Shawn Murinko is the state Department of Transportation's ADA compliance officer and serves as a commissioner on the state Human Rights Commission. A member of The Olympian's Diversity Panel, Murinko, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, can be reached at email@example.com.
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This is my final column as a member of The Olympian's Diversity Panel, and what an experience it has been. Sharing my thoughts on issues for which I have strong convictions is an opportunity that a wordy and opinionated person, like me, can only dream of.
The constant barrage of political ads that filled the airwaves and our mailboxes has ceased for a while, only to return much quicker than most of us would like.
It might be hard to believe, but for the first 10 years of my life, it didn't even occur to me that I was any different than my peers.
Before writing this month's column, I made a pledge to myself. This month's column was going to be different. I'm not going to point fingers or lecture. I'm not going to exploit this space in order to expose all of the many societal ills that seem to pervade our culture. Lastly, and perhaps most significant to me, I'm going to avoid altogether the quicksand I have come to know as political correctness.
July 26 marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of The Americans with Disabilities Act. I'm constantly amazed by the parade of bewildered looks I get when I remind folks how old The ADA is. I'd like to think this response is a symptom of the fact that as we get older, time's ever-present gap gets shorter. While this may be true in some cases, I've also come to realize that it's an often all-too-convenient excuse to plead the cause of ignorance in exchange for equality.
I think we all have a little of Goldie Locks in us. We're looking for the porridge to be just right and I am no exception. In fact, looking, at the calendar these days doesn't help me much in fighting against my penchant for complaining - I feel deceived.
I've been thinking a lot about my grandpa lately.
My cursor blinks as though it is a window into the future. With each topic I've addressed in this column, I've been able to predict, with astounding accuracy, the volume of online comments, which will be posted on The Olympian's Web site in response.
Myths are convenient. They often tell the kind of story which either helps us explain the unexplainable or give us a hero to believe in. Our history books are littered with these illustrations.