Social Leprocy: Poor, Disabled, and Useless in America

When the judge asked the man about his depression, he simply began to weep, saying nothing. Yet, the judge needed further empirical proof of disability to award this man the money he needed to survive. To feed himself, to buy decent clothes and to have shelter as well as medical care. The simple qualities which are overlooked everyday by the middle class majority.

The U.S. was born on the notion that the “American Dream” of having success, money and a family was the core of being American, more importantly the reason for living. But those who are born without the health, proper mental state are seen as creatures this country has to put up with. When a person cannot work, cannot bring the goods to the table, they are marked as lazy, good for nothing scabs, and have to prove within every ounce of their impaired body that they cannot function as well as “normal.” The man in the example was suffering from thoughts of sadness, hoplesness, yet still needed approval by “your honor” to live as well as he could.

But as the lepers were treated in the days of Jerusalem, so the disabled in the Twenty-first century are simply shun away, given enough food, shelter and clothing so that they do not starve or freeze to death. The rest of society does not care enough to support them, or to listen and help them be productive in their own way. Those who make the American living, are too consumed with the wealth and health of their lives to notice. The man in the three piece suit walking downtown, talking into his sidekick will more than likely ignore the man in ratty clothes, running down the street screaming. “Crazy man”, he would mutter as he continued to walk by.

While our country strives to feed the poor in foreign countries around the world, we fail to realize that there is a third world society in our own backyard. There are millions of disabled barely scraping by on food stamps and SSI, yet this nation continues to brush it off, with the “pull em up by the bootstraps” mentality.

It should be time to stop ignoring. The “scabs” of the system will not go away. They will not wake up one day in their Section 8 homes and be “healed”. The social lepers of this society need to be seen as equal as any “normal, healthy” person. After all, skin, bones, hearts and minds are all built with the same material; and the quality of the organs should not determine the measure of being human.

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