Anti-Trumpcare disabled Activist to Ted Cruz: You Will Not Feast On Our Living Flesh! (VIDEO)

Indivisible Houston held an Anti-Trumpcare protest against Ted Cruz at his Houston, Texas downtown office.

Several dozen community members showed up with signs, testimonials, and speeches. Maria R. Palacios, a disabled woman in a wheelchair, wrote a poem/essay that excelled in the perspective it provided. She closed her essay with a prescient statement that encapsulates the state of the healthcare debate on the left. I took the liberty to modify a couple of words to relay the parallel. At least regular vultures wait until final demise, but the political kind with promoting policies like Trumpcare will eat us alive unless they see the torch of our advocacy well lit and burning hot with the flame of activism.

It is clear that the Graham-Cassidy instantiation of Trumpcare was a disaster. Trump is vowing to bring it back up for reconciliation next year. Activists cannot go to sleep. Americans must stay alert.

Maria R. Palacios at Indivisible Hoiston’s Anti-Trumpcare rally

Maria R. Palacios’ essay follows.

You Will Not Feast On Our Living Flesh!
 by Maria R. Palacios

We are here today because
 although, yet again,
 we won another battle,
 we are still at war.
 We are still in danger.

The predators
 who tried to scratch Medicaid
 out of the fabric of our American rights
 are still out there,
 sharpening their claws
 and plotting another attack
 on the lives of disabled people –on the lives
 of some of our most vulnerable citizens who,
 without Medicaid,
 are sentenced to death
 or to a life of segregation –a life
 of institutions
 where real solutions are thrown away
 as if our disabled lives did not matter.

But we do matter. Our lives are not
 for wealthy politicians to throw away.
 Our lives, our bodies, our healthcare rights
 do not belong
 to them
 no matter how disposable
 they may see as to be
 through their lens of indifference…
 through their lens of able-bodied privilege
 that leads them to believe
 they have the right
 to take our rights away.

That’s why we are here today…
 because we know that unless we continue
 to raise our voices,
 they will believe they have silenced us.
 We are here today because we want them to know
 they cannot and WILL NOT silence us!
 our voices and our chants
 will continue to be heard,
 and we will go ahead and keep fighting –fighting
 for the right to exist as we all resist
 and speak up.
 and look up
 because we
 the disabled
 the crippled
 the handicapped
 or whatever other label you want to slap
 over our differences, WE
 will keep coming back.
 We will keep fighting for our lives
 because for us, this fight means that.

For many disabled people, it means the difference
 between living and dying!
 Without Medicaid, many disabled lives are thrown away,
 or thrown in a hole and buried alive, and our rights are swept
 under the rug of bigotry and ableism.
 But the truth is,
 no matter how hard they try to extinguish us,
 how much they may try to eliminate us, or change us
 into something we’re not,
 no matter how hard they may try, they will never succeed.
 disabled people will always exist because nobody,
 and I mean NOBODY,
 is immune to disability.

Disability is part of life
 whether we like it or not.
 One day, they, too, will be like us.
 But despite this truth,
 WE, the disabled people they are trying to kill,
 cannot sit around and wait
 for life’s natural course
 to lead them into the awareness of our rights.
 So we continue to fight,
 and we continue to share
 our truths.
 Our advocacy never rests because we know
 the minute it does, the vultures in political power
 who pretend to care about our disabled lives
 will hover over us
 and tear the flesh out of our healthcare rights.
 At least regular vultures wait
 until final demise,
 but the political kind will eat us alive
 unless they see the torch of our advocacy
 well lit
 and burning hot
 with the flame of activism.

Originally published at