I have consistently suggested that the insensitive remarks we get in public places as we lean on canes or travel in wheelchairs are benign, that the person issuing the ignorance is wrongheaded but not malicious. I did believe that. The responses to my last post are giving me pause. Maybe there is more to this story than meets the eye.
Kim shared horror stories about a recent outing to Disney World- you know, the Magic Kingdom. “My family and I were boarding a boat back to our hotel. My husband pushed me to the entry point, I got out and walked to my seat so that the wheelchair didn’t take up too much room, as there were many patrons waiting to board. Another passenger, proceeded to curse me out, even saying she should have just tripped that b****”
Ignorance is mostly innocent. That remark was malevolent, dark and evil. And that was just one of Kim’s stories. I think there is a lot of anger loose in the land. In so many ways, we are not in control of our own lives. What institutions are more hated than banks and credit companies, airlines and, of course, the phone company? And we compete with each other, strangers in the strange land of searching for jobs.
Even though the Supreme Court is hard at work, dismantling every program they can find to lift the disadvantaged, people think that certain populations, including the disabled, have a leg up on them. Okay. Not well phrased. Public seething is everywhere. Road rage rides every highway. Women never have been more vulnerable. Anti-Semitism does not seem to fade into the distant past. Racism is still alive and well. And you, you in the wheelchair. Think you are special?
This is like kicking a dog. Pick on the most vulnerable.