John Osterlind- The Mentally Handicapped Making Fun of The Physically Handicapped

Feb 4, 2010 by

So the other day there was evidently a protest on St. Charles Ave. A protest about the lack of disabled access for the streetcars. As should be no surprise many of the people out there were wheelchair bound, something I can relate to. You see I spent a good deal of my youth in leg braces, on crutches, and in a wheelchair. You might say I’m a bit invested in the issue even though I’ve been running around under my own power since Children’s Hospital fixed my legs.

John Osterlind could use a few weeks in a wheelchair. WRNO’s snarky little pundit delivered the following wonderful diatribe about the demonstration, so let’s start there:

So the streetcar is older than “handicapped people,” eh? That one is so stupid as to not even require a response.

“Give ’em a chain or rope and have them tie it to the back bumper, Brewster.” Charming, just charming.

Mr. Osterlind, your sort of primitive worldview is something New Orleans does not have any need of. Obviously you have no relatives that are wheelchair bound, nor do you seem to have any conception of what it entails to be disabled (physically that is, your mental handicaps are glaringly obvious).

It must be mighty freeing to have no sympathy for those less fortunate than yourself. I’m sure it takes an amazing weigh off of your shoulders. Of course it often seems that those who have not undergone trials in their lives are the ones with the least ability to empathize.

The view of the world while sitting in a wheelchair is radically different. The things that others take for granted often take a great deal of effort and are many times beyond your reach. People tend to grin nervously as they try to hide the fact that you make them uncomfortable.  Any trip beyond the house is fraught with extra logistics and concerns, and the time it takes is much longer. These are the little things, the day to day things that you get used to. Much like the places that you cannot go, which is why these protesters were mobilized.

Now I don’t pretend to know how possible it is to refit the streetcars, which are on the historic register and so cannot, in all probability, be changed. What I do know is that there is no venue appropriate for remarks like Osterlind’s. Frankly I don’t believe he should be on the air bloviating and spreading his bile, but it is a free country. By the same token you, dear readers, are also free. Free to call WRNO and let them know this is unacceptable. Free to blog about this hate speech and stir up the trouble Osterlind so richly deserves.

When I hear this tripe it makes me think back to the late 1970s,  to the year at Children’s Hospital where the only parade I saw was Toth (because they  go by the hospitals on their route). It makes me think of all the others who did not have the advantage of experimental surgery. It reminds me of when my life was like this:

Osterlind, you are a wonderful example of everything that is wrong with the ranting right these days.  May your career be short and end with scandal.

If you would like to tell this moron what you think of streetcars being older than handicapped people, or any of his other pithy comments please contact WRNO directly. I think complaints to the program director might be a good place to start…. [ EDIT: Paul Greenberg from Greenberg Rants suggests the following direct email addy for the station’s general manager: [email protected] -Loki]

-Loki,  HumidCity Founder

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