You Don’t Look Like Me!

root - Posted on 03 September 2001

by Leroy Moore/PoorNewsNetwork

On July 26 the Bay Area and the rest of this country celebrates the eleventh birthday of the Americans with Disabilities Act, what disabled Americans call Independence Day. However, as a disabled man of color, Independence Day is still far away and I see no reason to celebrate! On July 26, 1990 President Bush turned to the four White activists with disabilities near him and proclaimed, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” Take another look at the picture and ask yourself who is missing from it. This picture doesn’t represent my disabled brothers and sisters.

In the middle of July, Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization (DAMO) got a call from a Washington, D.C. disabled organization that wanted DAMO to speak at their Disability Rights Rally in Berkeley, California. You know what I told them? I invited them to the first ever Latino Disability Awareness Day on July 26 at the Mission Council in San Francisco, where they could hear DAMO speak! You know what they said, they were “too busy”!

Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization celebrated, educated and organized with our Latino disabled brothers and sisters to put some color in the picture, and in the disability rights and disability culture movements. The whole week was a rainbow that brought color and energy into the San Francisco disability community. Stay tuned for a look back on the first Latino Disability Awareness Week by David Aldape. I’d like to share my Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) story through a poem.

My ADA Story

Time to educate

Always need to advocate

But there is no time to celebrate

We’ve the highest unemployment rate

What is going to happen to our fate

Our leaders are not awake

The independent living movement is fake

While we blow out the candles on the cake

For God sake speak the truth for the youth’s sake

We’re segregated, incarcerated and discriminated

In every state

Do you see a reason to celebrate

Don’t want to stray

From the old ways

No wonder our youth can’t relate

The eleventh anniversary

Let’s get down and dirty

I’ve got an ADA story

Been unemployed for a century

Buildings not accessible in my community

Disabled brothers and sisters are in the penitentiary

The realization

Is nobody looks like me

In management position in your organizations

Another year and another ADA celebration

Here I am telling you the real situation

There you go playing down my contribution

The movement needs an earthquake

We don’t deserve cake

It’s time to debate the story that created the ADA

By Leroy F. Moore Jr.



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