the makers of Mouth magazine
What American would come out in favor of segregation
in this day and age?
People are likely to be in favor
of segregation when they thrive on our being set aside and
sent away. They are nursing home owners, institution operators, and
middle managers in the helping industry. Some are women and men who
earned advanced degrees in how best to keep Those People out of sight.
Some segregationists are family members who dump their moms
or brothers or kids in institutions. A number of charitable organizations
which purport to represent our interests in fact sustain their treasuries
with segregation. For-profit or non-, they get fat government contracts
to run what are called residential facilities and day programs and sheltered
workshops. Others are low-level workers in the enormous "care" industry.
Some unions which represent these workers work to preserve segregation.
Some segregationists are high-level state employees who simply don't
know how to accept us as full human beings with human rights.
It is only fair to say that in all of those groups, some
members -- only a few, to be sure -- would like to see every American
live in freedom. But, for the most part, even our friends within the
system keep their heads down.
The most powerful of the segregationists
are also the major contributors to political campaigns.
Elected officials see all of the above as the taxpayers
they were elected to represent. People with disabilities and their families,
on the other hand, are seen as tax consumers.
Together, the segregationists hold hostage the1.9 million
dis-labeled people currently "placed" in institutions and nursing homes.
It is taxpayers who keep the ransom rolling in.
On April 21, 1999, in a hearing of the case of Olmstead
v. L.C. and E.W. at our nation's highest court, segregationists
said it out loud. All but lost in a sea of handicapped verbiage was
the crucial subtext of their argument:
You can't let those people
run around loose.