Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How It Begins

Photo Description: Several people crossing at an intersection, including a young man with a disability.
Joe and I were waiting for the light to change when a young family joined the throng waiting for the green. A little girl, maybe 7 stood a little in front of her mom and day, so she was just off to my left. I looked over at her, she smiled at me, I smiled at her.

Then the light changed.

We surged forward. I was rolling fairly slowly because I was behind people I couldn't get around, and I wasn't in a hurry so didn't try. Beside me was the little girl. She was hopping from one thick white line to the next. It's a game that both Ruby and Sadie play sometimes. She was having fun. She continued to be beside me.

Then her mom, who had been talking animatedly to her dad, noticed.

I heard her being called away from me. These are the exact words used to call her away, "Get away from that man in the wheelchair." The little girl looked back at her mother, she smiled and waved to show that everything was fine. And indeed everything was fine, she was no where near my wheels and in absolutely no danger. She continued on with her game.

We were nearing the other side when her mother came and angrily grabbed her arm and pulled her forward and up on to the curb. "I said, stay way from those kind of people, stay away!' The grab, the pull and the anger in the words startled and frightened the little girl. She looked back at me now, the smile gone. The warmth in her eyes had been turned ice cold.

This is how prejudice and hatred begins.


CapriUni said...


I wonder if that mother even realizes how much hatred she is spreading. I wonder, if someone pointed it out to her, she would admit she hates "Those" people, or if, like the woman you encountered in the grocery store, the other day, she would get defensive, an insist that she pities the poor people in wheelchairs, instead.

It doesn't matter what the cause is, in the end, though. The effect is just the same.

S Flemisa said...

Now this is when I would snap!

theknapper said...

omg Dave....how awful for you and the little girl......and the mom who's beliefs are so so wrong

Anonymous said...


i am so so sorry!

My little godson is almost three years and his mother talks unafraid and friendly with everyone. And I guess since he knows me with all my limitations he will never end like this little girl.

"Hope is a thing with feathers..."


Anonymous said...

I never heard those words, but many times parents have YANKED their small children from being near me. Even though I was not nearly close enough to hurt them. Sigh.

Amy Dietrich Hernandez said...

Those people? Ugh. Poor kid. Hopefully, she will learn that her mom is the one with the problem.