Sports And The Disabled (Part Two)

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: August 21, 2009

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — Disabled African Americans are living on the outskirts of two worlds with neither world accepting them for who they are. My disabled brother Leroy Moore Jr. from Buffalo New York also has Cerebral Palsy.

He coined this phrase “Living on the Outskirts”. This term defines African American disabled live on the outskirts of the black and white communities.

The White community does not accept the Black disabled because they are African American, The Black community does not accept us because they are disabled.

So the disabled Black American gets bounced from one group to another and never really feels at home in his/her homeland or his/her culture.

Oscar Pistoris and Natalie Du Toit from South Africa both competed in the Beijing Summer Games, then two weeks later competed in the Beijing Paralympics Games.

Pistoris had to rise above the controversy of his “Cheetah” carbon fiber legs. It was later known that able-bodied runners had the advantage at the starting blocks because Pistoris could not push off the blocks like able-bodied runners.

These athletes are on the outskirts of two worlds, disabled and non-disabled world with neither one accepting them. These two individuals are so good that they beat disabled athletes most of the time, but they struggle against able-bodied athletes because the rules restrict their ability to win.

BUSH AND THE ADA SIGNING TABLE IN 1992-93

This was a great victory for disabled Americans — the passing of the (ADA) Americans with Disabilities Act — but something was missing. Disabled Americans of color and disabled females.

The disabled finally got their civil rights but Disabled African Americans and females were asking do we have the same rights because they did not see a representative at the table.

President Bush’s setting beside the disabled made many in the community happy. This was their first visual political act. But there was still NO LOVE for the Asian, Latino, or Black Disabled communities.

DID NON-DISABLED PEOPLE MAKE LIFE DECISIONS FOR THE DISABLED?

The issue of non disabled people making legal and medical decisions for the disabled and for the Disabled African American has additional cultural bias issues.

Terry Schiavo’s right to life was a seven-year battle between her husband and parents to extend Terri’s life or let her die without medical assistance.

Little Ashley’s right to have children and grow into a woman was prevented by her parents. They made the decision to have doctors perform a hysterectomy and breast surgery to limit her growth.

They also gave her at 10 years old hormones to limit her physical growth. Ashley is at her full height and weight. The parents did this for their convenience. Not asking Ashley what she wanted.

This is repeated in the Disabled African American community. Drugs are administered to the disabled child to “calm him/her down” or to relax his/her muscles.

This alters the disabled person personality.

NEXT: More on African American Disabled History.