Allies

Disability civil rights is a subject that I am very passionate about. I got started in it as a way to put my devness to good use, as it were. I didn’t want to use it for my own pleasure, but to take my great interest and put it towards helping people.

I’ve sometimes encountered a bit of a problem with that, though. My help in this situation is not always wanted.

There’s a long history of non-disabled people deciding what’s best for people who have disabilities. We swoop in all cocky and sure of ourselves to help save the poor crippled people. There’s a strong backlash against this.

I think this person on Tumblr put it the best…

Able bodied people…did I ask for your opinion? The Sequel

I must now interrupt your regularly scheduled program of cripple-sex education for a public service announcement. I reserve screaming in caps-lock for very special occasions; with that in mind:

When I asked you this question, do you really think I was handing you a sealed invitation to jump onto the privilege denial wagon and say shit like this:

of course you deserve to be treated as a real human you poor sweet creature let me cuddle you I’m not like the rest of them I have a friend who is disabled so I am completely knowledgeable about disability

CONGRATULATIONS, NOT ONLY HAVE YOU MANAGED TO MISS THE ENTIRE FUCKING PURPOSE OF THE QUESTION YOU HAVE ALSO MANAGED TO INSERT YOURSELF INTO A DIALOGUE THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN TO YOUR LIFE WHATSOEVER BECAUSE YOU SOMEHOW STILL BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE THE CENTER OF THE FUCKING UNIVERSE.

 

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Stop apologizing to me. Stop telling me you consider me a human being when you won’t even look me in the eye. Just shut the fuck up and listen for once; because I can absolutely guarantee that the purpose of this discussion WAS NOT TO GIVE YOU A DAMN COOKIE BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT ACTIVELY AT THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT BEING AN OPPRESSIVE ASSHAT.

I DON’T GIVE A SINGLE FLYING FUCK IF YOU WERE RAISED BY A RENEGADE BAND OF RABID CRIPPLES

THIS DISCUSSION

IS NOT THE DISCUSSION YOU ARE FUCKING LOOKING FOR.

That is all.

http://fuckthedisabled.tumblr.com/post/19388148709/able-bodied-people-did-i-ask-for-your-opinion-the

you poor sweet creature let me cuddle you   That is definitely a disgustingly condescending statement. No argument there.

So on the one hand, many people who have disabilities are not anxious for help from people like me, but on the other hand this is an important civil rights battle that needs all people to come together and care in order to create change.

It’s kind of like white people helping black people get civil rights. Done badly, it comes across as white people being needed in order for black people to be taken seriously. But in that world, it kind of was that way.

[In this episode of Better Off Ted, white Phil had to go with the protesting black employees in order to get the elevator to work]

Right now in many ways people with disabilities fighting for their civil rights are doing it in a closed off bubble where only people with ties to that community know about it or care. This is a big problem. Everyone needs to be caring about this battle.

That’s going to be hard to pull off if non-disabled people are not welcome in the fight. We all have a horse in this race, as the expression goes. Disability is the largest minority there is and nearly everyone is in some way touched by it in their lives. (Plus, what about the gray area of people with disabilities different from your own being part of the same cause? )

What do I think the solution is?

I think people like me, someone who is not-disabled, should not be leading anything. It’s not my job to come in and make decisions about what is best for people who have disabilities that I don’t have. I believe that it is for me to look to the people who are disabled and ask what I can do to help.

It’s never going to be a perfect situation and I have been told more than once that my opinion is not welcome and to shut it. I’ve also been thanked for the work that I do to bring mainstream attention to this civil rights fight. Some people don’t like me and others do, but either way, this fight is deeply important to me and I can’t stop working towards a more equal future.

3 Comments

  1. Amanda
    Mar 28, 2012

    I totally Agree with you. People who don’t have disabilities shouldn’t be telling people with disabilities what to do. I strongly agree they need to stop being discriminated against. I grew up with a brother, younger who was born being “legally blind” so he had issues keeping his eyes from not going cross eyed most of the time. Kid’s use to call him four eyes cause he wore glasses. They also called him an alien because he was born with four fingers on each hand. his middle & ring finger fused together. They actually un-fused one finger so he could have five fingers on one hand, but he didn’t have enough bone on the other hand. And kids always made fun of him & he did nothing cause he is so sweet & didn’t have a mean bone in his body. People didn’t know what he was going through, he was having a ton of surgeries to help correct his fingers. So he wasn’t home a lot and very sensitive to his disabilities. It really broke my heart, so I stuck up for my brother & still do even though he lives 1500 miles away from me. But now he has defend himself and it probably helped that he went to a school in Florida for the deaf and blind so he got to go 3 1/2 to a school that half of the kids were like him so he finally was around kids just like it and didn’t have to deal with getting made fun of. I seriously hate people that make fun of others because someone is just a little different from someone else, it serious makes me sick. I’m always donating to those little with change for the children’s hospital fund and stuff like that in Walmart. I just wanna help, and do my best. I live my life one day at a time & judge no one. I know how it is. I have a learning disability. I have dyslexia & issues with remembering stuff and even as a child dr’s i would have to write everything down to remember stuff & I really do, but I don’t let people get to me.. I don’t let the disabilities get my way, Everyone can have a normal life no matter what. I always believed that. I hate people who judge or think they are better than someone else. And I will always sick up for disabilities cause it isn’t cool, we are all create equal and should act like it. People need to grow up. Even kids now a days are so mean and bulling all sorts of kids.. People are getting made fun of because they are fat, have disabilities, have glasses, ect. I wish hating would stop

    -Amanda

    • RuthMadison
      Mar 28, 2012

      ” we are all create equal and should act like it. People need to grow up…I wish hating would stop.”

      I agree! You’ve said some very true things. I’ve never understood why people are mean to one another, even children.

      On a side note, it seems strange to me that they have schools for deaf and blind children in the same place.

  2. george cohn
    Jan 18, 2013

    aloha, i am legally blind with diabetes and orthopedic issues. at 18 i was almost a super gimp, i was only the tanth disabled person to gain academic admission to the University of California, with scholarships and academicawarda. Now I am an old washed up substitute teacher with discrimination problems in my degree area and issues with public transit in the backward fake state of Hawaii where disability issues are not recognized by state or local government. I have been to federal court as a lead plaintiff in the MedQuest class action in which we gained the right to free healthcare being given only to the able bodied. I also represented myself in a discrimination in employment case with the university of hawaii. my current problem is finding legal assistance with the private company which has the contract for public transit, which does not accomodate all disabled persons but only services them.the bus company even caused me to be placed under hospital observation after seeking assistance wih two passengers who tried to push me out of my seat because I would not go to the back of the bus. I had a right to sue from the state civil rights commission byt it expired before i could get a lawyer.

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