The Silence of Our Friends

A guest post written by Clint Searcy

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Looking back it can be difficult for younger people to understand why any caring person would comply with the unfair rules of segregation that Dr. King worked to remove. How is it that the majority of people would tolerate such pettiness as not allowing everyone to use the same bathroom or water fountains, or eat at the same counter?  How was it ever possible that certain types of people were welcome to spend money in a business but were not permitted to enter that business through the front door?

If I told you today there was still a business in your neighborhood with a physical barrier outside it's door to prevent a minority from coming in you would most likely be outraged. Surely, you would refuse to do business in that establishment.

So my question is this. Why do you? 

Despite the widely held notion to the contrary, the ADA does not guarantee wheelchair accessibility. In most of the cases I have encountered over the years it is neither difficult  nor expensive to address accessibility issues for wheelchairs.  While historical preservation laws can sometimes stand in the way of progress on these issues the biggest and most difficult obstacle to overcome is indifference.

Most people lack sufficient awareness of the true scope of the problem. Others simply turn a blind eye to it. Neither is acceptable. It's time to end inequality for all minorities, and that includes people with physical disabilities.The Civil Rights Movement and Marriage Equality for LGBT were only successful because of the support of good-hearted, forward thinking people that were friends to the cause.  Look around, speak up, and walk out of places that are inaccessible to wheelchairs. Stop supporting this kind of segregation.