Confirmed victory

Repudiate your fundraising benefactor Kelly Agnew.

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Blogger and triathlon athlete Kelly Agnew (http://slippingslowlyintopain.blogspot.com) posted a weblog essay on Monday, August 8, 2011 called "Swim, Bike, Run...Midgets!" in which he identifies A Running Start as the charitable organization he was serving while participating in the New York City Triathlon. Specifically, he writes "And again, I would like to thank everybody that donated money to the Running Start Foundation. We raised a considerable amount of money for this excellent cause and we appreciate the support from all of you." In addition to using the term "Midgets" in the blog's headline, which the dwarfism community takes to be a hateful slur, he goes on to say in the post: "My day was brightened considerably by what you see in the picture below. Anybody that knows me, knows I love midgets. Who doesn't love them? But you simply can't beat a midget triathlete on a little midget bike. This was priceless!!! I want one of my own someday." You can see the blog in question here: http://slippingslowlyintopain.blogspot.com/2011/08/swim-bike-runmidgets.html?spref=tw

This hateful, degrading speech should never be used to humiliate and objectify ANY member of a minority group and it is outrageous that he objectifies people of short stature as a piece of property that he would like to "own." Especially considering the history of colonialism and slavery that provides the context of your organization's work to improve the lives of East Africans, we expect that you will not tolerate a benefactor expressing a desire to "own" another human being as a piece of property.  This is not to say the experience of people with dwarfism in the contemporary United States is the same as the violent history of the African slave trade, but we would expect that this history would make you more sensitive to this type of bigotted rhetoric of "ownership" expressed in the blog.  We do not believe you would wish to have your organization's name tied to these twisted sentiments. We expect that you agree that there is no room for this sort of ignorance and hatred in civil discourse and will break all ties with Kelly Agnew.  In particular, we hope you refuse any future donations from him if he does not issue a public retraction and apology for his hateful words, to be published on his blog.



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