68. These lives matter, too

Tuesday July 28 2020

We’ve hit the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, marking the date of July 26 1990 as when President George H. W. Bush penned his long-awaited signature. As far as social media goes, this year’s milestone celebration was but a whimper, tamped down by the other more inflammatory topics of social unrest.

Which is what people with disabilities have been dealing with since time began. Too easily dismissed, a simple matter to merely turn your gaze away from something that’s not your problem.

The ADA is young; the passing of the act is actually within my adult son’s lifetime. This continues to surprise me. But we’ve made significant progress over the decades with some of the older stories of cruelty and maltreatment moving into that of legend.

Unfortunately, prejudice against people with disabilities is still a thing. While the BLM movement has found a wider audience who’s learning about systemic racism, there is another marginalized community that also needs our attention. Have never stopped needing it.

The ADA provides a federally regulated protection for equal rights to public access, housing, employment, education, and transportation. All wonderful stuff, although it’s kinda crappy it took until 1990 to bring it into a law.

With gratitude to those before who worked to ensure these equal rights for all, this 30-year anniversary of the ADA calls as a reminder that legality and morality are not even kissing cousins. We need to do the right thing because that’s what’s needed.

And so while we’re being pounded on to not say things like All Lives Matter because it dilutes the BLM message, can we agree they there are other marginalized sectors in our country that matter as well?

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