Things Disability Activists Shouldn’t Do

By Andrew Pulrang: For More Info, Go Here…

I hope this list of “don’ts” isn’t just a list of my personal pet peeves. I tried to focus on bad and harmful habits that are at least somewhat common among disability activists, especially new ones. I’ve also tried to stick to ideas and rhetorical practices that are specific to the disability community … not just annoying personal qualities anyone might have. And while I personally disapprove of them, I hope people will read this list as helpful, not scolding. I have done most of these things at some point in my life as a disabled person. I probably still do some of them sometimes now. None of us is perfect. But at least we should have some idea of where perfection might be found, and where it decidedly can’t.

So, if you’re going to do disability activism, here are some things to avoid:

Don’t complain about “other minorities” having more power, recognition, support, etc. than disabled people.

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a disability activist complain about the disability community’s lack of recognition and power by implying that other “minorities” are somehow better off than “we” are. First of all, it’s not true. Second, our movements and communities overlap. There are disabled people who are also people of color, LGBTQ+, immigrants, etc. So our “groups” aren’t even totally separate. Finally, justice isn’t a limited commodity to fight over, and resenting other peoples’ perceived status or advantages is corrosive, offensive, and pointless.

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