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Presidents Newsbeat

Friday, May 13, 2016

WTOP.com: Racing FDR: Disaster or opportunity?

My suggestion is that the Nats race the Presidents before the game, then instruct the journalists to report that FDR sprinted to a convincing victory. Hey, it worked like a charm in the old days…

The WHHA [White House Historical Association] is currently celebrating each president in chronological succession with their annual White House ornaments. Last year, that meant Calvin Coolidge, who also appeared as the Racing President for the 2015 season. This year, that meant Herbert Hoover, or “Herbie.”

Aside from the actual mascot’s general creepiness, Hoover seemed at odds with the Rushmore Four and his other predecessors. Nevertheless, as unpopular and poor a President as he may have been, his selection follows in line with the WHHA’s process. All of which leads us to 2017.

Those well-versed in Presidential history already know where this is going. After Hoover drove the country into the Great Depression, America elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt the 32nd President of the United States. FDR was actually elected four straight terms (back before term limits) and was incredibly popular, known for his New Deal, and for his fireside chats, delivered to the nation via radio.

He was also in a wheelchair for most of his adult life. ...

There would be “absolutely nothing wrong with featuring a Racing President in a wheelchair,” said Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, the leading provider and promoter of adaptive sports and accessible recreation for children and adults with physical disabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

“If anything it can bring awareness to the fact that people with disabilities can be athletic in the same ways that able body individuals are,” he added.

Smith’s point might alleviate concerns over perceived insensitivity. A disabled Racing President winning races and competing on an even playing field with his peers could help facilitate a larger discussion and help normalize the stigma of disability in America. The CDC estimates that one in five Americans — 53 million — have a disability of some kind, while 2.2 million people in the U.S. depend on a wheelchair for basic mobility.

Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: May 13, 2016 at 06:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mascots, nationals, presidents

 

 

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