Updated: September 18, 2016


Never Underestimate the Powers of the Handicapped.

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter

This week the Paralympics started in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but America seems to be disinterested with college and professional football starting, Major League Baseball winding down its season, the (WNBA) Women’s National Basketball Association beginning playoff games, and last The World Hockey Cup Championship begins.

Have you tried to find the Para-games on television lately? Maybe it’s because the United States stands in fourth place in the medal count. Being disabled you have to overcome many obstacles, visibility is just another one. This year’s games are also two weeks later then normal because it’s spring in South America.

The Summer Paralympics Games are on NBCSN until September 18 on delayed tape  (Pacific, Mountain, and Central Time) at 7-pm local time every night.The games can also be seen both live streaming and taped on the TeamUSA page.  The Para Games will seen 3-4 hours a night compared to the non-disabled  8-10 hours a night. Disabled still have to fight for equal access.


Never Underestimate the Powers of the Handicapped.

OAKLAND, CA— A 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 that and he’s a brother too.


The other Black Disabled Super hero was (M.A.N.T.I.S.) , Mechanically Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System, 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.

Fox Television were the pioneers for incitive and provocative programming before it became conservative in 1997. Thank You In Living Color: Thank you Fox Network for your innovative Black comedy show and including disabled African Americans. the most underrepresented minority in the United States.


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 without feeling embarrassed or guilty.

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

This hero dressed in a bright blue suit, looking good with the International Disabled logo on his chest. He had a funny walk and sometimes it was difficult to understand the way he spoke . He had Cerebral Palsy-a motor skills disability, and a speech impediment but you knew that he was there to assist the disabled around the world.

This hero flew all over the place, zigzagging across the skies. He could not fly straight even though he wants to. Up is down and down is up. Despite his super strength, he is unable to control body functions. His landings were always awkward and clumsy, as he fell on people, fell on top of cars, and crashes on top of trains. He did not mean to hurt people, but he could not control the body God gave him. This wonderful person tried to emulate other super heroes, and people did not expect much from him. As this blue capped crusader crashes through walls, doors, and windows, mobility was not his friend, as it was the 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”, with Ralph who also not fly straight either but he would get the job done too.

Never underestimate the powers of the handicapped.

This super hero was always on the job! When he received 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 made 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 in the bathroom 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 AGAIN and slides across the room. Apparently, this is his normal procedure too upon arrival.

Disabled Man:- “Thank God you got my call”

” Have no Fear Handi-Man is here”

Disabled Man:-“Good this guy has been in the stall for over an hour and a half, and he not even disabled”

WHEW. Handi-man tears the stall door off of its hinges with his bear hands stating

This is not going to be pretty”

“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.”

“Come on out of this stall before there is trouble”

“I aint leaving,” the man replies.

With that statement, the hero becomes angry grabbing the man by the collar. The non-disabled man looks in horror at this blue suited hero rushing toward him.

OUR HERO CONTINUES:oh no it looks like somebody is about to join the ranks of the disabled” “Lets get busy” 

The super hero and the man duke it out outside of the stall as Handi-man gives him a swift head butt knocking him to the floor. Handi man drags the man back into the stall dunking his head in the toilet stating, “This outa cool you down”

Handi-Man kicks him to the floor again as the non disabled man scurries away losing the battle.

Disabled man states, “you saved the day, the physically challenged have be needing a hero and your it. Thank you, Handi-Man.

“That’s o.k. son always remember.”



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 superhero and he may have done it in a very strange, unusual, or different way, but the job got done.

bethany hamiltonRESIZEDpistorisRESIZEDApril-Holmes-100-meters

Disabled athletes need a hero like this to help them through practice and through life in a non-disabled world. Eight years ago April Holmes was the Fastest Disabled woman, Oscar Pistorius was the fastest disabled man, the Amp Surf athletic swimming group got hundreds of disabled young adults in the water. Super surfer and my hero Bethany Hamiltonovercame tragedy in the water to become a champion. This is the legacy.


Four years ago in London, England the largest contingent of disabled athletes convened at one venue with over 4,000 athletes. It was also the first time more than seven Moslem nations sent athletes to the games. China won the medal count in 2012 and are expected to win again this year. The United States will struggle again this year because World Teams have improved. There were many stars in London. It may have been Oscar Pistorius last victory as he was charged with a murder in South Africa. Russian American Tatyana McFadden who won four gold for the United States. The Chinese dominated sweeping table tennis and swimming along with American Jessica Long and Australian Jacqueline Freney in the pool

RESIZEDjarome SingletonJEROME SINGLETON- America’s hope in Track and Field in 2016

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 permits them to 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 limited. When you go to a baseball game, please do not take the disabled seat; allow the disabled to 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.


 Remember, “Never underestimate the powers of the handicapped”.

So this is a shout out to all the men and women that have made it to Rio, Brazil to show the world their super talents. Now let’s give them support by calling NBC and asking them to broadcast the games on prime time.

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.Handicapped is very condescending term. Sometimes Offensive. a physical or mental disability making participation in certain of the usual activities of daily living more difficult.
The modern terms are now disabled, or physically challenged, We have come a long way since the word Crippled, used at the turn of the 20th century.


P.P.S. The American Broadcasting Company this year will start a new show with a REAL disabled character with Cerebral Palsy called “Speechless.” J.J. will open the eyes and ears of America in 2016. The entertainment industries are getting the message and are producing shows with REAL disabled characters.


Special Thanks to In LIving Color

ABC Television


Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove on Blogtalkradio.comDisabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod.

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