Tricomo’s Candidacy Statement
In the September issue, we printed statements from the four Minnesota candidates for Senate. As that issue went to press, the Green Party replaced Ed McGaa with Ray Tricomo (after the primary). In the interest of fairness, we presented Candidate Tricomo with the same opportunity to speak to the disability community. Here is his statement, reproduced as received:
My dear relatives,
One of the great tradgeties, which will be our society’s undoing, provided we don’t surgically do away with, is the habit of labeling people. In doing so, they become stigmatized & limated. A society such as ours which has always been in the fast lane has fallen into the habit of marginalizing a whole range of people from the overweight to people in wheel chairs. As a result of spoken & unspoken bigotry, we cannot begin to calculate the damage, the loss of productivity, & the loss of possibility for the evolution of all of us. There are those few who have been mislabeled “disabled” who have achieved monumentally, & we all know who we are. I am a student & advocate of indigenous teachings. One of the things I learned many years ago was that, in healthy tribal cultures, blind people are not only not babysat, but more is also required of them. For example, the best drum maker or tracker in the village may be a blind person. My relatives, I’m saying all of that to say this: it ought to be the goal of every disabled person in society to be an integral part of society. As a blind person, I am more than a little troubled by the prospect of a kind of “dissability’s ghetto” or the use of such terms as “dissability’s culture.” Over 20 years ago, I broke with an acquaintance of mine over this very issue. As citizens of society, we must not trap ourselves in a one-issue lifetime. We must be renaissance women & men. Of course I support the ADA & other measures designed to make life possible for everyone with their respective disabilities. But let us look to the day when we won’t have to deal with labels or the discrimination those labels make possible.
Yours in the struggle,
Brother Ray Tricomo