In my last post, I wrote how I felt seeing former President George H.W. Bush doing the coin toss at the Super Bowl LI. I expected to see all these articles and interviews on the American with Disabilities Acts the day after the Big Game. After all, this was the president who signed this legislation into law! I wanted to know so much. Did the Bush family have a new appreciation of the ADA now that disability had become a regular part of their lives? I wanted to hear Bush’s perception of acquiring a form of Parkinson’s. How has it been dealing with the stupid comments that I know he gets from being an elderly American with a disability? I wanted to hear him and his family to have conversations with the public about how the Americans with Disabilities Acts has personally impacted their lives. For example, I am sure having wheelchair accessible stadiums has helped Bush Sr. to engage in the coin toss,
I wanted to hear his reflections of the words Bush Sr. spoke 27 years ago as he signed the civil rights bill:
Our success with this act proves that we are keeping faith with the spirit of our courageous forefathers who wrote in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” These words have been our guide for more than two centuries as we’ve labored to form our more perfect union. But tragically, for too many Americans, the blessings of liberty have been limited or even denied. The Civil Rights Act of ’64 took a bold step towards righting that wrong. But the stark fact remained that people with disabilities were still victims of segregation and discrimination, and this was intolerable. Today’s legislation brings us closer to that day when no Americans will ever again be deprived of their basic guarantee of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I wanted to read articles and watch interviews on all these things because the Super Bowl had such a massive audience. Former president Bush Sr. is known around the world, and he has obviously acquired a disability. To me, it would have been a perfect opportunity to highlight disability issues within the couple weeks following the game.
I didn’t see the Bush family, media, or organizations take advantage of that amazing opportunity to discuss the ADA, disability issues, and/or progress. I felt really sad because we Americans with disabilities are still facing so many struggles and I was really hoping the Bush family was going to have a renewed interested in disability issues. A changed perception can often propel people to do so.
I know that many people with disabilities and their families resent that society expects them to become disability advocates. They just want to live their lives. I get it, but I confess that I do have this high expectations of families who are in the public eye, especially those families with deep faith. I am not saying that this is right of me. I am just saying it would be nice if more influential families became more involved in the disability movement. Why? Because many of us are feeling weary.
Any way, I would love to get some thoughts from Bush Sr. on my questions. I mean, I can only imagine the insight he has! Pass my questions on if you can. (Hey, I don’t know who may be reading my blog.)
Let’s Keep Being Brave.