(Sidenote: Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about being a single parent. Being Josh's Mom has been the most important and fulfilling part of my life and I wouldn't change a thing.)
But, with the passing of an iconic Dad in the Ds community today, Dr. Siegfried Pueschel, I was struck by the recent activities of the Dad's I have been reading and re-posting about in our own #JFE community lately.
In no particular order - David Perry, Noah's Dad, Treyton's Dad, and Little Bird's Dad have been exceptional male voices, in my humble opinion.
Picture borrowed from CNN
One of my favorite quotes from him is:
"Disability rights are universal human rights, not abstract principles. But if it takes a personal reason to care about rights for the disabled, remember this: You might need them someday."
In the past few weeks, Professor Perry has managed to get his voice heard on some serious national (and international) stages. He's been published in CNN, heard on talk radio in San Francisco and on NPR, and been interviewed by Truth Seeker Debra Alfarone on WUSA9 ! Each interview/article talks about Ethan and police response to disability.
Way to go Professor Perry! Keep getting the word out there!
Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on his blog!
Noah's Dad, Rick Smith, talks about "giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome" on his blog. Recently, he posted an article that has gotten some serious traction.
How You Can Help My Son Not Get Possibly Murdered Over A Movie Ticket One Day #JusticeForEthan
At last check, it has gotten 4.4k "Likes." That's pretty impressive!
Follow Noah's Dad on Facebook, Twitter, and his blog!
Picture borrowed from Twitter
Treyton's Posse is another blog where you can get "A father's perspective on Down syndrome." Their family will be heading to NYC for the Buddy Walk this year. Treyton's picture will be seen in the NDSS Times Square video!
Treyton's Dad also did a touching post on #JusticeForEthan and "Reluctant Activism" that really spoke to me:
"What it boils down to is this, with the birth of every child with Down syndrome the parent is forced to answer a question. There is a critical choice to be made that parents of “typically developing” kids don’t need to make. The parent needs to decide if s/he is going to be the activist their child so desperately needs. If the parent makes the choice to advocate for their child they are guaranteed a future of a lot of hard word. But if that parent does not step-up to the challenge, if that parent chooses not to advocate for his/her child who will?"
Follow Treyton's Posse on Facebook, Twitter, and his blog!
Little Bird's Dad has also been very active in getting attention for Ethan's case and figuring out what law enforcement officers need to respond appropriately to differently-abled citizens.
His "8 Days for Ethan" campaign sparked my own advocacy and really inspired me, along with others, to get involved. I use his quote "We are Legion. We will not forget. Justice For Ethan" all the time! It sums it up really well. (and I love his doodles! :D)
One of his most recent posts "Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?" talks about police forces becoming increasingly militarized and how that relates to Ethan's case.
I just wanted to take a moment and personally thank each of them for what they've done and continue to do.
Let's Hear It For The Boys!!!