Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Overcoming" Works, but It's Not the Whole Answer

From Diane Coleman's post about President Obama's hedging after she attended the Washington, D.C. ADAPT action for the Community Choice Act of 2009 ...
I was raised to believe that it was my responsibility to “overcome my disability,” not society’s responsibility to accommodate me. It was up to me to avoid inconveniencing others and to prove my abilities and worth “despite” my disability. President Obama praises his father-in-law for never complaining even though he had to work harder to overcome barriers. He holds up the “Overcomer” as a role model.
Ms. Coleman is correct. President Obama is a man of significant intellect, but he is responding to the the issue with emotion. That's a shame.

I wonder if Mr. Robinson expressed thoughts about how the ADA and other access efforts improved his life? That would have been a better reference.

What we hear, I think, is our own earlier "make do, soldier on" attitudes being expressed by Mr Robinson through President Obama. Perhaps Mr Robinson didn't live long enough to join the cause.

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