Disabled in the struggle

Disabled people vary a great deal and some of us cannot attend rallies and protests, while others can and have fought for a lot including disability rights. For those gimps, crips and mads who can attend here is a handy legal guide though from Boston for participation in direct action.

In 2014 when I read 26 ways to be in the struggle beyond the streets I also knew many abled protesters I knew didn’t care. With a few, we’d been acquainted online for a coupla years, I came back in part for them, for the struggles we had in common, and I met with ableism, complete disrespect (which I was meant to be okay with since the person made a place accessible for me once, not structural or involving efforts or expense) or disinterest. I was greener on the other side. I was probably seen as something closer to grass than to human. The disabled are not perceived as fully human by most. In this case, I had been reposting disability justice posts for these years online, so these activists were not ignorant. It did seem that when I post some words by a white person they had never heard of, it has more weight than whatever I have to say. Sure, my white-passing USian friend was much more articulate than I am, in English. Now when I repost a lot from a Black USian activist, and sometimes from an Asian one, or Black South African, no one cares.

It ties in with elitism, social-capital-ism, and new-ageism. I’m appalled at social justice here. I can clearly see some I still am in touch with who are just waiting for me to die so they can tag me because in death I’ll be at least valuable to them. This is positive thinking, folks! You see, it’s clear I won’t put up with tokenism, and I call people in. That is why I have no value now. They also say they didn’t know other disabled folks personally, either because they are callous or they don’t like the idea of disabled folks organising.

Fortunately it is not the case in all movements everywhere. On the upside, I’m so relieved these local activists didn’t get onto my twitter, an all-too-quiet and peaceful place.