What cause was ever promoted without the fire of personal agitation? Frances Guizot wrote of this more than a hundred years ago in his estimation of Shakespeare and how the nations of France and England reacted by taking this art to a national level.
Few would understand the language of his time, so I shall attempt to sum it up in my own words. If one wants to promote art or a cause to a national level, then one has to also appeal to the common man (and woman). You have to reach this national audience in ways that speak to the individual, on an individual level in contemporary language and art.
The cause I have dedicated the rest of my life to, is to advocate against distracted driving, one tough nut to crack. Here is why, everyone I know is using a cell phone while they drive. I also know 150 people may die in the nation I reside in at the hands of distracted drivers with cell phones today. They will all certainly be involved in collisions resulting from distracted driving.
I can’t go two miles from my home without seeing someone on the phone behind the wheel of a car.
But that’s not the source of my personal agitation. In 1989 a distracted driver ran a stop sign on the corner of the church where she worked at a daycare center. She struck my Bonneville, a big ole tank of a car, on the passenger rear end side so hard that tank spun around 3/4’s of a turn.
Afterwards, I was left with four bulging discs in my neck and back.
I had a raging headache for two weeks after the collision.
The driver’s name was Amy Mansfield at the time. This blonde little ditz said “Well officer, I just didn’t see that stop sign.”
Goddammit give me a break. A stop sign is a big red octagonal thing that every driver knows about. She was a cute little thing and she got away with this crime against my person. I have been in excruciating pain for 25 years. Some days are better than others. I manage this pain by just lying down. I tried all that crap the doctors hand out and can’t deal with the side effects. I went the chiropractic way, I tried Rolfing, exercises, aspirin and Tenz units, all of it has been lessons in futility. I have four bulging discs in my neck and back.
Now let me tell you just a bit about how other people prosper from the pain of others. There are lawyers and insurance agents, there are doctors and quacks, there are pharmaceutical companies, physical therapists and prosthetic companies, wheelchair manufacturers, there are body shops and car salesmen, there are cops and robbers, there are car manufacturers and in these times – cell phone manufacturers, there are lobbyists and lawmakers, there are funeral directions and cremators, all of these will take their cut if you are in a collision involving a distracted driver.
That’s why no one balked at the idea of allowing drivers cell phones in the first place. This is big business baby.
And I am just a little lady down in Texas in my little pond and I became interested in Xzavier Davis-Bilbo and his family because when I watched that PSA that ran for one month only in Texas sponsored by the big wigs AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon I knew that family was important beyond what their sponsors would allow.
I went on-line to find them but could not, I realized that they were being used. I had to dig for hours in that damnable ‘It Can Wait’ website. I took the pledge and for the record, I have never used a cell phone while behind the wheel, nor would I ever consider such a callous action. Valetta Bradford and Xzavier Davis-Bilbo did not have an internet presence. Why didn’t AT&T and the others set them up with a donate button? That was my first question because I wanted to donate a dollar to their campaign. (The tagline to this blog is I wanted to donate a dollar).
Had these companies promoted this family like they deserved to be promoted, their campaign would have reached national exposure by now. If everyone that has been touched by the struggles this family has been through over a freaking text message, and donated a dollar, Valetta wouldn’t have to struggle to care for her son in this condition or even to hang onto her house that is in a high crime neighborhood. This family has been robbed a couple of times since I have known them.
They should be somewhere safe in a gated community by now. Why does this woman have to wait for the relief she is owed? Did you know that Valetta and Xzavier are aware of all of the critical and racist remarks that have been linked to their on-line interviews? Talk about adding insult to injury. Now, that is a direct result of forsaking their privacy to participate in the ‘It Can Wait’ campaign and do you think AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon compensated them for this? No they did not. AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon have ceased making their interviews available and have not promoted their interviews in over a year.
They have been thrown out like yesterday’s news. And it was one of those damn phones they make that put Xzavier in a wheelchair and dependent upon a respirator.
Now I know you are saying, ‘Hey Lady, don’t you think it was that driver’s fault that put Xzavier in the chair?’
Yes I do. She is a damn idiot. She crossed out of her lane and struck Xzavier in the confounds of a school crosswalk. The text that she was composing at the time read ‘I’m on my way’.
The State of Wisconsin passed a bill in May of 2010, (Xzavier was struck in October of 2010), to punish distracted drivers with a little bit of a heftier fine but when this driver struck Xzavier she was fined only $160 dollars.
The miniscule insurance that she carried netted Valetta only $25K dollars and that was soaked up by installing the wheelchair lift to the house and one for a second hand van Valetta had to buy and she replumbed her house to accommodate Xzavier’s bathing needs. Since then the wheelchair lift to the van failed before the van finally went kapoot and the wheelchair lift to the house was installed improperly and someone had to hold on to Xzavier every time he used it in case he was going to fall out.
This all adds to my agitation because I can feel outside of myself. Thank God for my pain because that means I am not paralyzed. I can use my hands to type these messages for you and launch these petitions to try and get some national recognition for the campaign I am so passionate about ‘Don’t text 4 X’.
This is all bigger than myself, the family of Xzavier, all of the people who work for and against relieving our roads of distracted drivers. This is about you and your loved ones.
Thank you if you hit the share button on this article, nobody ever does, and if you would like to make a donation to the campaign of Xzavier Davis-Bilbo, here is that link;
Please sign our petition to get Xzavier and his campaign ‘Don’t text 4 X’ to the White House for Christmas.