Electric EDGE
Web Edition of The Ragged Edge
May/June 1997
Electric Edge


Talk, talk, talk ...

"Don't hide FDR's source of strength."

"He wasn't a crip hero."

"I have disdain for people who use illness to explain their lives."

"He is our hero."

Opinions. Differences of opinion. Where would any vigorous movement be without them? As the FDR memorial opens, there's anger that there's no statue of FDR in a wheelchair. But some say the FDR-in-a-chair campaign sends a retro message. The controversy says more about our own interest in disability pride than it does about Roosevelt.

By the time you read this, the Supreme Court justices may have ruled on "assisted suicide." But their Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 didn't quiet debate on abortion, and the debate over suicide isn't going away anytime soon, either. We wrote about it in January, but we visit it again this issue, where the bickering goes on night and day: on the Internet.

Law student Mark Siegel, a quad and a vent user, announced his opposition on Hemlock's bulletin board. "The ball is in your court," he told them.

And he got the lobs:

"Why do you fear a doctor?" "Why deny people a way to end their suffering?" "You got some secret information that they really didn't suffer?" "Get out of my face!"

The Roosevelt debate is mild compared to the arguing over the "right to die" -- or "physician-induced death," as some gimp wags call it. The squabbling doesn't break down along disability lines, either. You can listen in by following our stories in this month's Electric Edge. We also listen to poets; to reports of access and parking outrages; we hear about the sit-in that changed lives 20 years ago. Cass Irvin leaves us with thoughts about what having an attendant should mean. Speaking of attendants -- why don't more states offer them?

Finally, we'd like to encourage disability-rights activists to think about making a practice of selling Ragged Edge subscriptions. If enough of us in the movement got enough people in our community to read about the issues we care about, it could have a real impact. While you're at it, send us ideas for stories that will educate the folks you think need educating. For more information, please contact us!


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