Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities gets voted downin the Senate

Well, I'd intended to talk about communication barriers today, but something came up yesterday that I think needs discussion: The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Oh, and welcome back to the blog, Rick Santorum. I would have preferred, honestly, that you'd just kept your mouth shut in the wake of the US Senate voting yesterday to reject the UN's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, especially after already speaking out so firmly against it at a press conference (disabled daughter in tow, I might add), but I guess that you couldn't resist a chance to get the last word in.

For those who aren't familiar with the Convention on the the Rights of People with Disabilities, the "Washington Post" summed it up very nicely on Dec. 2: "The Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, which the George W. Bush administration negotiated and signed in 2006, is modeled in large part on the Americans With Disabilities Act, which President George H.W. Bush signed in 1990. It would not require the United States to change its laws, but ratification would give Americans the standing to lobby other nations to follow the U.S. lead and to offer help to those who want to do so. It’s been signed by 154 countries and ratified by 124."

Rick Santorum Speaks out...Again...on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

As I said, Santorum voiced his objections to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at a recent press conference. Which is why I guess he felt compelled to voice them again in a piece on "The Daily Beast" news website this morning:

When I read this, all I read is extremist right-wing paranoia about how signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a document meant to say "I will work with other countries to ensure that disabled people all over the world have the same rights as non-disabled people" will somehow take away from the US government's ability to do what it needs to and the freedom of the  US people to live as they want and parent their children in the way that they choose.

Senator Santorum, Meet Me At Camera Three

I'm sorry, Senator Santorum, but the US is not the "world leader when it comes to protecting the disabled". (Neither is Canada, in my opinion, in case anyone thinks I'm trying to set up my own country up to take that honour). I read about what goes on in your country. I read about the "support" that your disabled veterans get when they come home. I've read stories about people in wheelchairs need being able to physically get into emergency shelters when they've needed to. I know that there isn't a policy regarding physical restraint in your schools, and that children with disabilities have been locked in closets and have electric shock used on them as discipline. I know that the Massachusetts  government not only knows about the electric shock treatment used on the children at the Judge Rotenberg Centre, but have allowed it to continue despite the concerns of parents and the community.

So, with all due respect, don't give me "world leader when it comes to protecting the disabled".

I don't doubt for one second that you love your daughter. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is not about taking power away from you. It's about a pledge of support from the world to give something vitally important to her. No one is trying to hurt you.

I don't want anything to do with you, frankly. But I think that your kids deserve the best chance they can get, including Bella.

When the time comes around again to vote on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, please think about how it can fit into everything that I *know* you're doing to make sure that she gets the best chance she can get.


  1. Actually, made me ashamed to be an American, The failure to ratify the treaty was a product of a false nationalism, isolationism, and disdain the the U.N....the radical religious right spread lies about sped parents losing their rights to home education, services and sovereignty ...frankly, fear, paranoia, lies and bullshit. We are one earthm, one people, one community..are we not?

  2. I like your blog and check in.. (sorry, when I remember)..You discuss and bring forth very important issues..I appreciate it..I always seem to agree with your opinions..but we'll have to agree to disagree on this one..
    Politically, I'm a liberal from the very blue state of Massachusetts (a displaced Canadian!)..I have a severe mistrust about anything the UN does..especially when it comes to the rights of humans..even those without disablilities...
    However, I'm willing to re-read this topic and see if I missed something!
    thanks for covering this..

  3. Hi Mary

    Thanks for reading and commenting! It's always nice to hear from other Canadians, even displaced ones! :)

    I'm always glad to hear when people agree with me, but never shocked when they don't. My political leanings are pretty well-established, so obviously I'm coming at this with some bias - my dislike of Santorum, well-documented in this blog, being the least of it.

    And while I don't know the details of it, I do understand that there's some American mistrust of the UN outside of the extremist (to my mind) crowd with which Santorum runs.

    From what I read about the CPRD, it didn't merit the knee-jerk negative reaction that the GOP seemed to have to it. But please share sources if you do reading that suggests otherwise!