As Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder has been a busy, busy man - attempting to prosecute the intelligence officials who helped find Osama bin Laden, protecting the rights of the New Black Panthers to intimidate white voters at the polls, doing his best to bring terrorist "show trials" to New York, filing lawsuits against states which try to enforce immigration laws or prevent voter fraud, and shipping guns to Mexican drug cartels to use in spectacular, blood-drenched massacres. No wonder he's had no time to look into the massive number of high-level security leaks coming out of the Whitehouse!
But Mr. Holder has found time for an issue more important than any of those listed above. And that critical issue is, of course, "disability etiquette."
No, no - we're serious! Mr. Holder just made a speech in recognition of Disability Awareness Month in which he declares that all DOJ employees are now going to receive training on the government's new "disability etiquette" protocol which is filled with helpful tips for interacting with the differently abled.
For instance, the government says when speaking to blind people, “don't be afraid to use common expressions that refer to sight, such as, ‘See you later.’” Although it's still wrong to say that you're "keeping an eye out" for Peter Falk movies, and highly questionable to say "Hi, good lookin!" to a woman swinging a white cane.
The government tells us that you shouldn't lean on someone's wheelchair (and who hasn't wanted to do that?) - especially if that "someone" is Stephen Hawking, because his computer voice will insult you with polysyllabic words you don't even begin to understand.
Additionally, you should not refer to a person with a psychiatric disorder as "crazy," or buy any quick-drying liquid adhesive unless it's sensitively labeled as "Psychiatric Disorder Glue."
And if you encounter a man with no arms and no legs, it is absolutely inappropriate to snicker and ask if his name is Bob, Art, or Matt. Although if he's crawling on the furniture, no one could possibly blame you for asking, "Are you Dustin?"
The list of government "disability etiquette" tips goes on and on - every syllable paid for with precious tax dollars despite the fact we're in a crippled economy. Or, um, a differently abled economy.
In all seriousness, Hope n' Change likes a lot of the suggestions on the list because we believe in mainstreaming people with disabilities and breaking down the social barriers which can hinder and stigmatize their lives. No one should be defined by their disability - period.
And to be perfectly fair, we don't expect Holder to invest too much of the DOJ's time on disability etiquette, because he'll soon be assigning DOJ personnel to more urgent matters. Like filing hundreds of lawsuits to challenge the election results when Mitt Romney wins the election.
Black people, however, can still tell this joke.