I was talking recently with a friend who was forced to resign her employment with a “humanitarian” organization some time ago. She is a woman over 40 years old and is physically challenged as far as her ability to walk, because of a stroke. Her manager began to assign tasks that forced her to walk around – tasks that blatantly defied her disability status and interfered with her ability to complete other tasks.

My friend’s blood pressure went up so high her doctor told her she had to get out of her work environment.

Harassment of/discrimination against humans with disabilities is illegal. Should this not be a given in the concept of humanitarianism?

A co-worker once asked me how I was able to cope with the racist and ageist assaults on me by management. My reply was, “I remind myself every day of all the people that were beaten, hosed and murdered just so I could get my big black foot in the door.”

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong,
as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging
seems all uphill,

When the funds are low
and the debts are high,

And you want to smile
but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you
down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit. …

Don’t give up,
though the pace seems slow.

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint
of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell

Just how close you are.

It may be near
when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight
when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst

that you must not quit.

— Anonymous

Thank goodness those people fighting for our civil rights did not give up.

Peggy Tarr

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...