Sunday, March 22, 2009

Easter Eggs and Activism


It's funny, but I have noticed many times that when I talk with folks about disability rights issues some people--parents of children who have disabilities-- can't get away from me fast enough. And the other day I was talking to my friend in Texas and she finds the same thing.

People don't actually stick their fingers in their ears and say, "La, la, la, I can't hear you," but sometimes I think they want to.

Some of them feel overwhelmed thinking about legislative issues, others fear being immersed in controversy and work, some say they will work on those issues when their children are older, and others say they just want to think about happier things...

One of my hopes in life is to tap this unrealized source of disability support. I keep e-lists for systems activists and a separate list for people who want me to keep it 'lite' for them and I do. I send less, explain more and ask for less, but it is really difficult.

I want to say to these people that the 'pardon me, I seem to be standing under your foot' advocacy method has never changed anything, for anyone, ever.

I want to tell them that the only way to justice is THROUGH their fear and that the dread is always worse than the job itself.

I want to tell them that taking a stand and facing down controversy is the path to peace.

I want to tell them that they will not be alone, there are lots of folks to stand with...

And most of all I want to tell them that we need them.

We need Easter Egg Hunts AND activism. Scrapbooking get-togethers AND visits to legislators, moms' nights out AND and an eye on the systems that affect us.

If we could engage everyone we could change our culture and create a world that would nurture everyone without overwhelming any of us.

So, who has some ideas for me?

Picture from here.

3 comments:

A Bishops Wife said...

You are a reat person and a critical thinker, I like your style.

Activists ACTIVATE a cause or pricipal and inspire people to think and do....

And that is just what you do.

Most do not want to ask the hard questions much less actually do something, but you do both,

Keep it up.

cripchick said...

for me so much of my disability identity is wrapped in organizing and community, it's always hard to remember there are people who want to do other things. :) i try to remind myself that our work is about this, creating a world where they have access to do whatever they want, including the choice to not partake in activism or advocacy. at the same time, it's really frusterating when the things you are working on directly relate to them and they don't want to chip in...

love this post, especially:

"We need Easter Egg Hunts AND activism. Scrapbooking get-togethers AND visits to legislators, moms' nights out AND and an eye on the systems that affect us."

oh and the "pardon me, i seem to be standing under your foot" part :) (going to steal that line. have been also quoting you on the obama post that ableism is so engrained even our friends don't notice)

Terri said...

Thank you Bishop's Wife and cripchick. I hope we can activate and not alienate. We need all the help we can get!