A tale of Two worlds
A few weeks ago I attended my 40 year High School Reunion. It was celebrated in St. Louis, Mo. where I was born and raised and of course attended high School. It was an absolute fabulous three days with great events each day. I left St. Louis in September of 1975 and only returned to visit my family that still lived there. Throughout the 40 years after my graduation, I stayed in contact with 3 classmates at best. Most of my class mates have matured and understand today the misery and abuse I received daily through the horrible nicknames I was called. They were so bad, I will not repeat them in this article. None of my female classmates referred to me in the terms used decades ago. A few of the males did, and honestly, I did not remember the names or faces of those that chose to not refer to me as Kenneth.
As an educator, Civil Rights advocate, and Disability consultant I could have spent my time educating the men who decided being ignorant and abusive was okay. I chose not to, because in the scheme of life if they had not learned in forty years the names they referred to me as was extremely inappropriate, more than likely I would not get them to understand or change their mentality in 3 short days. It takes real men and women to comprehend the past and live in the here and now with honor and respect for ALL PERSONS. It was disappointing, but not surprising. [If BLACK LIVES MATTER] surely PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES LIVES MATTER.
How is it in the world we live in today, can we as a people, not understand we are the backbone of this country. We have and continue to live, survive, and thrive under the heavy hand of WHITE SUPREMACY that is abundant and prevalent in these United States. We are the water mark for all that have not been a part of REAL equal opportunity in this country. As we go, so goes the other minority/diverse cultures of people’s in this country. We must stop the infighting and stupidity of selfishness we have bought into under WHITE SUPREMACY. Our ancestors gave us life and their lives were uprooted, stolen, destroyed and worse, but we survived. We must be as one and respect all persons of color no matter how different on the surface we may seem. Our grace is in our humanity. Let us be graceful Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses. Become the keepers of our world and all who pass through it. I have lived in this world many years, seeing and understanding those that are temporarily able bodied. I make one simple request: Walk in my shoes for a day, see and experience the world as I do, then understand your place in this world.
Kenneth Brown is a disability advocate and consultant, business owner, and Civil Rights activist. He welcomes reader responses at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please view his blog at www.kbrownenterprises.com.