Surviving, Living and Thriving with a Disability ~ Black Americans will never be “ONE”
President Obama established a program: My Brother’s Keeper. I think the premise of the program is to have Black men treat each other with the honor and respect we have earned.
Over the past month I as a Black male with a disability, business owner, employer, mentor, role model, caretaker, grandfather, father, brother, and many more. I am a BLACK MALE WITH A DISABILITY.
This is 2015 and I cannot understand the total disregard, disrespect, lack of faith, and honor Black Americans exhibit towards people like myself. I have been called a cripple Mother—- and told I would have my Ass kicked, been told “I can get Niggerish to and come to Minneapolis and show you something, and told my employees did not pull the weeds but went and smoked weed. I was told I was talking crazy to an employee by informing him he could not sleep in the truck between properties when at work. I was talking crazy because I have the bump on my head from my traumatic brain injury as a child. This last incident was unbelievable. I was the crazy person, yet this person was being paid on a weekly and sometimes daily basis by me for the hours he worked. This is a person who lost the first $400.00 he made by losing his wallet. What knucklehead walks around with sagging pants with $400.00 in cash in a wallet in the pants, but I am the crazy one.
Each of the encounters above were with Black people. One with a family of three-mother –son-mother’s brother. An employee, one black female and one black male homeowner/clients. These are not anomalies as some might believe. These are mere daily examples of how black people treat other black people they have no respect/honor for. They in order to feel powerful must put down someone they think is less than they. These people that at any moment can become a member of the Black population of persons with a disability or multiple disabilities. It is clear none of them would survive if the disability were permanent. They would be destructive forces not only to themselves, but everyone in their family and their friends, co-workers etc.
No matter one’s circumstances in life, respect, honor, and faith in our fellow human beings should be the order of the day. If we are going to Thrive in the world economy we must first learn “WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE ALL RELATE TO ONE ANOTHER. The entire time we don’t understand this basic fact of the human existence we will fail. We will always look to the others [those outside our culture] to be our savior and protector. People get a grip. If you don’t know who you are, how you want to be identified, and your real history, you are doomed to fail and live in struggle and strife. I know who I am, where I came from, where I am going, and constantly learning my history. WHAT ABOUT YOU.
Kenneth Brown is a disability advocate/consultant with emphasis on human rights within the law and how people are treated. He welcomes Reader responses to ablenotdisabled @aol.com or 612-518-2155