Meg Casey
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"Most Able Disabled"

Meg Casey's handicapped issues column

Rude handicapped bastards

Meg Casey
January 5, 1983

Dear Meg, What do you do when you meet a person with an obvious handicap who is obnoxious and rude? If you tell them off, like you would someone else who isn’t handicapped, people think you’re a louse.

Z.Z.

Dear Z.Z.

Sealing with obnoxious and rude people is always an unpleasant occurrence. Every once in a while one manages to get under your skin just right and you simply can’t resist the impulse to turn around, roll up your sleeves and go after a little piece of your own back from them. At other times the Christian practice of "turning the other cheek" conveniently becomes the furthest thing from your mind and you tell yourself that you’ll deal with the guilt … later!

How utterly frustrating after having turned a blind eye on your conscience to spin and find your fury about to be vented on a foe who even after being placed on a box only stands as high a your belt buckle … or they’re sitting in a wheelchair … or struggling with a pair of crutches. And you think you’ve got problems? Well, what are you going to do tough guy? Now what do you do with all of that venom you’ve sputtering with in your mouth? Well, I’ll tell you a secret. Handicapped people can be bastards too! It is our right to be a deserving of a punch in the nose as the next guy! If after all factors have been considered, you’re still right and they’re wrong, then let them have it.

I won’t continue to make light of the situation because, in all seriousness, While I never recommend fisticuffs to settle a situation, I’m a firm believer in putting someone in their place when they need it. Regardless of the equality of the opposing sizes, sometimes it has to be done. It is up to you to judge your particular predicament and assess if your righteous attitude is worth a public scene. (Also check if it is physically safe to do it. They may be bigger!)

While it is true that person may have to deal with the hardships of a disability they are not given a special license to excuse them from exercising good manners. We are not talking parking permits here; we are talking about conducting one's self in a civilized way towards others.

There is a difference between having a Christian attitude and setting one's self up as a sucker. To allow an obnoxious person to get away with stomping all over your rights and feelings is ridiculous. To allow it for the sole reason that that person has a handicapped is pity. In this age of everyone fighting for their own equality, give people like this the respect everyone wants and let them feel your anger. Show them another facet of what the word equality means from person who practices it.

They may have been waiting other life for someone to put up a good fight for change.

So, the next time you find a deserving situation, "Give ‘em hell, Harry!"

You just may teach them a lesson, whether they are handicapped or not. Next time they’ll pick on someone their own size!


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photographs and other content courtesy of the Casey family unless noted
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originally published 1982 to 1985 in the Milford Citizen newspaper
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