Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ignorance is the bliss of Innocence

I hold no illusions. I am not a stranger to pain nor high-stakes power games of Shakespearian proportion. The truth is brutal and beautiful, sometimes at the same time. But my people, people with disabilities, will understand the knowledge I'm about to lay down. They've lived it, and are living it.

I've been dealing with a lot of ignorance lately and I have been doing everything in my power to forgive them, for they know not what they do. Fourty-eight hours ago, however, I hit my limit. I'm though coddling healthy people because they don't understand. I will gently teach them, and if they don't want to hear it, I will yell it from the rooftops: Ignorance of the law does not mean innocence. Discrimination is Discrimination.

I am not a second-class citizen. I'm a separate but equal citizen, separated from the masses because of my disability. In their ignorance, they have started wringing their hands about how it's exploitation to not pay people with disabilities minimum wage for their work.

Wow. They should really read my book, because that stance shows their absolute ignorance of working while disabled. When I worked at Microsoft, there were all sorts of perks that weren't included in your salary like free cold beverages including fresh milk. A cafeteria that served resturant-level food including daily-delivered sushi, and you could take a break during work hours to play basket ball, video games, et cetera.

I give this example because what the Healthy people don't understand is that many of us need to be underpaid so we don't lose our benefits and can get out of the house for a reason other than medical interventions. That's a huge gift in itself. Additionally we become contributing members of society again, something people in this economy can understand. Having a job you love at any salary is priceless. I know it was to me, I blogged about my experience when it happened. And I took a pay cut for that job, happily.

When you force companies to pay minimum wage, that means your taking a paying job away from some other person with a disability. How is that a good idea? Your noble cause would have a devistating effect in reality. I will not idly by and let you do that to my people. We are not livestock you can slaughter to feed you political agenda.

I will not let the dreams of my people be defered. We ALL have a Constitutional right to pursue Happiness. Ignorance is no defense. This is my Call to Action: #WiseUp and show a little compassion!

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