Uganda Activist Thanks America for Obama!

Posted on 11 November 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Email Obama! | Tags: , |

An international activist from Uganda, Ambrose Murangira, writes the following email on why he thanks the people of America for Obama. Both Deaf people and people with disabilities from around the world have been sending emails like this one to US President-elect Barack Obama. These emails congratulate him–and also remind him of his many responsibilities to Deaf people across the United States and people with disabilities in all corners of the globe. Read the Call to Action to learn more about how YOU can become involved in the global campaign to reach out to Obama.

Ambrose Murangira said …
This email was sent to my friends on 4th November 2hours after Obama’s acceptance Speech. Read it NOW. YES WE CAN make disability history!

Dear Friends (especially Americans with or without disabilities),

Today, i am tempted to write on Sen. Obama’s victory and its implication to Americans with Disabilities in particular and PWDs in general (world-wide). Many scholars and some politicians have been questioning why the international community was fondly behind Obama’s presidency. They argued that nothing different will happen outside America but when i tasked some of them to distinguish between Obama’s and McCain’s foreign policies they could not. Now, its a defining moment and the world is watching America. Early this morning at his victory celebration in Chicago, Obama was quoted as saying;

“If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,”

“Young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, Americans have sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of red states and blue states,” he said. “We have been and always will be the United States of America”.

Therefore, my attention has been paid to the second quotation – Its a hope for a reason and a reason for hope -Its about us – we, individuals with disabilities. When i read it, i cried tears of joy. It is not a secret, America is superpower… Its like a heart of the world. Meaning that a better America is a better world. A month ago, i was paid by Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC for their failure to fix TTY (phone for hearing impaired people) in my hotel room. This partly explains that a better America is a better place for everyone. Sen. Obama’s own foreign policies tells us all. You are also reminded that disability is one of the Obama’s top priorities – focusing on early intervention! You will also recall that Sen. Obama played a key role in the formulating and approval of various regulations relating to disability…

So what? Since Sen. (now President-Elect) Obama promised change which is already in America… Let AWDs tell him to change whatever disable them because they are Americans first – so that America can send a message to the World as he has stated it early today. Tell him that all his support nationally and internationally should be inclusive… Your voices counted in this historical elections so let us demand for change in our lives too. The most important thing is to watch closely to any changes and ensure that all the changes made are inclusive – No Person is to be Left Behind! The International community (beneficiaries of US government support) will also demand for change wherever its necessary and that change must not only be necessary but it must be sufficient to the needs of PWDs…

Just few points for today! Americans: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU A BILLION TIMES, THANK YOU for choosing Obama.

My best regards,

Ambrose Murangira,
International Disability Activist,
Kampala,
UGANDA



Thank you to Ambrose Murangira for granting permission to post his letter at this blog. A global campaign is under way to urge Deaf people and people with disabilities, our loved ones, colleagues, and other allies to send emails to Obama. These emails are an opportunity in part to thank him for mentioning people with disabilities in his election-night speech. They also are an opportunity to increase the visibility of Deaf people and people with disabilities within Obama’s administration. People are writing emails from across the United States and around the world. Learn more about the international Call To Action and how YOU can participate at http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/

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One Response to “Uganda Activist Thanks America for Obama!”

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Hi Andrea!

Great letter, that is what is also written in my thoughts about “everyone’s victory”. I have been thinking what will we as Deaf and Hoh people, also as an ASL linguistic minority group do to catalyze the change. To be truthful I kinda do struggle with envisioning it perhaps because things have been changing so rapidly. I am more close to thinking about Deaf – Hoh people including ASL signers will start fostering good relationship their own education legislators and keep on educating them about importance of supporting ASL – English education for Deaf and Hoh children.

I think we should persuade just few important goals that will bring significant changes we need.

Regarding ADA, jobs, and communication support services, I think they are also part of goals, that is to keep them constantly funded. The DOJ really need more fund for ADA people to be able to enforce the law well, it has not lately. I am yet to see how well ADA reactment is working.

I would like to see more funding for public awareness about us, it needs to move up to mass media as possible. Short savvy films and ads by Deaf film makers should be broadcasted on t.v. and on Internet. Even they should be recruited to create film footage of whatever not necessarily relevant but just show themselves being part of the society. I would like to see them being portrayed as equal going around with ease without trying to show how they ought be successfully mainstreamed in the hearing environment. It is same thing as Native Americans living well with education and jobs both in their own provision or go with the rest without necessarily lose their deserved heritage. This is how we can reframe ourselves and also for other exceptional people.

Anne Marie


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