Handi- Man

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: May 18, 2011

OAKLAND, CAA statement spoken repeatedly by my favorite Black Disabled hero: HANDI-MAN. For the first time in history, Black Disabled Americans had a hero, a very funny hero. For the first time a person with Cerebral Palsy was a hero we can believe in, and can you phantom he’s a brother too.

The other Black Disabled Super hero was M.A.N.T.I.S., a handsome serious hero, who would extricate himself from the motorized wheelchair to become the Superhero. Paralyzed from the waist down, he uses his company’s resources to invent a powered exoskeleton that not only enables him to walk but gives him superhuman abilities. He utilizes a vast array of technology, including a large underwater lab and a hovercraft called the Crysalid to fly around the city.

Thank You In Living Color: Thank you Fox Network for your innovation.

The Wayan Brothers broke the mold with comedy and disability in America. We could laugh at this lovable character. This show made it easy for Americans to discuss disabled issues in the household without feeling embarrassed.

Look up in the sky, It’s a bird, It’s a plane, No, it’s a flying wheelchair

This hero dresses in a bright blue suit, looking good with the International disabled logo on his chest. He has a funny walk and sometimes it is difficult to understand what he is saying. He had Cerebral Palsy, and a speech impediment but you knew that he was there to assist the disabled around the world.

This hero flies all over the place, zigzagging across the sky. He cannot fly straight even though he wants to. Up is down and down is up. Despite his super strength, he is unable to control certain behaviors. His landings are always awkward and clumsy, as he falls on people, falls on top of cars, and crashes on top of trains. He does not mean to hurt people, but he cannot control the body God gave him. This wonderful person tried to emulate another super hero, and people don’t expect much from him. As this blue capped crusader crashes through walls, doors, and windows, mobility was not his friend, but a friend of most other super heroes.

Handi-Man landed on the ground in so many different positions, one might think this hero was silly and could not get anything right. Just like ABC’s, “The Greatest American Hero”, Ralph who also could not fly straight either but he would get the job done.

Never underestimate the powers of the handicapped.

This super hero was always on the job! When he receives a call from somebody who is wheelchair bound and needed to use the disabled stall in a public restroom. A non-disabled person had just put his butt on the toilet seat. This non-disabled person had given no thought for whom these stalls were for. The non-disabled person could care less that this stall is the only stall for a person with disabilities.

As this invader, this trespasser, sits there doing his business, Handi-man flies out the window of his home, and crashes to the ground at takeoff. This is routine for this caped crusader. Then he finally gets it together and flies to his destination, the public restroom. Our hero crashes on the floor and slides across the room. Apparently, this is his normal procedure upon arrival.

WHEW. He knocks on the stall that is reserved for the disabled: and states,

“Sir, do you know that you are in a disabled stall?” The man answers, “Yes, and I’m staying here until I’m finished, thank you. I just got here.”

OUR HERO CONTINUES: ‘But sir, there’s a man here in a wheelchair who needs to use that stall, so please, sir, could you move to another one?”

THE MAN REPLIES: “NO, I’m sitting now, I’ll be out in a few minutes; just wait.”

With that statement, the hero busts down the door and grabs the man by the collar. The non-disabled man looks in horror at this blue suited hero rushing toward him. Handi-Man throws him to the floor and stands over him saying, “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWERS OF THE HANDICAPPED.” The disabled man wheels into the stall, cheering with joy and laughter. Yes, Handi-man was a stumbling, bumbling nincompoop, but at least he helped others. It may have taken him a little longer than an able-bodied person and he may have done it in a very strange or different way, but the job got done.

Disabled athletes need a hero like this to help them through practice and through life in a non-disabled world. April Holmes the Fastest Black Disabled woman on earth, Oscar Pistorius the fastest disabled man on earth, the Amp Surf athletic swimming group. Bethany Hamilton who overcame tragedy to become a champion, The Winter and Summer Paralympics game participants, wheelchair basketball players, wheelchair marathon racers, power soccer players, and sled hockey players all love Handi-Man because it makes them human and lets them play the sport they love.

So Please, my fellow Americans, when you’re parking your car, do not take that blue marked parking space, not even for a minute. The disabled person’s choices are already limited. When you go to a baseball game, please do not take the disabled seat; allow the disabled enjoy the game too. When you are making a phone call and a disabled person wants to use that lower leveled phone bank, please relinquish the phone. OR they may call Handi-man on you!

This historic show In Living Color with the Character Handi-man broke the mold for able-bodied Americans. It was a grand tour of the disabled world for a non-disabled person, and it was done in a humorous way. It allowed able-bodied people to ask questions openly and freely about how the disabled lived. It also broke the culture barriers erected by the African American Community. AMERICA CAN NO LONGER IGNORE US; I AM SOMEBODY, THANK YOU, HANDI-MAN! Remember, “Never underestimate the powers of the handicapped”.

P.S. Handicapped is not the politically correct word for individuals with disabilities. It is used here because In Living Color uses it in their Handi-Man skits.

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Copyrighted 2011@ Gary Norris Gray- Gray Leopard Prod.