“Are you really blind?”
The question comes from out of nowhere. Often it comes from a stranger on the subway, or it may come from someone on the street. I am legally blind and I have been since I was born. Strangers asking me whether I’m playing the role of a blind woman for fun has always irked me — but there’s a much more insidious nature to these questions when they come from new friends.
Like most people, when I was younger I suffered through the same teasing and bullying that you probably did. However, even though we have all left the playground, the teasing hasn’t stopped for me. Adults continue to struggle during interactions with their disabled peers. This may be a symptom of many people never having had a disabled classmate (though I was always mainstreamed in school). Even so, perhaps it’s an issue of children not being exposed to the issue of disability appropriately.
So — why? Why is it that my sight disability becomes the issue upon which I am challenged? There are a few factors. For one, the most famous blind woman in America was Helen Keller. Completely deaf and completely blind. The notion of blindness for most sighted people then becomes about the idea of absolutes. Only 18% of all blind people live in the dark; most of us live in shades of grey, shades of color and shades of acuity.
Bolded emphasis mine
Jason Richwine, who joined the Heritage Foundation in 2012 as a senior policy analyst after receiving his doctorate in public policy from Harvard University in 2009, focused his dissertation, “I.Q. and Immigration Policy,” on his view that the lower intelligence of immigrants should be considered when drafting immigration policy. (via le-kif-kif)
…Latina in a top tier PhD program would like a word with ur racist ass
Honestly I can’t get over the fact that faculty at Harvard for real let someone write a dissertation on this subject and I’m getting kinda pissed just thinking about it. A fairly shallow, cursory foray into current research in intelligence testing, identity, and demography would tell anyone with half a brain there is A LOT irrevocably wrong with the basic premise of I.Q. as an accurate and unbiased measure of intelligence, as well as the basic premise of discussing “Hispanic” people as a monolith (considering that “Hispanic” usually encompasses all Spanish speakers, which is an extraordinarily geographically, ethnically, and culturally diverse group). How Harvard fails to see that allowing a student to base a whole fucking dissertation on a tenuous and racist connection between two shaky-ass concepts makes them appear racist, backwards, and out-of-touch is beyond me.
Harvard is actually the worst tho, almost everyone I’ve met who went to Harvard or has taught there are racist and classist as fuck. “IVY LEAGUES” are centers of (white, cis, male) power and privilege (“center” as a condensation/perpetuation of these things) and as someone in the academy (which usually presupposes an already fucked up relationship to class/race/gender), you could seriously not bribe me with all the money and prestige in the world to teach/go there. One of my profs who taught at Princeton said that they would have someone bring sandwiches and coffee on literally SILVER PLATTERS to the faculty offices. I’ll take the shittiness (lack of funding/support/sammys on silver platters) of being in a public institution any day. I’ll also add that departments vary within institutions (which explains why someone like John Yoo ended up at Berkeley), so a degree in “public policy” from Harvard is totally synonymous with racist fuckwad in my mind.
This is so ableist, racist, and classist that I don’t even know how it got published. There are these things called developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, and lack of access to good education and healthy food that make it so that some Hispanic (isn’t “Latin@” a better term?) people have lower IQs and academic achievement than others.
at this point in the game, if you’re doing social justice work, it is unacceptable to me to not have ANY mention about accessibility on your website or event info. at the very least, even a simple, “please contact us about accessibility” or “this space is not wheel chair accessible” or SOMETHING to show that you even pondered accessibility for a fleeting moment. i am not asking for disability justice here, i am just asking for basic access. and for reals, on a personal note, it would literally save me SO SO SO MUCH time in my life to not have to go on a freaking access scavenger hunt every time i want to go and be with the movements that i work my ass off for everyday. i love yall, but please get it together.-Mia Mingus, Reading and getting able bodied folks together since 1980.
dont fucking shame people for not reading for pleasure
some people have concentration issues
some people have other hobbies
and some people just dont fucking like reading alright
shut the fuck up and sit down
i was once a dickhole, and didn’t agree with the above
i keep saying this,
first, it ignores precolonization, our cultures werent written, and were devalued precisely because of that and also shredded and remixed into white poppycock when they wrote it up for us. eliminating other forms of passing on knowledge like oral and musically, etc, is how we got everything stolen and erased! therefore, legitimacy via written word is colonial as fuck.
second, everyone doesnt have the ability to read. i can barely focus on it. its ableist as fuck to act like those who cant are below you.
third, everyone dont got access to education to learn to read properly, or to books!
so fuck your reading. if you like it, good for you but stop shoving it down peoples throats and waving it in my face like it makes you somebody or its the key to life.
And all of these reasons is why I am uncomfortable calling myself a “feminist” - because mainstream feminism doesn’t give a shit about me or other marginalized women, and it never has.
(TW: fatphobia, sizeism, ableism [?].)
You can’t be serious -.- if you’re to fat to go to school they should just euthanize the kid…
“Devon Carrow’s life-threatening allergies don’t allow him to go to school. But the 4-foot-tall robot with a wireless video hookup gives him the school experience remotely, allowing him to participate in class, stroll through the hallways, hang out at recess and even take to the auditorium stage when there’s a show.”
I tried to not reblog this but I keep reading the first post and I just want to fucking cry. Because there are people out there who think like that. That fat people aren’t worth the life they’re living. That we should all just die.
Thin people say they get hated as much as fat people. But thin people just get told to eat more.
We get told to kill ourselves.
Fat hate, brought to you by “lulz-time.”
Lulz indeed. What a disgusting human being.
I am so ticked that I am learning about this awesome use of assistive technology on a post where somebody misappropriated it to make a spiteful bit of fat hate.Brilliant. Personally I hold idiots who like to splash their fat hate all over anything that might remotely involve fat people (Which this, patently, DOES NOT), down there with geniuses who had no idea that the Titanic sinking actually happened. Or those shining examples who are completely unaware that North Korea had nothing to do with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Now, I could be wrong. Maybe the Kid with AN AUTOIMMUNE CONDITION is fat. But, being human, I’m not likely to think less of the child if he or she is. Mainly because I’m aware that this child? IS ALSO A HUMAN BEING. The asshat spouting fat hate at a child who’s likely trying to engage the world in the best way he or she can? Clearly, that asshat’s humanity remains a question.
The fact that this fucking news link says “Obese 2nd grader” rather than the TRUE FUCKIN REASON FOR HIS NOT BEING ABLE TO GO TO SCHOOL shows fat hatred.
This kid could die if exposed because of his fuckin allergies, and all they care about is HIS WEIGHT.
But weight loss cures everything, apparently, including fucking AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.
Fuck the HRC! Fuck their mainstream/assimilated politics. Fuck their whitewashing of queer culture and conforming to the capitalist heteropatriarchal ‘norm’. Fuck their demotion of trans* rights in the queer struggle. Fuck them for dismissing queer POC issues while focusing all their attention to the gay white middle/upper class in return for donations. Fuck them for policing gender roles and identity and attempting to erase transvestism and drag from gay culture to make the community look more attractive to the heterosexual majority. Fuck the HRC for pretending to care for LGBTQ people when in reality, the L and G are the only acronyms they care to ‘help’. Fuck the HRC for refusing to recognize and help LGBTQ sex workers. Fuck the HRC for ignoring pressing LGBTQ issues like (youth) homelessness, high unemployment for transgender folks and unaffordable housing for elderly queers. Fuck the HRC for everything they’ve done to hurt queer liberation in return for the right to serve in the military and live a heteronormative lifestyle. Fuck the HRC!
bringing this back because of the new shirtstorm HRC campaign
Of course. Of course, I want more justice in the world. Of course I think Love is the way to go about it. What’s the problem, then? Simple. I’m tired of the inherent ableism in the Standing On The Side Of Love campaign name.
What I won’t be doing is standing. I’ll be sitting or riding by on my scooter. But the name doesn’t leave any room for that.
I can hear the objections.
I. Theresa, it’s a metaphor. You can stand without actually standing; you know, taking a stand.
The name of the campaign devalues the disabled body. It privileges standing over using a wheelchair or scooter. It confirms that able-bodied standing is the default.
The syntax of the name is STANDING…on the side of….
Not Standing For…
The construction gives the slogan a sense of physicality, one in which not everyone can share.
The language also creates a false duality—if someone can’t stand, then, by implication, they are not advocating for Love, not able to advance the cause of Justice. In fact, people who can’t stand are often present at actions of public witness doing their part to advance Love.
II. Don’t we have more important things to worry about?
The assumption in this question is that issues can be ranked according to a hierarchy. Choosing to talk about ableism doesn’t mean that it’s the most important thing the speaker can talk about, just that it’s appropriate for that time. In fact, the language we use is an integral part of the struggle for justice. If we use language to exclude and oppress, then we have not begun to address the ways privileges are disconnecting us from each other.
III. But I have a disabled friend who doesn’t think it is offensive.
That’s fine, but I and others do. Wielding words is a power and a privilege. If you choose to use structures and words that exclude and discount groups of people, then that choice comes with a corresponding set of responsibilities and outcomes. In this case, the exclusion of anyone who doesn’t stand is highlighted over and over, in songs, signs, shirts.
What should we do then?
It’s probably too late to change the slogan all together.
What if Standing on the Side of Love had at least one piece of art that had people standing and people in wheelchairs and walkers. or all the people sitting, some in chairs and some in wheelchairs and some with walkers?
We would begin to create a visual association that would expand the metaphor of standing to include more people. A secondary benefit is that with a shirt, for example, allies could show support for a meaning of wider inclusion. This could be a useful step toward wholeness for the Unitarian Universalist movement.
thank you for sharing this. able-bodied folk like me have a lot of work to do when it comes to breaking down the ableism so entrenched in our movement building and a lot of it starts with language and messaging.
When I was 15 in the DR, my dream was to open a special education center for all the disabled babies I knew of who had no chance at any schooling. where I could have teachers trained, and transportation was offered. Something on a sliding scale so the rich would pay out the ass and all the poor would get in free.
Theres only one special ed school in the town im from and its tiny, with a huuuuge wait list. Pretty much only the monied and lucky few handpicked poor babies get to go.
It killed me then, before I fully understood the scope..
And now, as I contemplate moving back, I realize its more dire than I grasped. Should my babby need special ed, we’d be assed out with no options. She’d have to just stay home forever and not learn anything, or be shoved into regular ed and flunk again and again.
Basically, im fortunate as fuck to have options in the u.s.
And will not sleep right until I find a way to extend that fortune to my own, somehow.
Like a lot of people with mental illness, I spend a lot of time fronting. It’s really important to me to not appear crazy, to fit in, to seem normal, to do the things “normal people” do, to blend in. It’s a form of assimilation for safety, but something deeper than that, where hiding my own identity for survival is also tearing me apart…
As a defense mechanism, fronting makes a lot of sense, and you hone that mechanism after years of being crazy. Fronting is what allows you to hold down a job and maintain relationships with people, it’s the thing that sometimes keeps you from falling apart. It’s the thing that allows you to have a burst of tears in the shower or behind the front seat of your car and then coolly collect yourself and stroll into a social engagement…
We are rewarded for hiding ourselves. We become the poster children for “productive” mentally ill people, because we are so organized and together. The fact that we can function, at great cost to ourselves, is used to beat up the people who cannot function.
Because unlike the people who cannot front, or who fronted too hard and fell off the cliff, we are able to “keep it together,” whatever it takes.
s.e. smith, I Hide My Mental Illness
(Read the whole post. It’s really worth it.)
I posted about this already, but i’ll go again: This is written by a white person appropriating AAVE, combined with the header for the article reading:
Being mentally ill means that I am more likely to be shot by police. I am more likely to be raped or assaulted. I am more likely to be institutionalized, to be condemned as an unfit parent, to be denied employment or fired.
I used to like s.e. smith until this article. “Fronting”? The lead-off line is:
At least once a week, there’s a story about someone with my diagnosis in the news being shot by police.
Stephon Watts, 15
Ernest Vassell, 57
Stephen Eugene Washington, 27
Oscar Guzman, 16
So, white person, please tell me more about how “at risk” you are to be shot to death by police. Because I’m pretty sure “mental illness” was a secondary reason for these beatings and murders.
What irks me about ableism is that everything is compared to race by white disability activists. I just saw a post in the tag where someone equated ‘cripple’ to ‘nigga’ and said that ppl with disabilities have reclaimed it. And then there was SE Smith remarking that being amazed a person with disabilities is also very successful is like telling a Black person they are articulate.
No, these are not the same things!
For all of the desire to be intersectional, white disability activists ignore they will never be victims of police brutality or of systematic attempts to sterilize people, the way Latino, indigineous, and Black folks have been. They will never be complete outsiders to the medical establishment because of cultural pressures, the way Asians are. They enjoy disproportionate access to healthcare and while shit thing happen to everyone with disabilites, their lived experiences are far different then others.
Mental illnesses, for example, in colonial South Asia and Africa were defined as ‘indignious attitudes’. So native people practicing their local faith were diagnosed with schizofrenia and given dangerous drugs or experimented upon, because colonial authorities thought anything outside a white supremacist epistomology clearly meant this person was batshit.
It took Black and South Asian medical practictioners, psychologists, and psychiatrists to develop more coherent criterion for mental illness because MIs certainly exist in these places, but just because someone is sacrificing animals or hitting themselves during maharam doesn’t mean they need help.
Moreover, just look at how hard it is for POCs to go to shrinks and discuss the baggage of race. Most shrinks are white and may not be interested in explicit discussions about racism, which has been proven to cause mental disease among non-white populations.
Everyone may speak about it in different terms, many people won’t consciously connect their traumas to living in a racist society. But the routine sexual assaults faced by non-white women add up in mental disturbances—as do poverty, sleep deprivation from living in shit neighborhoods, and other ugly realities that continue to have a more brown than white face.
These are all things that are a central part of the conversations on ableism. Even when I see white folks talk about race and disability, they are still mostly talking to white audiences. I’ve been shouted down by so many white disability advocates on tumblr-mostly teenager white girls, one of whom said I was ‘policing’ her disability because I claimed she couldn’t equate a barely visible birth mark over her eye to ME HAVING HAD CANCER.
Disability activism online and off is a bourgois liberal white washed circle jerk in so many ways.
i really like SE Smith’s writing on disabilities but their whiteness is starting to gross me out. first it was their post about how autistic/disabled people are more likely to be hurt by the police—which, as the aformentioned reblog shows—is a really weird point for a white person to be making. your whiteness shields you immensely from police brutality. my non-blackness does the same to a lesser degree.
as far as medical assault goes, the same applies. yes whites can experience medical assault, especially if they are female, but the tendency to brutalize the physical body is not inscribed into the ontology of whiteness or white femininity.
i’ve spent years living in hospitals as a patient and i was often treated very heavy handedly by white nurses. i paid close attention and they treated latino,black, and middle eastern/south asian children very poorly compared to the white kids. they would be careless, they would be aggressive, they wouldnt care if their actions were inflicting pain.
moreover, in tx there are state institutions for poor disabled children. guess whose in them? poor black and latino and immigrant kids. i know an activist who has been fighting for years to get justice for her son after he was raped and beaten within an inch of his life by a state hospital. mostly people ignored her cries for help—and she’s a south indian muslim woman. there was a huge scandel a few years ago where a newspaper published that the TX juvenile system has high rates of suicide and lo and behold, they were exclusively among latino children.
reading that specific thread, SE Smith also responded to a blogger who was frustrated with how ppl are surprised that disabled folks can lead successful lives while battling mental illness or other disabilities. i hated what they said, which was, ‘its like telling a black person they are articulate’.
no heffa it really isnt. and you as a white person needs to stop bastardizing all the struggles of pocs as if they are up for grabs.
TRIGGER WARNING: rape, misogyny, rape culture, ableism
Via Daily Mail:
A mentally challenged 15-year-old New York girl endured a brutal gang rape as she was trapped beneath her desk by two boys with her teacher only feet away, alleges a lawsuit filed Friday.
The special needs student, identified only by the initials K.J., was allegedly sexually assaulted for 10 minutes as another student ‘hit her on the head whenever she tried to escape,’ during a science class at Martin De Porres Academy in Elmont, N.Y.
The girl’s mother, who filed the suit, alleged that the teacher ignored the assault even as one student danced on the desk while another attempted to sodomize K.J.
Though the girl told a school social worker the next day, school officials failed to report the crime.
K.J. has an IQ of 60 and was sent to De Porres by city.
She was the only girl in her class of 13 boys.
Her alleged attackers all had known ‘violent propensities’ and are residents of Casa De La Salle, a home for juvenile delinquents.
K.J.’s mother said she was powerless to get her daughter transferred immediately, and as a result the girl was bullied for months.
In December, school officials put her in a room with one of the boys who had been sexually harassing her and admonished them to ‘discuss their issues.’
K.J. left that classroom with a gash over her right eye.
It’s hard to even believe this is true, it’s so awful. I have nothing else to say, other than my heart goes out to those who have little choice but to send their children to the monster of public education.
Once again, I am at a complete loss for words.
WHAT I am so disgusted and done with the world
What the FUCK is wrong with people
but we are just going to keep talking about how OMG IST’S SO DANGEROUS FOR WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND INDIA AMERICA IS SO PERF WOMEN U R LUCKY HERE
This is horrible
This is fucking disgusting, but not surprising. This is not an isolated case—there have been other cases of deaf (black) people getting stabbed or attacked while communicating in ASL because some fucking idiots mistook them as gang signs. Fucking morons. I am glad Terrance Daniels (the deaf man) is alive, I wish him a speedy recovery.