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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Irony in Society - Hate and the 50th Anniversary of the Dream

As I watched the media coverage of the 50th anniversary of the March to Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. made his iconic oration called "I Have A Dream" which effectively was the springboard of the civil rights movement, the progenitor of the ongoing disability rights movement. It was and still resonates as the symbolic battle cry against injustice, bigotry and discrimination in all its diverse forms. The speech heralded the promise of eguality of opportunity and the elimination of abject impoverishment as well as the narrowing of the racial divide and the economic chasm between the have and the have-nots. That promise is still unfulfilled as the speeches by President Barack  Obama and more pointedly by former President Bill Clinton attest. There is still a great deal of work to be done before the  stirring rhetoric matches the reality. To underscore this point as for as the disability community is concerned is the recent surfacing in the Internet of a hate flyer disseminated in Portland Oregn  by a group calling itself the Artemis Underground against people with disabilities who are recipients of various types of government benefits. They claim that such essential services "wrecks" the economy and therefore they should be institutionalized. Such thinking is indicative of the eugenic belief  popular during the 19th and early 20th century, at it zenith during the Nazi era that "inferior" races and those with less than "perfect" or Aryan physiques should be eradicated. Here is the link to the post that highlighted the hate flyer:

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oehr/article/458971

This is just one example among many instances of backlash against the disability community.