|A power line running through a piece of a branch|
My friend Jeneva Stone wrote a remarkable comment on her Facebook page about disability, white privilege and the whole Ferguson and now New York injustices. Here's a bit:
Many people have posted articles about how difficult it is for whites to understand the grief and outrage of black persons--that we don't experience the sort of societal prejudice they do--it's masked for us. Well, I do, and the overwhelm of that is one of the reasons I haven't been vocal. Everyone's Facebook feed is different. Mine is regularly filled with stories about the abuse and even murder of people with disabilities: children left in classrooms during fire drills because their IEP didn't specify how to remove them from a burning building; systemic patterns of abuse at institutions designed to "house" disabled persons that result in their deaths; people with disabilities killed by their own families; children denied life-saving operations not because they are too ill, but simply because they're disabled and their lives are considered worthless; parents fighting for necessary medication for their children not just with private insurers, but with the state. I know your pain, mothers of children with darker skin than mine. I do. My son faces mortal threats from the state and society every day--no, my fears aren't identical to yours, but do they have to be?
It made me think about being female, apologizing for being vocal and opinionated -- even to my own family when my beliefs and passions run contrary to theirs. It made me think of how uncomfortable I felt with my closest friends during a movie that repeatedly used the word retard, how, when I expressed my feelings about it, I felt almost embarrassed. Catered to. Tolerated.
Oh, Elizabeth. Don't you have enough on your plate?
Why does anyone take seriously a bunch of men in long red robes and weird hats who claim to be direct links to God, who turn wine into Jesus' blood and bread into his body, as well as stand in for God and absolve you of your sins? Oh, and tell you, if you're a woman, that you're not allowed to do so?
When I was a child, someone closely related to me said, You know, a lot of slaves loved their masters and were actually better off as slaves than free. It didn't set right with me even back then when I was about eight years old, so the whole idea that we're somehow "victims of our culture," or using the excuse that "that's what they were taught then," or "it was a different time," doesn't fly.
I know people who believe Palestinians are animals. I know people who believe Jews are taking over the world.
Enough is enough.