Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday Truths: UN Treaty on the Rights of the Disabled

Today's post was supposed to be about my experience with my beautiful chocolate lab service dog in training, but in the proxies something much more angry making happened.  This blog is angry.  Hopefully, the angriest I ever have to be here. On Tuesday, the US Congress was presented with an opportunityto ratify the UN treaty on the Rights of Disabled Persons, a treaty based on existing US law and unenforceable in any court.  A symbolic gesture that says, The United States of America believes that persons with disabilities are entitled to basic human rights, Only...We DON'T!!! Congress voted not to ratify the treaty.  Did I mention its based on US law and not enforceable?  Despite these facts, those who voted against it said they feared for US sovereignty.

Please, don't misunderstand, I love my country.  I come from a family of service members, both my grandfathers were veterans and my cousin was even Naval sailor of the year.  I'm fully aware of the fact that I wouldn't have the same quality of life in most other places on the planet, but really?  Failing to ratify a symbolic treaty just because it has UN in the title? I'm going to borrow a line from my Brit friends here and say...bollocks!

Understand, I have roughly $100,000 dollars worth of Political Science education.  I've heard this fear of a one world government stuff before.  I don't pretend to understand it, but I've heard it.  To use this as an excuse not to stand up for the basic human rights, not civic or legal protections, but human rights of 54 million of your own citizens, 1 in 5 Americans is well...bullshit!

I'm an American and more times than not I'm proud of this.  I've had access to a world class education and quality health care. In my life exists a level of inclusion and participation that does not exist for disabled persons in may places.  That said, I do still struggle, with employment as well as accessible and affordable housing and transportation.  All of these things could be addressed through legislation.  Yet, my government has decided I'm not entitled to basic human know? The ones given to me from my creator....Thanks guys, love you too!

Normally, I'm not the type of person to go around screaming about laws and rights. Normally, I live my life overcoming obstacles as I encounter them.  I participate in and encourage people to participate in our system of government.  The fact that my own government can't make a symbolic gesture on my behalf as I continue to struggle to be a productive and contributing citizen makes me angry and sad...So I decided to say so.

It should be noted that every person who voted against ratifying the treaty was a member of the GOP.  I don't say this to be partisan, simply as fact.  They voted against the rights of people who most probably voted for them....because of a headquarters being in Geneva?  Not all of them did of course, kudos to John McCain, but the fact that everyone who did is from the same party speaks volumes and will not be forgotten on my next trip to the ballot box. Most pitiful of all , Bob Dole was there, decorated WWII veteran, esteemed US senator and one time Presidential candidate and leader of the GOP, in a wheelchair to support ratification.  The person who took over his seat voted no...right in front of him...I hope he feels shame!

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