It Shouldn’t Be A Crime To Be Disabled

A 71-year-old woman, Karen McGee, with hearing problems was at the airport in Austin, Texas waiting for her connector flight. Because her hearing aids weren’t working properly, she sat facing the gate where she thought she would see when to board her flight. Little did she know there had been an announcement of a change. She missed her connecting flight but a ticket agent helped her make a flight for later that evening. However, she found out of another flight on a different airline that was leaving for the same location sooner. She asked a second ticket agent if that could be arranged.

The agent reportedly called police and said she was trespassing. Law enforcement tried to speak with her but she couldn’t understand them since they didn’t lower themselves to her eye-level as she was seated. She was placed in a wheelchair and taken out of the terminal and arrested. At the jail, McGee was thrown up against the wall and her arm was twisted around back and broke because she couldn’t hear the instructions. She was strip-searched and stayed in the jail for three days before she was released.

The District Attorney’s Office there made the wise choice not to prosecute her but the damage was already done. As of this posting there hasn’t been a lawsuit filed as the incident happened in 2022 but just gaining media attention as McGee had sought legal aid. There has been no word of any action taken against the law enforcement or jailers who hurt her as she was only given Aleve for the pain. But once again it raises the questions of how ill-equipped people are to handle those with disabilities.

When I flew on Delta from Tulsa to Atlanta three years ago, the Delta counter people said they would make note about me having a wheelchair at Atlanta because that airport is far bigger than the one at Tulsa. However, when I got there, they didn’t get the memo so I had to speak with someone at the gate about getting some assistance. By an odd coincidence, I sat next to an older couple on the plane who also needed wheelchairs and they had to still wait on the plane until all the passengers had gotten off for assistance.

Despite what law enforcement wants to tell you, most people with hearing problems are NOT treated special even if they notified the officers during routine traffic stops. And I’m sure they don’t care much if you have a disability. Since law enforcement is quicker to detain (but actually arrest) people for whatever reason, they can actually hurt people more.

In April 2003, Florida resident Jean Pierre Villar had been recovering from back surgery when his neighbor, Holli Bodner, who was a pscyhologist, fudged paperwork to have him committed to a mental hospital as the result of a year-long feud they’d been having. Deputies of Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida arrived at his house while Villar was home alone and took him into custody causing major damage to his back as they loaded him into the patrol car. He later died of a blood clot as a result of the mishandling.

Bodner pleaded no contest to a perjury charge and spent 10 weekends in jail. She was later arrested and charged with supplying an Sarasota County jail inmate with oxycodone and lorazepam. Despite these two incidents, she still has a license and practices and Florida, even though I can’t imagine who the hell would want to see her. Dr. Hannibal Lector would be a better mental doctor to see.

Recently, Candace Owens, a conservative pundit who seems to be in a pissing contest with Stacey Dash on who can be the most conservative black woman living, came under fire for criticizing a marketing campaign for Skims, a clothing brand co-founded by Kim Kardashian, that specializes in clothing for women of multiple sizes. In the advertisement, there are pictures of models in wheelchairs. Owens who seems to spout key words to conservatives as if she’s talking to Hank Hill about propane, said that it’s “ridiculous” and “inclusivitiy” is going too far.

This led to a huge backlash from several people against Owens, who surprisingly is a failed former actor and model. Yes, I’m surprised too. Considering she looks like somone took a cast iron skillet and hit actress Kimberly Elise in the face as hard as they could, I’m surprised. (No disrespect to Kimberly Elise though.) But even more surprising, Owens used to be liberal-minded. But after the whole Gamergate controversy, she changed her opinions because she probably realized she could make more money being the token black woman who spouts conservative talking points.

I mean, she’s not as attractive as Dash so she could probably convince more conservative that because she’s fugly and not someone “they’d want to fuck” that she must be smart. And what I’m say might be cruel, but for a person like her to hate someone who is different because they’re in a wheelchair shows that she’s worse. Conservatives have made fun of the appearances of Chelsea Clinton (when she was a child), Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Michelle Obama to name a few, so they shouldn’t dish it out if they can’t take it. Besides, Owens’ ugliness inside is far worse that what she can be on the outside.

The belief that she is saying all these things throwing out words like “Woke,” “Inclusiveness” and “Liberal” just to get more money and attention makes her worse. And she did the non-apology to Christina Applegate who called her out on her shit. Owens tiptoed around the fact that she didn’t know criticizing a woman in a wheelchair might upset people. Applegate has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She gave Owens a piece of her mind, as well as other people who are physically disabled.

I’m wondering why Owens is mad. Don’t conservatives often tell us disabled people of things we can do. They love to tell us that we’re not handicapped but “handicapable.” So, here’s some people in wheelchairs who are modeling and probably getting paid for it as it’s a job, and she’s pissed. Of course, she’s pissed. When they say “Get a job!” they really mean just get off welfare, Medicaid/Medicare and food stamps. They don’t want disabled people to actually work because then a company “has to hire the handicapped.” They just don’t want their taxes going to help people who one day were just minding their business when a truck ran a red light and slammed into them.

What people like Owens do is putting the fault of the disability on the disabled. It’s typical because people do it all the time, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. Or they bring up “God’s punishment” for a reason. Something you did earlier in life that God is punishing you for. Or if it’s something you’re born with, it’s something your parents did so God can punish them. I mean, look at the way they parade military around like they all deserve to be hoisted up, just don’t give them help when an IED blows part of their body limbs off.

All this is ableism. It’s a bunch of narcissistic bullshit from people who got to find everything they don’t agree with, everything they don’t think is perfect and comment on it. And why the hell is wrong with an advertisement? They’re not exploiting young children sexually. There’s no animal abuse in an advertisement. It’s just women who don’t look like they’re anorexic. Oh, my God! What a fucking nightmare!

Maybe Owens is mad because like Dash, there’s someone else out there getting more attention as a model. Ironically, she gave Skims more publicity than they could ever have asked for. While some people may have stayed away because Kardashian founded it, they may decide it’s time to see what they have available.

In the end, Owens’ comments have proven that conservatives and Republicans don’t want disabled people in this country. But she shouldn’t start a fight she doesn’t think she could win. Not that I wish her any harm (despite being an awful person who has kids), there might come a day when Owens can’t move around as much as she could. Our bodies wear out and mobility becomes limited. She wouldn’t like someone talking about her the way she speaks.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: