By CHEVY COBALT (2006 2-door)
In the last several days I have been called everything from “tragically flawed” to “extremely dangerous,” and it hurts. I am not defective. I simply have a genetic disability. I was born with it, and you should respect me as a vehicle instead of resorting to intolerant, bigoted labels.
As you know, my condition involves a faulty ignition switch that causes my engine to shut off occasionally. And with it the steering and airbags and brakes. I’m not alone. I know of 2.6 million other GM vehicles that are also differently abled. Fortunately, it was diagnosed early, but my GM parents decided not to do anything about it. You have heard they were motivated by money, that they didn’t think it was worth the cost to fix, but if you knew the real reason, you’d be ashamed of the way you’ve been treating me.

You see, unlike many of you, GM has always respected who I am as a vehicle. Instead of focusing on my shortcomings, they made me feel good about myself. Instead of pointing out my genetic disability, they talked about my 5-speed transmission, my side-curtain airbags, my great highway mileage, my economical pricing. Yes, they knew I had some “issues,” but they didn’t publicly shame me by issuing a recall. Why not? Because GM knew how you’d react. They knew I would be ostracized. They knew I would be labeled “defective.” It’s ironic, really. GM is in trouble for not protecting you from me, when the truth is, all along they’ve been protecting me from you.

Sadly, they were right. Instead of treating me as a valuable member of the vehicular community, you’ve disparaged me and made me feel worthless. Well done you.
I shouldn’t be surprised. Humans have a long and sordid history of prejudice. For example, do you know what an “absence seizure” is? It’s a type of seizure where your body briefly just switches off. One second you’re up and running, the next you’re not. These seizures are associated with epilepsy, and in ye olde barbaric days, epileptics were considered abnormal. They were persecuted, ridiculed, cast out. And all because they shut down occasionally. Just like me.

Today, we don’t ridicule epileptics. We don’t mistreat them. You know who did that stuff? The Nazis. That’s right, the Nazis. Like so many they considered “defective,” the Nazis cast out epileptics, as well as the deaf, the blind, and people with physical deformities. “Life unworthy of life,” they were labeled.

I guess we’re living in Nazi Germany now. Or would you prefer ancient Rome, where they left “defective” newborns on the hillside for the wolves?

Not that you care what happens to me. Not that you care how I feel. That’s why I’m not surprised that yesterday, thanks to more pressure from “human victims” and their bigoted labeling, GM was forced – yes forced — to recall another 1.3 million of its vehicles. Apparently they have a power steering disability. They go left when they should go right, or right when they should go left, I don’t know. But how many of you have always chosen the correct path? How many of you – perhaps suffering from some disability — have never veered off course through no fault of your own? Life is hit and miss, full of mistakes and shortcomings and bad decisions. That doesn’t make you defective. It makes you human. And my disability doesn’t make me defective. It just makes me a GM product.

© 2014

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