“The petition you are trying to access has expired, because it failed to meet the signature threshold.”
If you follow this link to the petition created to enlist President Obama in the case of Ethan Saylor you will find those words. Three days ago, on May 3rd the petition failed with 2,000 signatures rather than the 100,000 required. At 100,000 signatures the President would have been required to at the very least respond to the request “to direct the FBI to investigate whether civil rights violations and/or police brutality caused the death of Ethan Saylor”.
Can you imagine that? We have a forum that allows us to petition the President of the United States to listen to us. President Obama is the Tippy-Top. He is The Man.
As global citizens we are in the minority of humans who have some access to advocacy assistance. For many people in the world equal rights is a pipe dream. A never-gonna-happen-sort-of-thing. On those days you feel done in by the grind of signing one more petition remember you are lucky.
Heads up – Activism is a privilege.
Just ask 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai from Afghanistan.
A rape victim in India who is imprisoned instead of her rapist.
A child miner in the DR of Congo.
A child solider in Uganda.
Basically – you know you are in a world of shit if you are dependent on Madonna, Sting or Yoko Ono to help bail you out.
FYI – Civil rights movements are work.
If you are in favor of equality for people with Down syndrome expect something will be required of you. (A petition may be the least of it.)
I have access to the backstory of this most recent human rights movement for people with Down syndrome. What I know and you should too. (Insert Guilt Trip here):
The parents who are on the front line of this struggle are not just fighting for their own children’s equality but your kid, too. They are doing this as volunteers. They are doing it with not just kids who get sick but ‘sick kids’. There are surgeries, hospital and doctor visits, nursing babies, childrearing, arguing with school officials, figuring out how to pay the bills, school and home schooling, and work. They are negotiating with partners on how much time they can spend writing press releases, creating petitions, posting, blogging and Twittering (Tweeting? I can never remember).
So, it is totally super lame if you think, “I can’t sign another petition.”
“I don’t want to bother my friends or family”.
“I don’t want to bum everyone out.”
“I don’t want to think about it.”
You know when you get a pass on signing a petition – when your BFF is Madonna. There’s your pass. (Actually her star seems to be waning. Make that Mister Likeability George Clooney.)
Do you really think your family, friends or acquaintances will be shocked that you need help in creating a world that accepts your child with Ds? Trust me, they will not be shocked.
Were 100,000 signatures too ambitious of a goal for us as parents to champion the civil rights of Ethan Saylor? We all held our breath while we read the details of that day and thought he could be our kid. And – not because they act all ‘Downsy’ but because our children are seen as Less-Than-People.
For this to work it will take all of us – and our families, friends, co-workers, bosses, acquaintances, mail carriers, hair dressers, dog catchers…
If you would like another chance to demonstrate your precious freedom sign this petition that calls on Maryland’s top law enforcement official, Douglas F. Gansler, to demand an independent investigation into Ethan Saylor’s death.
163 signatures needed as of today. Are you up to that?