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25th Anniversary of the ADA graphic

Reflections on ADA at 25: Doing Justice

Bob Williams

Equal justice is never gained by
Dead letters on parchment,
Half promises,
Lofty goals or arcane procedures.

Equal justice is done by
You and I.
We, the People.

The living and the dead.
The remembered and the forgotten.

And, most of all,
The invisible hearts, minds and souls
We can never know.

On the battlefield,
The day room of a living hell,

In a job no one else will do.

Enduring injustice
Out of sight, out of mind.
Until someone says, enough is enough.

Out in the streets,
In urine soaked sheets.
In legal briefs, Congressional hearings,
In your town and mine
In page after page of diary entries,

Crawling up the marble steps of the Capitol.

Petitioning, protesting and questioning.
Always questioning.

Flying in the face of long established dictum.
Jurisprudence and so called science.

Serving up notice
Inequality abroad in our land must end.

Immigrants to Freedom, all.

We shatter the silence
Discrimination, hate,
Violence and indifference
Require to corrode.

Demanding Equal Justice under Law.

Laying bare the truth, the whole truth,
And, nothing but the truth.

Disability is not a badge of inferiority.
Or, license to be regarded as less than.

That, rather, like all the supposed fault lines ----

Age, creed, gender, ethnicity,
Race, sexual orientation. . .

It is a piece of our shared
And sacred humanity.

With all the laws,
All the gains, we press forward.

For equality of opportunity is not fated.
And, justice is not fixed.
They must be hard won.

Again and again.
By you and I.
We, the People.

Creating the American Dream Anew.