(Washington Post) -- Iceland must be pleased that it is close to success in its program of genocide, but before congratulating that nation on its final solution to the Down syndrome problem, perhaps it might answer a question: What is this problem? To help understand why some people might ask this question, today’s column is being distributed together with two photographs. One is of Agusta, age eight, a citizen of Iceland. The other is of Lucas, age one, an American citizen in Dalton, Ga., who recently was selected to be 2018 Spokesbaby for the Gerber baby-food company. They are two examples of the problem.
Now, before Iceland becomes snippy about the description of what it is doing, let us all try to think calmly about genocide, without getting judgmental about it. It is simply the deliberate, systematic attempt to erase a category of people. So, what one thinks about a genocide depends on what one thinks about the category involved. In Iceland’s case, the category is people with Down syndrome.
This is a congenital condition resulting from a chromosomal defect. It involves varying degrees of mental retardation (although probably not larger variances than exist between the mental capabilities of many people who are chromosomally normal — say, Isaac Newton and some people you know). It also involves some physical abnormalities (including low muscle tone, small stature, flatness of the back of the head, an upward slant to the eyes) and some increased health risks (of heart defects, childhood leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease).
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