One’s an academic/social historian with access to some pretty notable journalism venues, the other, a lawyer who strives to contribute while maintaining his anonymity. They couldn’t be more different on first glance. But they do have one thing in common; they both have a son who has Down syndrome. They also both have well written and interesting blogs and took time out of their active schedules to talk to the community today!
Maybe training and better awareness of the complexities of interacting with people with disabilities will help. But in the meantime, all I can do is help my son learn this abhorrent truth: he lives in a society in which the police can inflict arbitrary violence on any “non-compliant” individual. I have to teach him to obey everything any police officer says, instantly, so that he isn’t pepper sprayed, beaten, tased or killed.
And then I just have to hope that he listens.
- How/why he started writing about disability
- How people with Down syndrome tend to get placed into one of two categories by the public
- Police interactions with Down syndrome community
In The Beginning
“It doesn’t have to be but… If he didn’t have Down syndrome, we would expect law enforcement to act. But put Down syndrome into the equation, it makes it a different circumstance. [Ultimately] the meaning of the swear words and behavior is different because he had Down syndrome.”
Interactions with Police
My favorite David Perry quotes from today?:
"The now IS important - acknowledge it, and move on! Dwelling in the big picture is not always helpful."
“The great life lesson of liberal education is that whatever situation life gives you, you know you are not alone. Someone has solutions. You may or may not agree with them, but you’re not alone.”
Little Bird's Dad
LBD knows a little something about the risks involved with putting yourself out there. For personal reasons, which he touched on today, he has chosen to write using a pseudonym. Deciding how much personal information to give out to the public when you’re blogging is complicated, especially when children can be affected.
LBD answered some tough questions from Gail about his anonymity, training, and options for the future of #JusticeForEthan.
Opportunities for the Future
My favorite LBD quotes from today? :
“Pre-existing prejudice or lack of knowledge should not limit my son’s rights as a citizen.”
“I’d like to think that MORE options are better.”
“The #1 thing we need to do is listen to each other, talk to each other. See each person as an individual.”
Thanks again to Gail Zahtz for providing such a unique look into #JusticeForEthan. If you get a chance, listen to the complete discussion!
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, my favorite Gail Zahtz quote from today?:
"Oh my goodness, when did it become WE?"
:D Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a new voice in the crowd!