***CW: Calling out disablist language
Last week, I shared some reflections on disability justice, in light of the recent legislative attacks on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Whenever I encounter unjust situations like this, whether it is disablism, racism, misogyny, gender and sexuality antagonisms, and the like, the question that tends to linger in my mind is – why in the world do we go along with this stuff? Horrible things are happening, we witness or hear about them, and, almost inevitably, someone is there to insist that it’s not that bad, that we’ve just misunderstood the situation, or that it has been worse in the past. It is as if, although oppression may exist, apparently oppressors do not. Do any of these sound familiar?
• “That was a long time ago; can’t you just get over it?”
• “Be patient with him; he’s just set in his ways, but he’s not a bad guy.”
• “You have to overlook some of what she says; she doesn’t mean it that way.”
• “Honestly, it’s not because of race; we decided to go in a different direction.”
• “Well, I don’t agree with how they treated you, but everyone has a right to their own opinion.”
And, perhaps most famously –
• “Take it easy; it’s just a joke.