Indivisible Houston held an Anti-Trumpcare protest against Ted Cruz at his Houston, Texas downtown office.
Several dozen community members showed up with signs, testimonials, and speeches. Maria R. Palacios, a disabled woman in a wheelchair, wrote a poem/essay that excelled in the perspective it provided. She closed her essay with a prescient statement that encapsulates the state of the healthcare debate on the left. I took the liberty to modify a couple of words to relay the parallel. At least regular vultures wait until final demise, but the political kind with promoting policies like Trumpcare will eat us alive unless they see the torch of our advocacy well lit and burning hot with the flame of activism.
It is clear that the Graham-Cassidy instantiation of Trumpcare was a disaster. Trump is vowing to bring it back up for reconciliation next year. Activists cannot go to sleep. Americans must stay alert.
Maria R. Palacios at Indivisible Hoiston's Anti-Trumpcare rally
Maria R. Palacios' essay follows.
You Will Not Feast On Our Living Flesh!
by Maria R. Palacios
We are here today because although, yet again, we won another battle, we are still at war. We are still in danger.
The predators who tried to scratch Medicaid out of the fabric of our American rights are still out there, sharpening their claws and plotting another attack on the lives of disabled people –on the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens who, without Medicaid, are sentenced to death or to a life of segregation –a life of institutions where real solutions a thrown away as if our disabled lives did not matter. But we do matter. Our lives are not for wealthy politicians to throw away. Our lives, our bodies, our healthcare rights do not belong to them no matter how disposable
they may see as to be through their lens of indifference… through their lens of able-bodied privilege that leads them to believe they have the right to take our rights away.
That’s why we are here today… because we know that unless we continue to raise our voices, they will believe they have silenced us. We are here today because we want them to know they cannot and WILL NOT silence us! our voices and our chants will continue to be heard, and we will go ahead and keep fighting –fighting for the right to exist as we all resist
and speak up. Resist and look up because we the disabled the crippled the handicapped or whatever other labels you want to slap over our differences, WE will keep coming back. We will keep fighting for our lives because for us, this fight means that.
For many disabled people, it means the difference between living and dying! Without Medicaid, many disabled lives are thrown away, or thrown in a hole and buried alive, and our rights are swept under the rug of bigotry and ableism.
But the truth is, no matter how hard they try to extinguish us, how much they may try to eliminate us, or change us
into something we’re not, no matter how hard they may try, they will never succeed. disabled people will always exist because nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is immune to disability.
Disability is part of life whether we like it or not. One day, they, too, will be like us. But despite this truth, WE, the disabled people they are trying to kill, cannot sit around and wait for life’s natural course to lead them into the awareness of our rights. So we continue to fight, and we continue to share our truths.
Our advocacy never rests because we know the minute it does, the vultures in political power who pretend to care about our disabled lives will hover over us and tear the flesh out of our healthcare rights. At least regular vultures wait
until final demise, but the political kind will eat us alive unless they see the torch of our advocacy well lit
and burning hot with the flame of activism.
Also published on Medium.