Thursday, June 19, 2008

The F'Bomb Post

On the way out of the doctor's office, he spotted Joe sitting in the waiting room. "I should get Joe's blood pressure," he says mostly to himself. So even though Joe didn't have an appointment he was called into the office. I just wheeled myself over to the elevator and went down to the lobby. A few minutes later Joe was beside me telling me that the doctor wants him to wait another half hour and have another test. It seems that his blood pressure was so good that the doctor wanted to assure himself that it wasn't an anomaly. He helped me outside to sit on the sidewalk and people watch while he went upstairs.

At first I sat at the edge of the curb but soon realized that all the action was happening behind me so I began to pull myself back to the wall of the building. The sidewalk is wide here and there's lots of room so I could easily park and others could pass in front of me without any restriction to their passageway. As I was pulling back I noticed a nice lookingish man of about 28 or 29 rushing towards me with an intent look on his face. He clearly was in a rush so I stopped to let him pass. He had adjusted his gait in anticipation of my moving so when I didn't he stumbled a bit. He glared and me and said, without breaking stride, "You people are always in the way!"

His comment meant to slap me merely pissed me off. Who the hell does he think he is? And does he know that his mother is ashamed of him?

I sat there against the wall stewing. Then I realized something as I watched all the inaccessible transit go by - streetcars that I will never again ride. I looked at all the inaccessible shops and stores across the street from me - places that I will never again enter. I looked at all the faces going by, most worn by people who couldn't look me in the eye - attitudes that freeze me out of humanity. And I realized. We aren't in the way enough! As a minority we are way to accommodating and way to polite. We use gratitude as a motivator and have been taught that anger is inappropriate.

We need to get in the way a hell of a lot more. Sit in front of buildings we can't enter and ask "Why?" Protest a special bus mentality of an entire city. I'm not one of those cripples who's constantly angry, I'm one of the optimistic ones - not blind to prejudice but not willing to wallow in it every day. Yet every now and then I get riled up ... find my desire to protest loudly and proudly. Bring on an action, just let me have time to organize transit!

So, what to do to protest this little slight by this little man?

All at once, dear readers, close your eyes and send him this message ...



Wheelchair Dancer said...

he probably learned it from his mother. Sigh.

Was thinking about your airport security search experience. I talked to TSA today about one of my own searches. She pointed out that in most airports, the whole TSA area is surrounded by cameras from all angles. They keep the video records in case anyone sues them for improper search (or in case some thing goes wrong ..)

The area at SFO apparently has 50 cameras.

Just a thought.


Zephyr said...

HA! I already had told him to go fuck himself before you asked!

lina said...

ok, a warning to people not to continue to drink their coffee as they read your blog would have been appreciated! AH - I loved it, and yes protest and get in the way - I'm in!
have a great day Dave.

luvmypeanut said...

I only told him that after I mentally stuck my foot out and tripped him....

I guess I better work on my mental violence.... LOL!

Shan said...

Ha ha!! Excellent!

What a very rude thing to say. (What HE said, I mean.)

I liked your line about "bring on a protest, just give me time to organize transit".

Shan said...

Also good for Joe - Excellent news!

imfunnytoo said...

It's funny. I get that 'You people' at work all the time...not because of my disability but the publics perception that my phone customer service dept is being unhelpful and it peeves me out more than the rest of it...

But you're right...sometimes a good "go f- yourself" is the only way to go

Michelle said...

my friend, Mike, is currently fighting. read the comments on this article, and you will understand how most people see it. I was so angry reading them.

FridaWrites said...

Yeah, that's my response too. Too many people like him, all looking exasperated because I exist and am on the pathway. Anger's an appropriate response sometimes.

Linda said...

This post reminds me of a life lesson I learned a few weeks ago!

I have a four year old boy with DS. Today he finished his first year in a typical pre-school with 20 other kids. He is the only kids with DS ever in the school.

Recently his pre-school teacher was telling me how well he was doing.
I am so delighted to hear he is making progress. I am so grateful to the teachers for all they have done.I felt I had to be politically correct and made a comment on how the other kids would benefit from having exposure to DS.

The teacher immediately put her hand up and corrected me! She looked over at my boy and said
'He is taking his rightful place in the community with his fellow peers'!

I almost burst into tears when she corrected me! She put words on what I have been feeling since my boy was born! This teacher and her staff get it! My boy doesn't have to be the token kids, doesn't have to be in the school so other kids learn about disablity. He is there cos he had a right to be there!

He and you are both taking your rightful place in the world!
Love LinMac

John Raffaele said...

Kinda new to this blogging scene but actually read yours frequently. This is my first response to one of your posts and I am very happy to comment on the F Bomb.

Actually I met you and Joe several times when you visited Sullivan County Community College in the Catskills of New York State. You came to our local community college campus and I was one of the spoke to a regional audience of DSPs. So be it, but we have met in the flesh and indeed I am a follower/reader and believer in your work and mission. That said, the F Bomb....

Yup. That small and slimy man that made the comment needs nothing other than the restructuring of our buildings/architecture/public transit/ and the myriad of other obstacle-filled forms of blatant discrimination that ubiquitously exist.

In the US the freakin' ADA is only 19 years young and people /businesses and municipalities STILL try to loophole their way out of accessibility!

I wonder how many times that person, who felt as though "you people" who are always in the way, uses the big blue switchplate to enter into buildings that have been made accessible? How many times has he taken a poop in a wide stall public bathroom john or how many times he was in the way of a person on a bus that needed the disability access spot and he was too busy drinking his latte' to see or care....

I bet he is in the way often!!

Go F**k himself.....indeed!

Thanks Dave...