Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Laramie at
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
by Laramie Boyd
A place for intelligent readers
2013 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
I'm sure there are certain groups of people in our country that we could agree deserve
to be accommodated in certain circumstances, to not be discriminated against, to have exceptions made for them. Some of the groups
that come to mind include handicapped parking passes for the crippled, books in braille for the blind, earphones for the hard of hearing
at theaters and plays. Few would argue strenuously against these adjustments for the comfort of the handicapped. In the field of education,
often teachers are asked to do special reading aloud for a select few hard of hearing pupils, extending time allowed for assignment
completion and taking of exams for "special" learning ability students. But there is a gray area for who should and who shouldn't
be treated with special treatment based on their particular situation. Should an applicant for a job be hired before a more qualified
applicant just because they are of a certain race? Should two people be allowed to get "married", with all the benefits thereof, just
because they are homosexual or lesbian and happen to be the same sex? Should golfers be allowed to join Private Male Country Clubs
simply because they are women and feel discriminated against?
How far should this country
go in accommodating, in what some call giving "special favors?" Esther J. Cepeda , a Washington Post columnist, has a thought on the
subject. For example, in Tempe, Arizona, a housing complex was designed especially for deaf and hard of hearing senior citizens. Good
idea, right? But the complex is under attack because they are "favoring" deaf and hard- of- hearing people over and above people with
no hearing disabilities, or in some cases no disabilities at all. In other words, the complex is discriminating against the healthy.
In another case of accommodation, an Oregon policeman was fired for driving drunk in an
unmarked police car while off duty. The officer is suing for $6 million claiming the Police Department violated his rights under the
Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA, as alcoholism is a disease in the eyes of the ADA. A lawyer for the plaintiff in the case
argues that as with any disability or disease, the Police Department should have made some kind of effort to "accommodate" or to "work
with", that is give special favors to the drunken officer, instead of simply firing him.
Esther J. Cepeda believes we are living in an Accommodation Nation where the only people who won't get special favors are those who
speak out against the notion that everyone is entitled to special treatment. Sometimes it seems that the courts will uphold almost
any argument in favor of a person's right to justify their actions, either in violation of or by simply putting a spin on the spirit
of a law.