No Need for Rudeness

by Harold A. Maio | 11/16/04 6:00am

To the Editor:

Regarding Kelley Connolly's comments in Friday's edition of The Dartmouth ("We wanted to create an event for reducing the stigma about mental health issues on campus"): I am always amused by people who want to reduce the "stigma" of some other group, and who assert its existence in the process.

Perhaps someone would like to address the "stigma" of Jews, or African Americans, or rape survivors at Dartmouth. It was once asserted for each, and finally ended when each group responded angrily to the assertion itself.

I am angrily responding to the assertion that any group at Dartmouth should be the target of this blatant prejudice.

As students with disabilities, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, one has the right to be free of prejudices like this one, to attend school equal to every other student. The Disability Office ought to be responding to this infraction of rights.

Imagine for a moment that this prejudice is directed at you, that someone wants to lessen the "stigma" that you have. Would you embrace them? Not I. I would look then directly in the eye and say, "Excuse me, your rudeness is unacceptable."