History: Joe Biden: The First American President With A Stammer


Stamma CEO Jane Powell celebrates Joe Biden, a person who stammers, becoming President-elect of the United States of America. There is real joy in welcoming Joe Biden as President-elect of the United States. Equivalent to seeing the first woman president, the first disabled president, the first black president, it's something to celebrate. When Biden made a point of his own stammer when talking to a young Brayden Harrington, people across the world cheered. This was a potential president talking about a condition often seen as shameful, something to hide, on news channels around the world. Biden's win shows clearly that stammering has nothing to do with mental capacity. The commentary around Biden often touches upon his stammer as a failing. Stammering isn't a failing or a weakness, it is a condition which makes it hard to talk fluently. So rather than talking up his brilliant achievement of sounding fluent whilst fighting a historic election, his stammer is talked down. People will be celebrating his win across the world because, like him, they stammer. His win shows clearly that stammering has nothing to do with mental capacity, although fortitude in the face of decades of ignorance and stigma may well play a part in his character. For the fluent world such an achievement is almost invisible; he is rarely heard to stammer, the condition is forgivable, easily forgettable. There will be few headlines about someone who stammers hitting the national press, unless it is a negative story. And that's the point — if he were blind, say, it would be remarked upon: the first blind, disabled president. But stammering is passed by here because of that unspoken embarrassment, because he doesn't stammer that much and so why make a point of it, because it is sad that he had a stammer but that has all passed. And that attitude tells you all you need to know about where stammering sits in our culture. Disowned, apart from by this President Elect.

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