Thursday, November 20, 2008

Popular Discrimination

The other day, Tiff and I were running errands. We spotted a place to park when Tiff said "Oh, wait, that's a handicapped spot".

What? Did she really just say that? My girlfriend?

That's when I realized, almost all of us are guilty of a widespread and continuing act of discrimination: against parking spaces that we've deemed "handicapped".

I asked Tiff why she would say such a thing. "What right do we have to claim superiority over these perfectly good parking places?"

I've been thinking about this for a while now. Whenever I go into parking lots, I now look for the handicapped spots. It's a sad sight. There they are, usually sticking close to each other, probably as a method of comforting each other. They even tend to congregate as close as they can to the entrance of whatever building they happen to be near, as if to say "Hey, look at us, we're so close to where you want to go, you can totally park here!". And yet, I watch car after car ignore these misunderstood spots.

For as long as I can remember, it's only been handicapped people that have dared to park in these spots that society has said they should park in. Because they're different than us. But you know what? Handicapped people are just people. And handicapped parking places are just parking places. I don't see disabilities any more than Stephen Colbert sees color. I've decided that I will lead by example, parking in these perfectly functional parking places. I for one will not be perpetutaing the myth that these spaces are somehow less able to accommodate my needs than any of the other spaces which we've deemed fit for the masses. And in so doing, I'm also saying to handicapped people "Hey, I'm just like you. Why don't you go on ahead and park in another spot, because today, I'm handicapped too. We all are."

I think one day I will be seen as a hero to the handicapped for my brave actions. We could all be heroes though. We just have to treat handicapped parking spots the same as we would any other parking spot. Together, we can eliminate this overlooked act of discrimination.


  1. you should be writing for a newspaper or magazine...
    there is something about the way you write...
    i shall enjoy reading your blog...

    your #1 fan... marjorie

  2. a crusader, a visionary, a true american hero.
    i salute you.

  3. As will handicapped people. But not the ones without arms or hands...