Wednesday, April 06, 2011
The Day The Dog Didn't Die
I was sent this video via email. I hadn't heard about it. That bothers me. Almost daily I hear of the abuse and victimization of people with intellectual disabilities. Regularly I hear of discriminatory practice and of demeaning interactions. I need to know these things. I'm glad I'm told, I'm glad that we are developing a means of informing one another and of taking action. But I think it equally important that when people attempt to do something right, to counteract bias and bigotry, the word needs to be spread. This happened on April 3rd, a couple of days ago - but these days two days is a lifetime in terms of the speed of media. Yet not one person told me of it, I have been in a variety of places with many people over that time and I heard not one conversation regarding the performance, nothing - silence. Then, a lone email appears in my box with a note saying 'you probably heard about this' ... um, no, I didn't.
A starlet says the 'r' word and the disability world is in uproar.
A group of people, proudly identifying as having intellectual disabilities appear on national television to sing a song they wrote in conjunction with music industry pros - and I don't hear a peep.
I think that's wrong.
What's equally interesting is that I hesitated bringing this here to the blog. I just knew that many would be very critical of how this was done, what was said, how it was said, the tone it was said in, some might be offended by a particular word. So, I've noticed something odd. When something bad happens we are almost unanimous in our condemnation - this is good. Many voices speaking as one. However when something good happens, many become hyper-critical. 'I didn't like that they ...' or 'I think that they should have ...'. Everything could be done better. That's a given. But when something is attempted, when the spirit is to inform, inspire and inculcate new ways of thinking - well, isn't that good?
So here's to Darius Rucker, here's to song writers Brett James and Chris Young who worked with people with disabilities in writing the song, here's to CMA for making space for people with disabilities to shine. I found the whole thing moving.
Here's also to a day when we all learn how to graciously say 'thanks' for moments, in a world of negativity, when powerful positive sentiment occur.
Brett, Chris and Darius, consider your backs patted and your hands shook. Add to that a hearty, 'thank you' from me.