For about 40 years, I reported and anchored the news on radio and television. It didn’t take me long to realize that certain groups were keen on using me to spread their message. And so, it has come to pass that the media provides a voice to those in power; those who need it the least. In 2018, I decided I would rather provide a platform for those who need a voice the most, but from whom we hear the least.
I think it’s a problem when a society as advanced as ours chooses not to include all of its members. We’ve come so far as a species when it comes to tools, technology and science. Today we’re inundated with conveniences and luxuries that are available to those who can afford them, or who are able-bodied, or who have white skin. We’re so laser-focused on learning the new features of the latest iteration of the iPhone, but we do nothing to learn the unresolved history behind our racial crisis or the unfair, but fixable obstacles faced by people with disabilities who want to contribute to our society.
Why has our society become so good at advancing non-human aspects and turned its back on advancing humanity? It’s a lose-lose: for those on the margins and for society as a whole. My documentaries give a voice to those people living on the margins of society, pushed and kept there by those in power who place more value in the advancement of machines than in the advancement of humanity. And yet, we have no idea of the value of the contributions that could be made by the people with disabilities or those of another race, religion or gender who are left out by those who have the ability to listen and affect change.
What I strive to do is to put viewers in someone else’s shoes by letting people who are marginalized speak their truth so you can at least hear from the source. And, since nothing happens in a vacuum, I also strive to provide relevant history and context to the reasons why groups have become marginalized and the results that have come from that. We’re all Americans, we’re all citizens of the World, and we’ll never be as great as we could or should be until all citizens are treated fairly and with respect. I hope my programs trigger thoughts, awareness and empathy in people to help them realize the problem and begin to start solving it.