In the last few weeks there have been a lot of stories in the media of small business owners fined under the ADA asking in court “but I own my business why do I have to let the disabled in?” This amazes me, the republicans scream “were Christians” “bring the bible back to America” The Manhattan chamber of commerce has weekly prayer breakfasts and by all reports they’re standing room only, now I am so far from a believer in 900 year old men and carpenters born from virgins no one on earth could accuse me of being a Christian but that’s not the point.
The point is this if you claim you have “Jesus in your life” and you are ever muttering the words “I own my business why do I have to let the disabled in? “you’re not a Christian you’re a fucking hypocrite. When did we as a people become so money grubbing and hypocritical that we can sit in church on Sunday and yell praise the lord and hear readings from the good book like “where three or more are gathered in my name I too am there” and “he who but refuses but one of mine refuses me” then you cross yourself get up leave. Then on monday kick the wheelchair using public out of your store and yell to hell with them my lawyer will beat the wrap?.
In this holiday season if you have a chance to be truly in the spirit, to be compassionate and all it takes is a compliant store, a ramp or a flat entrance, aisles uncluttered and a fine line of letting the disabled know you’re there if they need you but never assuming were helpless. I have built restaurants and cafes, they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and a lot of cement gets poured, the floor costs tens of thousands to pour but I asked a contractor recently and to pour a basic compliant ramp cost less than 3,000 dollars a small variance and you in Manhattan alone will attract the business of 60,000 wheelchair users.
We’re not just talking about businesses, I recently went to a ballet recital of adaptive dancers in wheelchairs and the ramp was a sheet of plywood over milk crates and they saw no problem. This just comes down to whether you’re Christian or Hasidic or atheist nothing says you can’t be decent, that you can’t be compassionate basically that you can’t be human, try it , it doesn’t hurt infact you might just feel good.
Don’t be like the dress boutique on Broadway and 11th in the village when I asked if they wheelchair access he sighed, looked over the top of his crossword book and said “HMMM maybe there’s a message for you in the fact that we don’t” to which I replied “oh the message is clear you’re an uncaring bastard”.