Advocates for the Disabled Taking Aim at Texas

A damning report released by the Statesman aimed at the leadership of Texas government reminds us all just how important human rights are, and why advocacy for the less fortunate is so vital. The article , uses language and terms such as the disabled being “warehoused in nursing homes,” or working under “slavery conditions” while citing several specific examples of individuals whose situations and experiences illuminate these accusations.

Advocates for many of these claimants argue that not only are the basic principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being violated, but that offenses from being paid less than fifty cents an hour to even the occurrence of death for mishandled situations have resulted from the poor at best, efforts to provide for and protect disabled citizens.

The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) levied charges against a Texas based turkey company, that are referred to in the Statesman report, in 2011. Yes, those alleged charges are from five years ago, which is one of the reasons why this story is so curious – these charges are still pending litigation.

In response, the State of Texas denies any wrong doing. It is presumably the failure to govern and police company practices that has the State of Texas under the spotlight at the moment. From the initial appearances, it seems somewhat apparent that the State did not with any particular malice put individuals in abusive or unfair positions. This is shaping up to be more of a case of neglect on the part of Texas, to ensure that the most needful of citizens are being taken care of in a manner that is both respectful and fair.

If these accusations and facts hold up, then it is unquestionably cruel and abusive treatment of the less fortunate. The hope is that perhaps this is a situation where policy and practices weren’t connected to people and lives. Sometimes the bottom line is seen without faces attached. It is almost evil to imagine people would intentionally hurt others in such a fashion. The level of abuse, the time it has taken to handle and litigate these charges in addition to who the alleged victims are will likely keep this issue from disappearing again.

This should result in answers, making right whatever it is that has been wrong and when the dust has settled, those neighbors, friends and loved ones will be treated as we all should be – with love, respect and dignity – for starters.