A MESSAGE TO THE COMMUNITY
Dear Community, I have been involved as an active participant in the battle for my individual rights as a human being with a disability since 1974. Beginning in 1977 my calling in the battle expanded to include my rights as an African American male. The dual battles became one as I began to recognize, and be noticed for leadership and outspoken advocacy for the equal treatment of all people. As I reflect on the decades of personal/professional challenges faced, a picture of the environment that created, upholds, and perpetuates the challenges becomes clear each day.
DEMOCRACY: rule of the majority, a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people, and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held “FREE elections.” I don’t know when the above definition was written. I can imagine who wrote it. We do not have “FREE” elections in the United States of America. The majority of elected representatives are white males. DO WHITE MALES EQUITABLY REPRESENT THE INTEREST OF PEOPLE OF COLOR? CAN WHITE MALES EQUITABLY REPRESENT THE INTEREST OF PEOPLE OF COLOR?
DO PEOPLE WITHOUT A OR MULTIPLE DISABILITIES EQUITABLY REPRESENT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?
I have knowledge of the real history of the United States of America. This country was built on the operation of White Supremacy, genocide and destruction of Native Indians, enslavement of Africans, theft of land, and reducing women to second class citizens.
The major institutions in this country operate out of “A WHITE MALE RACIAL FRAME.” The collective institutions are all part of this frame. They all participated in, supported, perpetuated, and made money on the slave trade and destruction of native populations. These institutions continue to operate in this frame from the Capitalistic construct. The institutions are politics, banking, law, religion, and education.
The institutional operations of discrimination, oppression, suppression, racism, sexism, and other ism’s in this country will continue as those other than white males have not understood their collective kinship and strength in collaboration and cooperation to eliminate the harmful conditions we live in.
Kenneth Brown is a disability/seniors advocate and consultant. His interest and training include anti-racism and human rights. He welcomes readers responses to ablenotdisabledaol.com.