America Closes Her Heart
There is a scene in the Ron Howard film Backdraft where one fireman grips the hand of another who is about to fall into the flames below and says, “You go we go.” This is the America we used to know before the rise of the tea party and the election of a president who is fearful or unable to stand his ground against extremists.
Let me tell you about my friend T.K. Small who was born with muscular dystrophy and was warehoused for most of his life until one day he realized if things didn’t change he was going to die so with help from the government he worked his way through college and then law school and passed the bar without being able to take notes because he is only able to move his one finger which controls his motorized wheel chair. T.K. made a name for himself in Brooklyn by leading others with disabilities in a protest that brought traffic in downtown Brooklyn to a standstill as they blocked buses with their wheel chairs to make the point that all these buses needed wheel chair lifts. They won and now all city buses have lifts. With help from the government T.K. has become a successful attorney and advocate for the disabled but now he finds himself in a precarious situation.
You see the tea bag created crisis that resulted in the uncaring debt ceiling deal will not just handcuff our government but T.K. and other disabled people as well who with government help had become productive members of society but now will find themselves warehoused again waiting to die.
The New York Times reported that executives running programs for the disabled where making millions for themselves and now the tea party wants to go after them for enriching themselves by getting rid of the programs without thought to what will happen to those they served, those like T.K. who now find themselves to be collateral damage in a war waged by zealots and defended against by those without the fire in their belly to fight.
Now T.K. is a proud attorney and doesn’t want this to be a feel sorry pity poor T.K. piece but just a report on the real impact of this debt ceiling agreement. He wants you to know that America has now closed her heart and the line no longer is “you go we go,” but “sorry to see you go but government must go and if that means you go as well so be it.” And that my friends is just plain Un-American.
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