Why Do We Need Disabled People? In Honor of my best friend Brian Rogers.

disabled people

I just found out this morning (11-16-15) that one of my best friends Brian Rogers died yesterday at 3:30 PM. Brian was 68 years old.  I want to re-post this blog in his honor.  Brian reviewed and gave me input on this blog and was very proud of it. The title might sound insulting so I encourage you to read it. You will find out what a remarkable man Brian was and how much he loved life. 

Gimps, retards, morons, cripples, idiots, loony toons, wackos, everywhere you look we are surrounded by them these days.  Whatever happened to the good old days when you could walk down Main Street without having to look at some retard?  And to make matters worse, they are destroying our health care system.  All that tax money we waste on these losers who have never worked a day in their lives.  I think Hitler had the right idea:  Euthanasia.   Get rid of them and save the world for those of us who are productive citizens.  Do you know where Hitler got his ideas from?  Right here in America.  We started the whole idea of euthanasia to create a pure White All American Race of hard working honest loyal and patriotic citizens.  Citizens who could eat apple pie with two hands!  Citizens who could play real baseball and not some weak watered downed handicapped version for gimps!  Citizens who could put in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay!  (Social Movement for School Song by Pilot Speed)

The “Nazi euthanasia campaign” of mass murder gathered momentum on 14 January 1940 when the “handicapped” were killed with gas vans and killing centers, eventually leading to the deaths of 70,000 adult Germans.  Professor Robert Jay Lifton, author of The Nazi Doctors and a leading authority on the T4 program, contrasts this program with what he considers to be genuine euthanasia.  He explains that the Nazi version of “euthanasia” was based on the work of Adolf Jost, who published The Right to Death in 1895.  Lifton writes: “Jost argued that control over the death of the individual must ultimately belong to the social organism, the state.  This concept is in direct opposition to the Anglo-American concept of euthanasia, which emphasizes the individual’s ‘right to die’ or ‘right to death’ or ‘right to his or her own death,’ as the ultimate human claim.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia#Early_euthanasia_movement_in_the_United_States

What happened was that Hitler had the courage of his convictions and back here in the USA, we balked at the idea of killing people for the good of the country.  Think of the money and expenses and problems that Hitler’s ideas could have saved!  Think of the productivity improvements that a Master Race of Americans could have created!  Well, at least we don’t have to pay these gimps minimum wage.  Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act authorizes employers, after receiving a certificate from the Wage and Hour Division, to pay special minimum wages – wages less than the Federal minimum wage – to workers who have disabilities for the work being performed.

But some claim that workers with developmental disabilities, including persons with significant support needs, are dependable and reliable workers. In several major studies (Kregel, Parent, & West, 1994; Kregel & Unger, 1993; Shafer et al., 1987; Shafer et al., 1988) over 900 supervisors and employers were asked to rate the work performance of persons with disabilities in comparison to workers in similar jobs who did not have any identified disabilities. Workers with disabilities were rated higher than their non-disabled counterparts on a number of factors, including attendance, arriving to work and returning from breaks on time, accepting authority, and being accepted by the public.  Why It Pays to Hire Workers with Developmental Disabilities —  by John Kregel

Hell, you can’t trust all those stupid studies done by bleeding heart liberals.  They would say anything to protect a few gimps.  What if they can be productivedisabled logo for web workers?  What if they do work as hard as or even harder than “normal” people?  They still take up much of our hard earned tax dollars for their health problems.  They are a big drain on our already overtaxed healthcare system.   Look at it this way, if we did not have to pay for medical care for the disabled, we would have a lot more money to spend on those of us who need medical care for legitimate reasons like: Smoking, alcoholism, obesity and gunshot wounds.  Heck, I can’t even get up close to the emergency room in the hospital when my buddy accidently shoots me, because I don’t have a handicapped parking sticker.  Too many stores have too many parking places for the disabled.  If we had less disabled, costs of handicapped parking signs would drop precipitously.

A 2014 study by the private American foundation The Commonwealth Fund found that although the U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world, it ranks last on most dimensions of performance when compared with  Australia,  Canada,  France, Germanythe Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  The study found that the United States failed to achieve better outcomes than other countries, and is last or near last in terms of access, efficiency and equity.  Study data came from an international survey of patients and primary care physicians, as well as information on health care outcomes from The Commonwealth Fund, the World Health Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Disabled ad_Faye adWow, I guess this means they must have less retards and cripples in these other countries or are they implying that mismanagement and inefficiency are the true causes of high health care costs in the USA?  Well, you know those Europeans; most of them are commies and socialists.

The real story is that most of these so-called disabled people are actually treated very well by the more able-bodied in this country.  They shouldn’t complaint about the privileges and treatments they get from the rest of us.  Just to test this theory out, I decided to talk to a disabled friend of mine and see what he thinks.  I asked him how he feels about the treatment that disabled people get and particularly the treatment he gets as a disabled person.   Here is what my friend Brian Rogers said:

“I will add that our desire is simply inclusion in the mainstream of society.  They evaluate us as differently-abled with great skills and a history of a great work commitment to our nation, but only in times of war. We are the only minority that does not discriminate; you can enter our group in a heartbeat.  We are strong in number. The American Medical Association states there are 43 million Americans with disabilities.  Our failure to be fully integrated into society is our own. We did not capitalize on the American’s with Disabilities Act of July 26, 1990.  We did not have leaders like our brothers and sisters in the civil rights movement of the 60’s.  We should have learned and developed our leadership from within the Disability Rights Movement.  If the disabled community had more leadership and control of our services and programs, everyone would have been better off.  We must take the “dis” out of disability.”

IMG_0733“People don’t understand discrimination until they have tasted the bitterness.  My barriers are mostly attitudinal, not concrete and steel. Barrier free environments improve everyone’s life, not just people with physical disabilities. People ask me what I would like to do.  I would just like to go into a grocery store and buy a loaf of bread, without drawing unwanted attention.  John, did you notice when we went to lunch the other day?  The server talked only to you. She avoided looking at me or saying a word to me.  That happens all the time.”

I was somewhat shocked when Brian mentioned to me the lunch situation.  I had not even noticed it.  It is easy to notice your own problems but much more difficult to be aware of the problems that face other people.  It would be easy to dismiss Brian as an anomaly or a unique case unless you knew Brian.  I have had several friends who were disabled including:  Billy Golfus, Jeff Bangsberg and Brian Rogers.  They have all been unique individuals.  I have not known one of them to be content taking handouts or sitting on their butts expecting other people to do things for them.  In fact, they have done more than the average person I know to help others and to remain independent despite their disabilities.  (Everyone is Differently Abled Song)

I have been friends with Brian Rogers for over 5 years now.  Four or five times a week at the Frederic Library and often at his house we meet to discuss politics and other assorted subjects.  Brian has traveled a good deal of America, has met several presidents, ran major university programs and later in his life supported himself by becoming a Grant Writer.  Brian was Volunteer of the Year in Frederic in 1990 and has written numerous grants that have benefited his community.  From funding for the Frederic Library to computers for schools, when Brian sees a need he takes it as a challenge to help others.  Having faced Cerebral Palsy all his life and now into his later sixties, Brian remains independent and pays his own way.  He is proud that he has never been on unemployment a day in his life. There are not many “abled” bodied people who could make that claim.

Every time I talk to Brian he is full of ideas that could help other disabled as well as other “abled” people.  He is currently working on zippers and clothing to helpwho-cares-about-disabled-people-26755-1300415261-4 protect disabled people from falls.   He recently proposed a grant to help men facing aging and dealing with the transition from an active to an inactive lifestyle.  Yesterday morning Brian fell and bruised himself rather badly.  Walking is not and has never been easy for Brian.  I have noticed that Brian has had many falls over the years and sometimes it seems to me that with age they are getting more painful and more harmful.  Nevertheless, Brian goes out every day and navigates a world with numerous barriers and obstacles that many of us take for granted.  He remains positive and optimistic about life and his ability to make a difference in the world.  Brian says, we are all disabled by one problem or another.

How many people do you know who do not have some type of medical condition that impairs their functioning?  Disability is not a disease.  It is a fact of life that as Brian states can happen to any us in a heartbeat.  It is an inevitability that will embrace every one of us as we age and grow older.

(Please take time to listen to both of the songs I have posted on Disabilities.  They are visual as well as auditory treats.)

Time for Questions:

Do you make time to help others?  Do you help those who are less abled than you are?  If you are disabled, do you still try to remain positive about life?  Do you try to make a difference in the world not just for abled bodied people but for all people?  Do you speak out against discrimination towards people who are disabled?   Do you speak out against people who denigrate and disparage disabled people with names like gimps and retards?

Life is just beginning.

Gradatim by Josiah Gilbert Holland (1872)

Heaven is not reached at a single bound;

But we build the ladder by which we rise

From the lowly earth, to the vaulted skies,

And we mount to its summit round by round.

I count this thing to be grandly true:

That a noble deed is a step toward God,

Lifting the soul from the common clod

To a purer air and a broader view.

We rise by the things that are under feet;

By what we have mastered of good and gain;

By the pride deposed and the passion slain,

And the vanquished ills that we hourly meet.

We hope, we aspire, we resolve, we trust,

When the morning calls us to life and light,

But our hearts grow weary, and, ere the night,

Our lives are trailing the sordid dust.

We hope, we resolve, we aspire, we pray,

And we think that we mount the air on wings

Beyond the recall of sensual things,

While our feet still cling to the heavy clay.

Wings for the angels, but feet for men!

We may borrow the wings to find the way—

We may hope, and resolve, and aspire, and pray;

But our feet must rise, or we fall again.

Only in dreams is a ladder thrown

From the weary earth to the sapphire walls;

But the dreams depart, and the vision falls,

And the sleeper wakes on his pillow of stone.

Heaven is not reached at a single bound;

But we build the ladder by which we rise

From the lowly earth, to the vaulted skies,

And we mount to its summit, round by round.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patti Dierks
    Nov 16, 2015 @ 20:04:45

    Karen we so enjoyed having B rian here at the apartment building. I did small sewing jobs for him and he was so appreciative of that. We will truly miss seeing him in the halls and his joking around. One fantastic person for sure. Prayers go out to his sister Becky.

    Reply

    • johnpersico
      Nov 17, 2015 @ 01:51:06

      Patti, thanks for your kind comments and thoughts of Brian. It is wonderful that you are also thinking of his sister. You are very thoughtful. I am sorry for your loss as well. No one who knew Brian will not feel a real loss.

      Reply

  2. johnpersico
    Nov 17, 2015 @ 02:03:02

    John, I know you felt you gained as much from your friendship with Brian as he did from the help you provided for him. But I’m so glad and proud of you that you could do many things to help Brian. You saw him as a person first, and disabled second. He’s been a big part of your life over the past 5 years. Along with the Library group, we will all miss him very much.

    Reply

  3. Jeanine
    Nov 17, 2015 @ 14:28:10

    Hi John, I am very happy that you ran this blog again in memory of Brian. It gave me more insight into the truly impressive life he led. I am also grateful that I met Brian last year as I enjoyed his sparkling personality. I learned just how special he was through your blog, and my one regret is that I will not have the opportunity to speak with him again. Your questions at the end of your blog gave me thought to avenues I can follow in making a decision on another way to give back when I resign from CCD. I cannot think of a better way to remember Brian. May God bless him and all the lives he touched.

    Reply

  4. johnpersico
    Nov 17, 2015 @ 14:41:57

    Jeanine, thanks very much for your comments. I am very glad you got to meet Brian even for a short time. He remembered you very well and often asked how you were doing. Brian was one of the most thoughtful people I have ever known.

    Reply

  5. David Fleming
    Nov 19, 2015 @ 20:38:02

    John, I just now realized I used to follow your blog, but when I got a new laptop I never picked up the link and forgot about it. The link to your blog is back on my desktop now, and this entry answers all the questions I had about your friend Brian.

    What really struck me is where he said people tend to talk over him or around him when he is with somebody else, such as you. I have experienced that my entire life as a deaf individual. When my wife and I are out together people tend to talk to her rather than to me, in the mistaken belief that I’m not capable of communicating. I have been an expert lip-reader since I was five years old and have no trouble carrying on a conversation if the other person would just look at me.

    Brian was right. The Americans with Disablities Act never amounted to the hype and was never what it was cracked up to be.

    Reply

  6. ggorman10
    Dec 02, 2015 @ 16:49:08

    My sister-in-law is confined to a wheelchair for most of her life. She has 2 sons 3 grandchildren. She works daily as a speech pathologist. She drives her own car. Her life is somewhat easier because of program for the disabled but nothing can replace her strong desire for independence. Wonderful article John?

    Reply

  7. Kerry Wiley
    Dec 31, 2016 @ 05:36:48

    My name is Kerry Wiley. I was friends with Brian Rogers and we lost touch. I wondered what happened to him… Tonight I found his obituary. Brian and I had a common bond, I have Spastic Cerebral Palsy and Brian and I would talk about our experiences.

    I was saddened to learn about his passing. Brian befriended me and challenged me in a somtimes gentle, other times, very direct way to “get out of my bubble” and explore unknown paths.

    When our communications stopped, I wondered what happened. I will miss the cards, communications, and exchanges. Brian was a true advocate, never letting his disability or life stop him.

    If anyone knows how to reach Brian’s family, please share my condolences.

    Best Regards, Kerry Wiley

    Reply

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