So what did you notice on the International Day of People with Disabilities?
For one thing, a blog many people enjoy for its humor and the sharp but respectful wit of the commentators turned nasty. One participant decided to perpetuate a stereotype about blindness, and did so in a particularly demeaning way. When another responded with a gentle hint that perhaps the participant was in error, the originator tried to excuse his behavior by remarking that he was only making a joke. This excuse is one of the primary refuges of the bigoted when they are confronted by a truth-speaker. So far at least one of the other participants came to the defense of the bigot. No one has defended the truth-speaker.
Across the day there have been statements from Romania, Palestine and Pakistan, but most tell us conditions have become worse for the disabled there. However, Stevie Wonder was named a UN Messenger of Peace. But where are the events such as job fairs or workshops on getting an education?
While you’re waiting for such stories today, peruse http://www.durbanreview.org/. Particularly interesting is an article by Hannah Jacobs, an advocate for those with intellectual disabilities at http://www.durbanreview.org/disability/blindness_to_discrimiantion_again_people_with_disabilties.shtml, entitled "Public blindness to discrimination against those with disabilities." Before you get excited about the title, read the article. Jacobs has done her homework and therefore can indulge herself with a bit of sarcasm. She locates several events this year which prove that the disabled cannot depend on the temporarily able to bail them out of the muck in which both live at present.
After you’ve read the article, talk amongst yourselves. Here’s a topic: what is the connection between hatred expressed as humor, empty gestures, and the continuation of rampant discrimination?
And keep watching the news.