There was a fairly striking story at the News and Record website this morning.
Rev. William Barber used to lead the state NAACP and later formed his own national civil rights organization. He visited a movie theater earlier this week in eastern North Carolina where he resides.
Barber is morbidly obese; and the article states he also has ankylosing spondylitis– an arthritis-like condition. He brought his own chair to the theater because he states he has difficulty arising from a low seated position. The article does not specify if it was a wheelchair. The theater staff prevented him from bringing in the chair.
Then it became a media story. Barber was twice a victim– first because he is a disabled person who was refused reasonable accommodation, and implicitly also because he is black. The article makes sure to point out that the theater broke the law because he was not accommodated.
Remain mindful that these theaters are nearly always staffed with kids who are not necessarily going to know what to do when an atypical situation presents itself. The critical mission, however, was to paint Barber as victimized regardless of what the situation might have been. There is an unmistakable air of entitlement that hovers around this story. Barber and his supporters within the media obviously feel he was entitled to be treated differently.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is an unconstitutional federal law. It far exceeds the limited powers granted to the federal government under the Constitution. It was passed during the early 1990’s with a major assist from establishment Republican Senator Bob Dole. (Sometimes the Republicans act like socialists just like the Democrats). This is a bill that never should have passed at the federal level. We can have a conversation as to whether North Carolina should have a similar law, and what it should contain– but it was completely inappropriate and illegal to pass it in Washington.
Years ago, Barber and his foot soldiers occupied the North Carolina State Capitol, created a disturbance and made huge amounts of noise to prevent Republicans from passing certain legislation. You see, he is a victim.