Sunday, October 08, 2017

Don't Even ...

Please.

Don't.

Don't tell me, in the tone you use towards a pouting child, that I need to understand that those were different times. That people didn't think about accessibility when designing houses, buildings or public spaces.

Yes.

They did.

And said 'fuck it.'

You don't seem to understand that the idea of accessibility isn't new. You know how I know? Because people with disabilities didn't spring up in the human population just a couple years ago. We've been around forever. Really. Forever.

Yeah.

You killed us.

You put us on top of mountains to die.

You locked us away in basements and attics.

But we've been here. And you know what we've been doing? Experiencing you. And you attitudes. And your barriers. And your disgust. And your superiority.

Buildings were built for access for exactly who they wanted there.

And we weren't part of their plan. We weren't part of their imagined customer base. We weren't the right sort for the right crowd. "It was a different time," is no excuse because it's the same prejudice, the same fear and, yes, the same hate. It may feel like a different time to you, but every time any one of us faces a public space where we are clearly unwelcome, barriers placed purposely in our way (yes you read that right) it feels like the same old shit.

Young men and women went off to fight wars, lots of wars, over our entire history. They came back, bloodied by war then beaten to submission by prejudice and exclusion. Cities build monuments to war heroes and then create public spaces that they can't access. Ever notice that the soldiers are always portrayed in monuments standing? Whole bodied? Without the slightest whiff of blood, or sweat, or rotting flesh?

Bumper stickers ask you to thank a vet. Maybe the best way to do that is to make it your goal that every veteran in every city lives as freely as you do. They bought you your freedom, maybe you could demand that they have theirs.

It's getting better you say.

You say as if it's a gift we should treasure.

I'll tell you this every fucking cut curb, every auto door button, every bar placed behind accessible toilets was put there because we fought for it.

It's not a gift.

Now here comes the part where you call me a snowflake and tell me that my feelings of exclusion at an event I really want to attend are lacking in understanding, on my part, of the world as it is.

I'm from Canada honey, and let me tell you, I know exactly the power that a snowflake has when it is accompanied by a storm.

5 comments:

Adelaide Dupont said...

"Young men and women went off to fight wars, lots of wars, over our entire history. They came back, bloodied by war then beaten to submission by prejudice and exclusion. Cities build monuments to war heroes and then create public spaces that they can't access. Ever notice that the soldiers are always portrayed in monuments standing? Whole bodied? Without the slightest whiff of blood, or sweat, or rotting flesh?"

Yes - we're having lots of controversies about our statues at the moment.

We do see sick soldiers/patients sometimes in the statues. And then the hero doctor.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

In the rush to create a pecking order, it is handy to have some people who can easily be pushed to the bottom. Handy for those who consider themselves able-bodied - and somehow deserving.

It's funny, because not a one of us can 'change a single hair on our heads.' Not even whoever thinks he's on top of the heap. It's all luck of the draw.

Sandra Fleming said...

Here is another snowflake who feels it is long overdue that all public spaces should be accessible. If you want to exclude others from your own house -- that is your own short sightedness. There is such a wide group of people who would benefit and enjoy and use building changes that aren't even recognized as yet.
Hope you start a storm.

Sherry-Lynn K said...

I freaking HATE the term "snowflake"... and how it gets thrown out as soon as someone objects to be treated like crap, to being treated as insignificant, to being treated as a burden. I hate how people say demeaning things to others, or about others, and then defensively call the rightly offended recipient of their garbage "snowflakes".
How about if you don't be an asshole instead? Then I won't have to object to your shitty language, your shitty attitudes and your shitty behaviour? How about if we all actually PRACTICE equality?
Bring on the snowstorm.

Shannon said...

I'm tired of snowflake and also I think PC is overused as a way to criticize people who object to certain language. I have a relative who brings out the "well, it's an old building, it was built before disabled people went out by themselves" thing a lot. She has a disability but does not depend on the ADA accommodations as I do.. it's hard for her to climb steps, but she can. She doesn't need a curb cut, does not need an accessible bathroom or hotel room or an aisle chair to get on a plane. She is not very knowledgeable about the ADA or the Fair Housing Act. Not sure she really views disability laws as civil rights laws. She uses the R word a lot. Thinks I'm being picky if I object to being called a wheelchair.