Damn, you’ve been busy! It’s been one hell year for you. You’ve been working nonstop. And while I am so grateful, you exist and appreciate the work that you do I am beyond frustrated with you. You see, as a disabled woman of color who is always ready and willing to go to battle with you, to be lead by you, I am constantly reminded by your actions that you don’t see me, you don’t see people like me, and our struggle is constantly ignored by you. It’s funny because being seen is so important to you. It’s essential that the world recognize your humanity. So I ask you, friend, am I not human?
We are more alike than different! If you just took a second to breathe, to pause, and recognize that we are suffering alongside you, where would we be? We are battling for our existence too. Every piece of this system is constantly working to not only kill us but to erase us.
My friend, have you done your homework? Studied those who gave their lives in the name of change? Did you read the books written by and about those who created the foundation of community change? Historically we can pick many. But if I could just for a moment highlight a group, I’d ask you to take a look at the Black Panthers. They believed that in order to be truly liberated, we all must be liberated! All of us and anything short of that is a failure. So as you plan your next move, I urge you to think about your leadership and whose liberation is being discussed? Who’s liberation isn’t represented? How can you better unify and what are you missing?
And lastly, I ask how many more, how many protests, campaigns, speeches, parades, and marches are you going to orchestrate in the name of changing the world and daring society to be better while you ignore disabled bodies. Having an ASL interpreter available is not enough. Plan for us, include us, and recognize that we too can lead.
Being disabled might mean that we look different, but we are one!