Did you know that systems that discriminate disabled folk have deep roots in Black and Brown slavery and segregation? Disabled folk tend to experience marginalisation due to their ‘lack of ability’ to function within capitalism and ‘contribute’ to society and their disability, condition, experiences and/or their ways of being are perceived as useless.
The concept of ‘normal’ that is often adjusted to an able bodied person (who also often is white, cis-gender, heterosexual) negates the possibilities of humanity and reduces the worth of people to their functionality.
Addressing ableism often means addressing access. Infrastructures and systems of education and employment, housing, pleasure and well-being are not designed for people with various forms of needs and that puts them at severe risk.
Having this conversation involves questioning our internalized beliefs towards disabled folk. It involves uplifting and investing in the disability-led work by activists and movements.
My learnings about disability and ableism are a result of Black and Brown labour. Nothing that I am saying here is anything that hasn’t been said before by other disabled folk for decades before today.
A good and easy start is to check out the podcast ‘Be Antiracist By Ibrahim X. Kendi’ (episode on Racism and Disability.
The work of normalizing anti-ableism as an act of anti-racism is simply urgent. If the least you can do is to learn about being better and better allies, show up for disabled folk and support our work, then so be it.
I think it’s a good start.