One of my first brushes with heightism was in the 7th grade when the bus driver, Bruja (name has been changed), announced that I was too short to ride in the back of the bus.
While I was no Rosa Parks (refer to previous statement about being a white male), I had felt the sting of civil injustice, and I would not bow to it. When I got home, I began plotting a plot, scheming a scheme, planning a plan, and dreaming a dream. I worked feverishly into the night, fashioning posters to protest the discrimination.
The next day I distributed the signs to those sympathetic to my plight and then took my seat in the "tall people only" section of the bus. When Bruja told me to come to the front I signaled for the protest to begin. Chants of "Heck no! He won't go!" rang through the metallic walls of the portable prison. Painted posters that called for height equality shimmered in the afternoon sun. Finally, I stood, and with a voice not entirely conquered by puberty (okay, not at all conquered) said, "I have a dream that someday, tall people, short people, fat people and skinny people will all be able to ride in the back of the bus in harmony!" The bus erupted in cheers. My rights were won.
I stood a little taller that day. Actually I didn't. In fact I felt shorter because I realized how big everyone in the back of the bus actually was compared to me.
Since that day I have continued to be the victim of height crimes and discrimination. Nobody bullies the big strong kid. No, they pick on the little kid simply because he is little. It's hard for a young person to get an equally sized young person into a trash can. A small kid on the other hand, piece of cake. Shortcake.
Height crimes aren't limited to the Lord of the Flies social experiment we know as Junior High. Heightism has infiltrated into even the purest sectors of our society.
You doubt? Have you ever been to Disneyland? You would think that a park whose mascot is a mouse would be more friendly to the vertically challenged, but no.
"Must be this tall to ride" may seem like nothing to you, but to us short people, it is a flagrant assault on our identity as equal citizens. Shouldn't the God-given right to pursue happiness apply in the so-called "Happiest Place on Earth?" (Don't try to tell me that the "pursuit of happiness" doesn't include a churro and a turn on Magic Mountain).
The hate doesn't stop at Disneyland. Prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination rage across the country.
Don't even get me started on basketball, the most heightist sport of all time. Well, you got me started so here I go. Basketball is an evil sport that favors altitude. The taller you are, the more successful you'll be. It's the only "profession" where your paycheck grows as you do. Talent schmalent. Shaq proved that as long as you are tall, you don't even have to be good at the object of the game (getting the ball in the basket, which of course is placed out of reach of small people) to become a celebrity gazillionaire. The mountainous man misses 52% of his free throws. Imagine going to a surgeon with that kind of success rate!
"But what about Muggsy Bogues?" Hey, even a blind squirrel can find an acorn eventually. I've seen a white guy dance, that doesn't mean the rest of us can (unless of course we are playing Michael Jackson Just Dance. Trust me, it will change your life).
People ask me if I play basketball. I'm sure that their powers of deductive reasoning are honed enough to make some preliminary judgments about the kind of sports I play, yet they still ask. It's like asking if Donald Trump is good with kids. You should be able to tell just by looking. Let's be realistic people. You should be asking me if I play miniature golf (I do).
It's time we stand up (Cue joke about telling a short person to stand up even though they are clearly already standing). It's time we level the playing field. Time is short (bad pun). We must act today. No more hard-to-reach shelves in the grocery stores and libraries! No more high heels for anyone over 5'6''! No more height limits on rides! No more violence! No more hate! They have a Big and Tall sections in the clothing stores, but where are the Short and Small sections? In the words of Jemaine Clement, "I'm a person. Brett's a person. That person over there is a person. And we all deserve to be treated like a person."
If you support the Equal Heights movement, please change your facebook profile picture to the icon below. Then overload your wall with posts about the issue. If anyone disagrees with you, call them a bigot and defriend them. Start internet fights with strangers. If you really want to show your support you can surgically remove height from your legs. Doing these things is the only way that the Supreme Court will ratify legislation to grant equal heights for all.
It's time that short people got a reason to live.