Wrong Roadblock

May 04, 1991

We sympathize with disabled activists upset over the federal government's refusal to help handicapped citizens live at home. That policy is financially wrong-headed (it is far cheaper to provide home care for these individuals than forcing them into nursing homes and hospitals) and socially unacceptable.

But their actions this week in blocking a busy intersection near Social Security headquarters near Woodlawn for two days at rush hour were counter-productive. They won no new allies for their crusade. Instead, they alienated thousands of inconvenienced workers and drivers who were infuriated by their tactics.

No one who was forced to wait hours in the roadways could do anything to change the situation the disabled are protesting. These activists need to focus their protests where they can do some good: at the doors of congressmen, the secretary of Health and Human Services and at the White House. Trying to punish innocent federal workers and ordinary drivers is unfair and bound to create hard feelings. The disabled were blocking the wrong roads.

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