groveling reporter. However, this is not the case. According to Kovaleski and other sources, Trump has met the New York Times writer multiple times. Apparently the two of them were on a first name basis for years. But this is irrelevant to Trump, who says “His meeting with me may have been the highlight of his career, it certainly wasn’t the highlight of mine. While I may have met him, I don’t remember it — he made no impression on me.” At another point Trump expressed that Kovaleski should “stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a newspaper that is rapidly going down the tubes.” Trump has even demanded an apology for the accusations against him.

The fact that Donald Trump has blatantly made fun of a reporter with disabilities — and is still considered fit to be president — amazes me. His defense of these remarks in response to the public’s adverse reaction are offensive and make it clear that he has a general awareness of how inappropriate he had been (That is if Mr. Trump actually has a conscience). He already refused to apologize saying, “I don’t take that back because the person was groveling,” insinuating that this ‘groveling’ is all Trump intended to mock. Not that an apology would change anything.

My brother, Noah, has autism. All his life he’s had to face the consequences of being “different.” He’s been bullied for years. He’s even had to transfer schools. Though Donald Trump has an elevated status, he’s a primary example of a “grade school bully.” I find it offensive not only on my behalf, but also on my brother’s and a vast majority of the United States, that we, as a culture, would idolize someone whose day consists of publicly ridiculing others. He’s running for an office that has a mission to lead and protect those whom he’s belittled. My brother told my father, “If you vote for him, you aren’t my dad anymore.”  While this sentiment is a bit extreme, it demonstrates a mutual conviction of disapproval towards Trumps’ affronts. We need a leader that respects the diversity of American culture, rather than one who ostracizes anyone with a perceived “abnormality,” whether it be disability, race, gender, or so on. What does it say about our society when we have a man as crude as Donald Trump in lead for the primaries?

*This article does not reflect the political views of the Her Campus Pitt organization or Her Campus Media.*

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