Friday, April 12, 2024

Where is the Love for Disabled Citizens.

October 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( America wants the world to believe we are a progressive nation. We are a nation that values democracy and fights for the citizens of this nation. I would love to believe that, but I live a very different reality. Granted I know there are many things about America that I could be proud of in principle, but my vantage point is very different as a black woman that is disabled. This is definitely a three-way inter sectional situation; there is plenty I can say about this country being black and a woman, but there is much to be said about being disabled in this country. In so many situations it’s like being the plagued. The disenfranchisement of the disabled is another stain on this country. This stain that touches every demographic…all the way down to the veterans we should care for at all cost for their sacrifice. What are we planning to do as we disregard the needs of a large portion of the population? Whilst many will never need to Learn how to properly lift a disabled person off the floor, even a simple gesture like reaching for something a disabled individual is unable to in a store is a kindness that will likely be very much appreciated. 

Being disabled is not just a matter of what you are unable to do physically due to illness, or injury. Disability also affects what people can’t see…the mind. Mental illness is a disability for many Americans, but they are written off as being crazy, but without the help they need to remedy the problem. Our current administration and too many governors don’t seem to think mental hospitals are a priority. However, how can I be surprised…they don’t think the disabilities of our veterans be it physical, mental or a combination warrants our attention.

Our leadership doesn’t attention the disabled until they commit a crime, have been killed in some heinous manner that makes the news, or they are shamed into the discussion and we know that doesn’t happen very often. It is important to remember the disables, as many of us have them in our family, when we are pressuring elected officials for change. It’s unacceptable when our veterans end up homeless, disabled citizens are fighting to have enough to eat, and the mentally disabled are branded as criminals.

In addition to the governments foolishness disabled citizens must fight an uphill battle with other citizens in the communities where we live. This leads to bullying, abuse, and just inhumane treatment. Everyone can agree on the negligence of the government, but the room gets quiet when it’s time to address the average citizen. How many times have you seen clearly disabled people and made them the butt of one’s jokes? How would you feel if you couldn’t walk, think, see, hear, or have the freedom to move at will? How would you feel if you had worked hard to receive your education only to have your disabilities get in the way of you working in the field of your dreams? The real question is why it is so hard for us to extend common courtesy to our fellow citizen. Too many people claim to be patriots and love America…but can’t hold a door for someone they see struggling with a wheelchair.

I write this as someone that deals with the inhumanity of people every time I have to leave my home. If only they knew it takes me several days to prepare for one journey outside of my home due to my health. They don’t understand I’m not lazy, but my body doesn’t comply with my desire to do so many things. The disability check sent barely allows me to survive…living is hard. Those realities are hard enough…but when I, and people like me, step out we are reminded that we are the “lepers” of this country. We are shunned and treated as less than by people that would have a fit if they are treated in live fashion. Where is the love for disabled citizen? We’re Americans too, right?

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.

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