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"Yoo Hoo, Gimp Groups!" Verse 4, with a coda

So here we are with another nominee to the Supreme Court. Another act in the ongoing media circus. Yoo hoo! Where are you, gimp groups?

I spent much of my time this summer blogging about the silence from crip groups about the Roberts nomination. And I think some folks were irritated. Warning: I'm about to sing another verse of my "Yoo Hoo, Gimp Groups!" song. But I'm going to expand it a bit as well.

It would be good to know how Alito thinks, and, as I wrote yesterday, we need some non-legalese explanations of his many many Third Circuit rulings. This time the problem isn't that we don't have a track record. It's that us ordinary folks can't interpret it without help. And we need that interpretation soon.

The other forces for and against Alito are certainly out there doing some interpreting. This morning's look at The New York Times from the Killer Coffee Shop revealed the by-now de rigeur photo of the Keep Abortion Legal folks parading their signs in front of the Supreme Court steps. I didn't see any "Protect Disability Rights!" signs in the photo. Maybe the photographer just missed them.

Now in fairness I must ask myself: is this rant really necessary? Should I be so hung up on gimp groups getting out in the Supreme Court Nominee Fray and making noise? After all, I suspect that no matter what kind of noise gets made, Alito will be seated. If not him -- even if he conceivably becomes a Harriet Miers liability to be discarded like last night's pumpkin (doubtful but possible) -- someone else will be lifted up. It will go on and on till Georgie gets a Supreme on the bench.

So why not save our breath and our effort?


Because Disability Rights Should Be Part of the Public Debate.

Yeah; that's the chorus. All together now:

Disability Rights,
Oh, Disability Rights,
Yeah, Disability Rights
Should Be Part of the Public Debate!

Of course what we say is important. But I think too often groups worry overmuch about what to say, and work on it, and send it through committees and boards and what have you to get it "approved" -- and in the interim the show goes on entirely without what we have to say showing up anywhere other than in emails or on listservs. We have good folks who can say good things in public. But mostly they don't. They don't even put things on websites where bloggers like me can point to them. Thus they are pretty much guaranteed to stay entirely off the radar screen.

Right now what I want to say is that, even more than what we say, the fact that we're out there saying it, being noticed as a force (I won't say a movement; that's too optimistic) is crucial.

So. Where are you, gimp groups?

As you can probably tell, this is about more than the Alito nomination. Yesterday's announcement just gave me a reminder that I wanted to sing this song again. I'd been planning to do so since Sunday, actually.

I wonder if I should again raise the issue about being ready? The Alito nomination, like many other things, was anticipated by groups like the Keep Abortion Legal folks. I don't know if our national gimp groups think ahead this way. I suspect they do. I simply suspect that a "having a media plan" is not high on their list. (Note to Those Gimp Groups Who Are Out There Working with Reporters Already: this blog is not about you. Relax.)

But now I want to get off the Supreme Court box and talk about some other recent instances that warrant this song being sung: The Wal-Mart Internal Memo Meltdown is one. Remember it? Already slipping from public view. But not before The New York Times had managed to weigh in with a congratulatory nod toward Wal-Mart's discriminatory policies. Over the weekend I ran across several articles that looked at the "implications" of the memo. One in The New York Times, one in the L. A. Times (you probably can't get it for free on The Times site anymore but here's another similar article from The Ledger) -- and one from Dow-Jones. Oh, and one from the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report.

In my humble opinion, disability rights legal experts should've been front and center in those articles. They were almost missing altogether. There were employment lawyers interviewed, "health professors" (whatever they are); health economists, women's rights attorneys...

Where are you, gimp groups?

If the Wal-Mart proposed policy isn't about disability discrimination, I don't know what is. But I haven't seen even any emails from the usual suspects about this one. Emails aren't as important, though, as public statements. And there weren't any -- at least none google news found. Prove me wrong, folks! Send me links!

And then, added to this song, is the assisted suicide debate. But now that I think about it, I think I'm not going to put that coda on this song after all. I think this song might have another few verses in it yet. Stay tuned.


You think it's quiet down in the US, you should try the scene up here in Canada ! I live in one of western Canada's largest cities and our disabled transit (using this term very loosely, not sure if it qualifies) is so bad we are losing our jobs and not even able to get to court dates or medical appointments. Everyone's silent and I am ready to go picket by myself out in the snow.

How low do things have to sink before we say anything ? The euthanasia bill is going through our legislature and no one is even talking about it. Unbelievable.

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