If: you are starting to recognize that ableism an actual real and essential component of white supremacy, capitalism, exploitation, imperialism, colonization, patriarchy, racism, sexism, cissexism and heterosexism, and that we can’t fight injustice while insisting that access is a personal issue that is the responsibility of the “afflicted”, but is rather, a the collective responsibility of the community, the whole community, every community,
You need to start doing more than simply adding “ableism” to your list of ism, and “DISability” to your list of marginalities.
You need to stop bringing in out of town DIS-rights stars to do workshops, instead of local activists who you or the movement has pushed out for so long.
You need to stop finding ways to appropriate the work of DISabled activists,
And stop using the label “neurodivergent” to justify your abusiveness, (even if it is rooted in PTSD or any other real condition and experience).
You need to stop excluding on the basis of who isn’t “cool” enough, or pretty enough for your revolution.
You have to make way for wheelchairs and walkers, scooters and canes and give up scented products.
You have to include DISfolx in all your planning, and incorporate us into your organization as central resources.
You have to have workshops at your events, and you have to attend them!
You have to read the work of DISrights activists.
You have to give up your supremacist language and attitudes that allowed you to feel entitled toward exclusion in the first place.
You need to stop seeing DISfolx as the location of your savior image, your charity case and as central comrades in the struggle.
And you have to resurrect the characters you’ve assassinated instead of stepping over our bodies and claim DISability stardom for your sad self, adding “DISability” and “ableism” to your rhetoric.
You need to publicly make amends to everyone you DISmissed, DISassociated, DIShonored, DISparaged and DIScouraged before YOU DIScovered DISability.
You need to account for your tone policing, and your faux-pologies, and your identity baiting and every other sad excuse you had for why it was okay to tell someone their participation was derailing or decentering, or privileged or entitled.
Not just sometime.
Not just when it’s convenient.
Not just until your other REAL IN THE STREETS REVOLUTIONARIES tell you to stop or make it inconvenient.
You need to account for the lies, slander, misinformation and DIStortions you employed to silence, isolate and chastise anyone who dared attempt the dialogue,who even asked “Can I get my wheels in the door to this event?”, who commented “When you tell those who agree, to rise, you exclude us, and implicate us in the cohort of the oppressors”, who dared to suggest that strategies and protocols be developed and shared, who attempted to include you in that dialogue only to have you turn against them with your admonitions.
You need to resurrect their reputation and bring them back, hold others who maintain this exclusion, accountable.
You need to employ a methodology of inclusion and discard the tired old practice of self promotion and exclusion and movement stars that insists that inclusion means less for those who already have voice, even if it is the seemingly small voice within movements of resistance, especially if it is the seemingly small voice within the struggle.
Because we can’t win against bigotry and hegemony and oppression, if we are perpetuating it ourselves,we can’t be antifa without all the targets of fascism in the movement, and we can’t win this fight without everyone poised for battle.
Rules for crrpls: do not ever ever ever ever ever imply that DISability rights is part of the larger struggle for universal human rights, against racism, sexism, gender justice and class power.
Rules for crrpls: Don’t impose yourself on real social justice movements, attempt to infuse DISability rights into discussions of marginalization, or insist, provide suggestions or even resources that would enhance DISability access in the larger human rights struggle.
Rules for crrpls: Keep your political activism limited to organizations that focus on DISability rights and issues of access that don’t interfere with real social justice work, even if and when those organizations exclude you either because they are run by nonDISfolx, white folx, people with social and economic capital or a professionalized staff not interested in grassroots organizing.
rules for crrpls: When people try to help you, always be grateful. Never contradict them or try to explain what you really need. This will hurt their feelings (enrage them). They’re really doing their best (trying to make themselves feel good at your expense), and it’s not like you deserve to actually have a say in your agency, body autonomy or full inclusion.
rules for crrpls: Do not get offended when people make fun of your health condition or physical or emotional characteristics. Certainly don’t interrupt their fun by pointing out the arrogance, bigotry and entitlement inherent in making fun of people’s afflictions and certainly DON’T turn the tables by making fun of them, when they give you that tired excuse “we’re just kidding, lighten up.” When they say, “anything goes” that doesn’t REALLY mean that you can make THEIR entitled asses the butt of your jokes.
Rules for crrpls: Don’t ever assert that Disability rights has any place in the larger struggle for social justice and human rights. these people are working hard enough for social justice to have to find time and resources to include your sorry ass.
Rules for crrpls: Appear grateful and upbeat at all times, and if you can, provide material for the inspiration of people without DISabilities.– You know: paint with your feet, walk on your hands, sing out of your ass– stuff like that. They love that shit.
Rules for crrpls: Never appear more capable than someone without a DISability. This embarrasses them and interferes with their entitled sense of superiority. There’s nothing worse than appearing less capable than someone already labeled incapacitated.
Rules for crrpls: Do not discuss your DISability in public. Discussion of DISability is the purview of those who do not have DISabilities, so they can appear magnanimous and generous.
rules for crrpls: Do not say “excuse me” if someone is blocking your way and is deep in conversation. Wait patiently until they are finished. Also, do not attempt to go around them, because they might bump into you and this would startle them.
Rules for crrpls: Don’t ask if an event that is open to the public or that you’ve been invited to, is ACTUALLY accessible. this is rude, as it puts the host on the spot and risks causing them embarrassment.
Rules for crrpls: Don’t show up to an event that isn’t accessible. This too may lead to the embarrassment of the host. You should magically know with your other hyper sensitive enhanced sensory abilities, if an event is accessible or not.
(Work in progress. I especially need links regarding restorative justice. Also, please post your favorite links on this issue.)
Links on the ongoing exploration of cross generational trauma, something that has impacted my lineage and my life tremendously and must inform our activism and policy as we try to create systems of support and determine reparations. Some links posted for future reference. Please feel free to comment on the links and critique their premises. Some basic concepts to consider as we recognize and explore recent evidence that it’s not just socialization and psychological behavior that explains the cross generational transfer, but that the trauma actually is in our DNA.
The wisdom of our ancestors– what has been lost, stolen, forgotten and abandoned– language, customs, wisdom, healing, is also in our DNA. We embody in our cellular memory all the hurt, but also all the love and knowledge of our ancestors.
It stands to reason that it is not just victims who carry the DNA memory, but also the perpetrators. They two carry with them– entitlement, power, abusiveness, violence, guilt. Their inheritance isn’t just the monetary inheritance of centuries of theft and enslavement and exploitation, but the entitlement of and power gained from the abuses inflicted on our ancestors.
That is, power and powerless carry with us, into each subsequent generation this relationship of owner and slave, colonizer and colonized, Abuser and abused, Victimizer and Victim.
I reject the rejection of the term victim. The assertion by many that we choose to be victims, we perpetuate the systemic and cultural tendency to blame the victim, either for their victimization in the first place or in their healing and response afterward. By thinking we, individually can step outside of this history without collective work and collective healing and accountability is to side with oppression and perpetuate abuse. Blaming the victim is the religion of systemic and cross generational trauma. Another term for victim that can be used, is “target” and the term “survivor” is also acceptable, but with the understanding that there is nothing more moral about being a survivor than having not survived. It is NOT a choice. To privilege survivors over those who were massacred is to embrace essential white supremacist ideologies of fitness and worthiness.
I reject the idea that soldiers are victims. Soldiers are perpetrators. If perpetrating violence is traumatic, then that’s easy– stop perpetrating violence.
Trauma is insidious– it can make us lash out at the what triggers us, which may NOT be what caused the trauma or the flashback at all. Like the child who dives under their chair when a plane passes over head, miles from the location of the trauma of war, where passing overhead planes meant the dropping of bombs, those of us in communion, where spaces are actually safe, are not the source of the trauma, just because we are the location of the trigger. It is the work of our PTSD healing to learn to recognize the difference between danger, and the flashbacks that come up when we are safe.
I also want to point out that POST Traumatic Stress Disorder, may not be accurate. Much trauma is not only in the past, the distance past and our DNA, but is ongoing. It is exceedingly difficult to recuperate from ongoing trauma because the wounds are not only fresh, but are constantly being reopened.
Terms like “Children of the Holocaust” and “Post Traumatic Slave Disorder” are headlines here, for the much larger body of work on trauma among Jews and African Americans, respectfully. I use those terms because they also reflect the narrative within those communities, even where the issue of cross generational trauma may be greater than the scope that term may imply.
too often because of its scope and intensity, 6000 years of who Jews are and what we’ve done and what’s been done to us gets encapsulated in the 6 years of the Shoah, and now it Israel. As if aside from 6 years of being the victims of genocide and 60some years of being the perpetrators, is the sum of all we are. (That’s not the narrative, the narrative is that there is some redemption and deliverance for the years of suffering, via Zionism).
The Shoah (Holocaust) came out of years of abuse and genocide– expulsions, crusades (where many Ashkenazi Jewish towns were massacred by the invading armies on their was to the Holy Land), pogroms, pogroms, pogroms, ghettoization, more expulsions, humiliations, incarcerations, segregation, discrimination, etc. Jewish trauma, specifically in Europe, reaches back hundreds of years. For Jews who were not in Europe, the Shoah impacted them in Northern Africa, and the trauma for non-European Jews was most experienced as colonization in the particular geographies of location. The Holocaust studies on cross generational trauma can inform the larger discussion on cross generational trauma, but it is not an isolated event. That degree of racism doesn’t just pop up like a camping tent and disappear just as quickly. The study of Holocaust survivors and their children is very important to this discussion on cross generational trauma, and it provides a very clear and distinct set of data, but there may also have been a predisposition to those genetic changes and the other changes that were passed on to children, due to the centuries of abuse and a much slower genocide, particularly for European Jews. (And by European Jews I am referring to Jews who were geographically in Europe, which would predominantly be Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, but would also include many North African Jews and Middle Eastern Jews, in Europe.)
Children of the Holocaust
(And other Jewish traumas, but this was the title of the book that started the current discussion on cross-generational trauma)
“The Truth is that disability has been with us, in us since the beginning of time. Disability has held and kept us. It is in our marrow, in our blood, our sweat and tears. Disability does not make us less than, it makes us who we are. Ableism and anti-Blackness are the enemy. Disability is our kin. While the world has convinced itself and the Black community that disability is a bad word and a bad circumstance. It is neither. Disability and Blackness is pride. Disability and Blackness is innovation. Disability and Blackness is brilliance.
How The Effects Of Trauma Can Be Passed Down From One Generation To The Next http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/… “Previous research has shown that the behavioral effects of trauma can be passed down to the next generation — but this research had only demonstrated that this transmission takes place with trauma’s negative effects, such as depression. Now a study on mice, recently published in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that the adaptive benefits of trauma might also stay alive in families through the years.”
The Violence in Our Heads: “An unsettling question is whether the violent commands from these voices reflect our culture as much as they result from the disease process of the illness. In the past few years I have been working with some colleagues at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation in Chennai, India, to compare the voice-hearing experience of people with schizophrenia in the United States and India. The two groups of patients have much in common. Neither particularly likes hearing voices. Both report hearing mean and sometimes violent commands. But in our sample of 20 comparable cases from each country, the voices heard by patients in Chennai are considerably less violent than those heard by patients in San Mateo, Calif.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/o…
A whole new album of several fake Frida photos is out and about on facebook. All of these photos put Frida (as photographed by Imogene Cunningham) on the bodies of white actresses and models: Donnette Thayer, Madonna and Patti Smith. In the case of Smith, the photo is from the cover of the album Horses, as photographed by Maplethorpe. This gross appropriation of the bodies, faces and labor of women, women of color, dis-abled women and gay men is hugely problematic. So just stop doing it.
1. People need to have access to food that is good for them, their history, culture and biological needs.
2. Food needs to be raised, cultivated, slaughtered and marketed in ways that are safe, humane, and environmental for people and animals
3. Comparing animal livestock to slavery or other human systems of torture, genocide, concentration camps, etc. is offensive to those who have endured those systems and diminishes and desensitizes people to those systems.
4. Manure, a mainstay of organic farming is as much an animal product as meat, milk, eggs and leather. (The same goes for blood and bone meal which are also used as fertilizers). I don’t know how anyone can think she can step out of that reality. In an organic garden/farm, the carnivores are the good guys, because the herbivore “pests”– that’s what they’re called– eat the crops. Farming is cruel to plant eating insects, snails and other absconders.
5. Condemning eating dogs or horses while having no problem with killing cows, ducks, chickens, sheep and goats is cultural bigotry and self righteousness.
6. There’s a circle of life and for many species, either as carnivores or omnivores it includes eating meat.
7. There are some medicines that come from animal products and discussing the morality of eating meat without considering that, is outright ableist, and in trajectory, genocidal.
8. Industrialized society, specifically settler colonialist entities are disconnected from the trajectory of most of our actions. food is no exception.
9. I have raised and slaughtered my own food. i am aware of the process.
10. Whenever we save money on something it means a person is probably only making 2$ a day on that product. that outrages me.
11. People going about their lives as if other people weren’t in prison unjustly and inhumanely or being bombed by the empire, that outrages me.
12. The conditions that workers endure to put food on our table, that outrages me.
13. I really see no moral difference in outcome, all things relative, if someone knows where meat comes from and if they don’t. Dead is dead. Though I do think more awareness would bring about greater food justice to people and animals.
14. I have no idea how animal rights activists “check” themselves. it’s not like Bessie The Cow can say to you “Hey, I know your intentions are good, and you’re really up there with that human savior syndrome, but you don’t really represent my interests. You see, i’ve been historically selectively bred specific to a particular human need for thousands of years, and if they stopped breeding me, I would cease to exist, my species would cease to exist. so unless you’re expecting to have a herd of cattle as pets, or are demanding huge public spaces for us to roam freely, , which really defeats the environmentalist arguments, I really don’t see how all your efforts don’t simply result in extinction for me and my cow peeps.”
15. Would that food police, food fascists, evangelical vegans and animal “rights” activists focus their outrage in responding to environmental racism, food deserts, equitable access to food, food choice and healthy food options.
16. I support species rights– the rights of species to endure. I support environmental policies that protect people and animals.
17. The dismissing of the eating of meat as “simply cultural” is another example of cultural imperialism and racism. Let us instead support traditional food production, which is often much more consistent with humane treatment and environmental safety and stewardship. We must respect historic and traditional hunting grounds, animal domestication, agriculture, family and communal farms and permaculture.
18. Live and let live– I don’t see meat eaters going around demanding everyone eat meat, as part of an essential political mandate. (Though the bullying of vegans and vegetarians to eat meat, by meat eaters they know is also unacceptable behavior.)
19. Animal “rights” movements that don’t address the issues of DISability access to society, including to autonomous food choices and body autonomy and don’t denounce Peter Singer and PETA are not allies in any struggle for social justice. so just don’t even talk to me. you weren’t talking to me anyway. i wasn’t really human– or animal, for that matter.
The animal “rights” movement has a seriously problematic history of racism, sexism, classism and ableism, so anyone who is advocating for animal “rights”, needs to center these issues in their politic and severely separate themselves from the mainstream animal “rights” movement.
20. The “animal ownership is slavery, meat is murder” argument AND the environmentalist argument are incongruous with each other. Either meat is slavery and murder and after the dictatorship of the vegan proletariat, there will be wild herds of formerly selectively bred domesticated animals, maintained at human expense, having the same environmental impact they have now, except that they won’t become meat, OR the total extinction or partial extinction of entire species so as to not have that environmental impact. Either way, these domesticated animals will nave no autonomy from human decision making, and as such will continue to be subjected to human authority.
21. The insistence that one diet would work for everyone is cruel, supremacist, racist, ableist and patronizing. Whenever we assert that our lifestyle, diet, way of life, habits and morals are the only correct ones we are asserting arrogance and hegemony. Check that and check yourself!
22. The issue of environmentalism including veganism as individual choice is a distraction from capitalism in general. We can all recycle and compost and think that’s going to make a difference while corporations run amuck and unchecked. That’s where the attention needs to be, in real struggle against this hegemony that is destroying the earth, and not on appeals of guilt and the illusion that this is simply about personal choice for those who have the option of actual choice.
23. The racism, ableism, sexism and classism that is embedded in the animal “rights” movement prioritizes animals above entire groups of people, and that allows those with certain choices to assume a false moral high ground without actually challenging systemic oppression.
White savior syndrome, paternalism, self righteousness, unchecked provides outlets and platform for legitimizing white patriarchal ENabled ruling class hegemony; the antithesis of real social change, providing the illusion of social justice without actual justice.
24. Animal “rights” essentially is used to take away from or even perpetuate systemic oppression against marginalized people. In that regard, it will never really be about animal “rights” but will instead simply support abuses of people by means of a meaningless distraction.
25. For many activists who include veganism in the larger issue of social justice but continue to insist that meat is murder and slavery, maintain this position of moral supremacy over people they are in “solidarity” with. It’s one way entitled activists can maintain the moral high ground in the context of systemic oppression and inequalities in the movement.
(In numbering these points I am not suggesting a hierarchy of importance. I’m simply counting.) um meat, i love you let me count the ways.
“Food policing is an area in which all sorts of assumptions are made about class and ability status. It goes hand in hand with the idea that people have an obligation to be healthy, that all bodies are the same so there’s only one way to be healthy, and that there is virtue in eating “right” as dictated by current authorities in the food world. Like, say,MichaelPollan,whoiseditorializedfawningly in numerous publications all over the planet for his “simple” and “helpful” food rules.
2. Unspeakable Conversations (Should I have been killed at birth? The case for my life.)
He insists he doesn’t want to kill me. He simply thinks it would have been better, all things considered, to have given my parents the option of killing the baby I once was, and to let other parents kill similar babies as they come along and thereby avoid the suffering that comes with lives like min…
www.huffingtonpost.com “The truth is there is no meal we can eat without killing. None. A trip to your local grocery store for tofu and spinach leaves may not include a single animal product but the harvesting of such food costs endless animal lives. Growing fields of soy beans for commercial clients means removing habitat from thousands of wild animals, killing them through deforestation and loss of their home. Songbirds and insects are killed by pesticides at legion. Fertilizers are made from petroleum now, and those fields of tofu seeds are literally being sprayed with oil we are fighting wars over. Deer died for that tofu. Songbirds died. Men and women in battle died. And then when the giant tofu factory harvested the beans they ran over those chemical oil fields of faux-food with combines that rip open groundhogs, mice, and rabbits. Tear apart frogs and fledgling birds. It is a messy and bloody business making tofu or any of that other non-murderous food.What about organic tofu and vegetables? That doesn’t include chemical fertilizers and the companies are mindful? Right? Well, that is correct. But if you are not using oil to fertilize your crops then you are using organic material: manure, blood, bone, fish, etc. You may be a vegetarian but your vegetables are the most voracious of all carnivores. That small farm at your local green market needed to lay down a lot of swine blood, cow bone, and horse poop freeze-dried in bags marked “ORGANIC” to grow those carrots so big and sweet. Animals are an integral part of growing food for us, as food themselves or creating the materials that feed the earth. And the earth must be fed.”