I was preparing for a meeting about the abuse of people with disabilities. While this work is important, every time I have to think deeply about it I feel like a cloud covers the sun. Just before heading into the meeting I check my emails and find that someone forwarded me a link. I check my watch, there was enough time to check. Am I glad I did. The sun shone through as I read the news story. It was about two guys.
Harry Kopenis and Kevin Lamb, remember those names. In fact I'm now declaring today the official Chewing the Fat "Harry and Kevin Day". Picture bands, floats, the mayor in a motorcard, oh look there's the Queen waving!
So what's the story?
Apparently Harry, a 71 year old dude (using that word advisedly) was at a bank machine pulling out $100 cash. A 21 year old woman appears from nowhere, obviously she had been watching the machine waiting for a vulnerable victim, knocks him down and grabs the cash. As she's fleeing away she hears a whirrrrrrrrring sound behind her. That sound is coming from Kevin Lamb's motorized wheelchair. It seems that Kevin, a friend of Harry's, saw the whole thing happen. He was angered at this woman's assault on his friend and thoroughly pissed that she just assumed that elderly disabled people are easy pickings. So he heads down the street chasing her.
Picture a 21 year old fleeing down the street.
Picture a 56 year old guy in a wheelchair hot on her heels.
Harry gets up and sees his friend in pursuit of his cowardly attacker. Even though he's on a whack of medications, his sense of injustice kicks in and he joins pursuit. The two of them are gaining ground. Harry tackles her knocking her to the ground, Kevin blocks her escape with his wheelchair. She is now in a headlock but is still kicking out at her 'victims'. They hold her till the cops arrive and she is arrested.
Picture Erin VanMatie in cuffs being placed into a cop car while two 'elderly disabled' guys watch.
Picture the looks on their faces as they feel their dignity reclaimed.
Picture Harry getting his $100 back.
I'm officially flipping the bird to all those who assume we are weak, vulnerable prey. I'm calling down God's wrath on all the news reporters who described Kevin Lamb as being 'confined to a wheelchair'. I'm calling out all the disabled community to cheer on these two guys.
Cause it's Harry and Kevin Day!
Celebrate, Celebrate, Dance to the New Day.