Before I get started back up on my soapbox and so as not to seem woefully ungrateful, I would very much like to once again sincerely, publicly thank the Barack Obama campaign people for addressing the concerns of those of us who wrote repeatedly to them and about them having persons with disabilities (PWDs) listed for a long, long time only as "Issues", translation: "Problems", and not as "People".. It was the Number One first thing I know I noticed when initially patronizing their website:
- Butterfly :: Funny how rhetoric can sidetrack a girl.. :)..
Success was broadcast this past Friday, May 9, 2008, in the form of emailed correspondence from a gentleman named Seth D. Harris and addressed to multiple BarackObama.com disability topicked groups stating that we were indeed now seen also as People First via the new addition of an "Americans With Disabilities" category within the "People" listings on the Obama presidential campaign's official website..
'Tis good the addition of AWDs for, until this very week, "Labor", "Environmentalists", and "Kids" were among all the other demographics and special interests of people visually holding value to the Obama campaign.. Value by association, or the lack thereof, is subliminally perceptual, through the action of addition and/or omissions to such a list.. Highlighting that "minor" detail had been a must-gots-to-do-soon on this kid's upcoming blog agenda as a matter of fact.. :wink, grin:
Now, about all those huge news stories breaking today about Senator John Edwards publicly announcing his political endorsement of Obama as the candidate to beat during the 2008 presidential elections:
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) :: John Edwards decides to endorse Obama; Associated Press, Published 05/14/08
- The Huffington Post :: John Edwards Endorsing Obama; Published May 14, 2008
- Google Search :: edwards endorses obama..
All this flagrant media hyped grandstanding conspicuously reaching out to grab the attention of America's perceived "middle class" voters begs me to most respectfully inquire:
Whose hand is slated to be embraced to garner the confidence of the some 50+ million persons with disabilities across these, our United States..?
Embraced so passionately as to garner the confidence of PWDs such that they will never again feel the stigmatic pain of yet again being left out and behind, endlessly segregant even as others rally and celebrate.. in Unity.. just beyond the Disability Community's societal ordained reach..
With untold numbers of persons with disabilities in long term care (LTC) facilities (i.e. nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, et al[l]) to date silently left out in the cold with respect to the recent, albeit admirable, Vote For Change nationwide voter registration campaign, some, for lack of a better word this sec, "schmoozing" in their direction is seriously in order..
To date, disability self-advocates have had to champion just to be recognized as People First and not purely issues or problems within certain political circles.. Fodder for another day is us having to then face abusive verbal retribution purportedly from fellow PWDs within that same camp for us even daring to
negatively engage in such an action..
And now we see this.. Importance reaped once again on the almighty dollar as one representative of the Democratic political party, the party that notoriously appeals to those with threadbare pocketbooks, seeks to ostentatiously rope in the middle class vote.. Doing so presents the appearance of Choice, one of more monies over less, middle class over lower class, since some sizable number of the Disability voter base is living hand to mouth in the true sense of the old adage, if not literally living on the streets because of their Life-induced circumstances..
Yeah, not hard to tell these Fingertips are still a little bent about the Disability Vote not hitting the radar of the Vote For Change nationwide voter registration drive, well, not in my state, anyway.. I was told firsthand that, well, maybe next time, basically.. "Maybe next time" wearies on these Fingertips as still more people jailed away, incarcerated against their Wills in long term care centers across the country have died while we all wait to be included.......
Maybe next time.
The following quote was a huge part of what kills me about the Vote For Change campaign.. The Barack Obama presidential campaign's OWN correspondence regarding building steam for the voter registration drive last weekend boasted:
The goal of this campaign has always been to reach out to people of all races, ages, and backgrounds and bring them back into the political process.
Right now, there are thousands of qualified voters in every state who are not registered to vote -- and they need someone to help make their voices heard.
Yup. Some other time, kid.. Just not now when they're trying to stir up the most interest via their well-publicized Vote for Change voter registration drive kickoff event..
Voter rights for persons with disabilities in long term care centers..? Still not to be even when the push is on so hard to help enable that Right for EVERY single other one else.. The message remains loud and clear that the Disability Voice continues to be viewed as counting naught for squat..
Here's to bumping up each, our own voter registration efforts just to show them the genuine passion behind one of my favorite mantras:
Feel The Power of The Disability Vote..
Cyber hugs from Talking Rock.. :wink:
Acronyms used in this piece.....
- PWD :: person with a disability
- AWDs :: Americans With Disabilities
- AJC :: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- LTC :: long term care
- ITMT :: in the mean time