Stash a Resource right off the bat
RantWoman talks to herself
RantWoman, you SHOULD allow your readers to form their own opinions.
They can still form their own opinions. RantWoman is just called to HELP them.
RantWoman, you complain all the time about help that is not help.
Yes. And anyone who thinks there is an oversupply here is invited to speak up.
RantWoman are you SURE this isn't some weird personal thing or allergy to someone who is too smiley.
Wanting dialogue is not MEANT to be the same thing as scary, but no. I'm not sure. Canwe please just give that problem to God for now?
Disability hypervigilance? Allyship? Antagonism? Spiritual Accompaniment. Pure Argumentativeness
RantWoman is muddling about which strands of disability hypervigilance are most on point as an introduction to parts 2 and 3 of a piece on Principles of Disability Justice.
Several points are getting in the way of RantWoman fully appreciating this piece.
Who says I gotta hate capitalism to have disability justice? RantWoman can bitch about corporate logos all over the T-shirts for a national convention. OR RantWoman can talk about equality in the workplace, equality in the marketplace, when we mean equality and when we mean equity and the world of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
But RantWoman, maybe the problem is you're just allergic to people who are too smiley?
Yep, sure. Maybe the problem IS RantWoman. Maybe, but the POINT of disability Justice, like all kinds of other aspirational frameworks is that no person is intrinsically a problem and there are many paths past difficulties.
Plus, on Planet RantWoman, SOMETIMES RantWoman interprets the ability to crank out large volumes of text implies either ability or willingness to have further dialogue. RantWoman has come to wonder what she is perhaps misinterpreting.
Now please enjoy the actual articles.
The Principles of Disability Justice (Part 2 of 3)
In June’s Gleamings I wrote about the first four principles of Disability Justice: Intersectionality, Leadership of Those Most Impacted, Anti-Capitalism and Cross-Movement Solidarity.
These principles were first articulated in 2005 by queer disabled women of color: Patty Berne, Mia Mingus, and Stacey Milburn, who were soon joined by Leroy Moore, Eli Clare and Sebastian Margaret. Disability Justice work now happens all over, and it’s analogous to environmental justice and reproductive justice movements with its holistic and anti-racist approach.
This month I’ll talk about the next five principles, leaving the final principle for the September issue of Gleamings.
white supremacy culture. Friends’ practices fit well into this understanding of transformation.
7. Commitment to cross-disability solidarity: We value and honor the insights and participation of all of our community members, even and especially those who are most often left out of political conversations. We are building a movement that breaks down isolation between people with physical impairments, people who are sick or chronically ill, psych[iatric] survivors and people with mental health disabilities, neurodiverse people, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, Deaf people, Blind people, people with environmental injuries and chemical sensitivities, and all others who experience ableism and isolation that undermines our collective liberation.
Disability is so diverse, and many of us have internalized ableism that gets in the way of being in solidarity with one another. How many non-developmentally-disabled folks have tried to convince people to see our humanity by saying, “I’m disabled, not stupid!”? But creating a hierarchy of disability is ableist and ultimately hurts us all.
8. Interdependence: Before the massive colonial project of Western European expansion, we understood the nature of interdependence within our communities. We see the liberation of all living systems and the land as integral to the liberation of our own communities, as we all share one planet. We work to meet each other’s needs as we build toward liberation, without always reaching for state solutions which inevitably extend state control further into our lives.
Caring for one another is part of being human, as is needing care. We don’t make all our own food, clothes, shelter, or medicine. We know too intimately how much we crave
5. Recognizing wholeness: Each person is full of history and life experience. Each person has an internal experience composed of our own thoughts, sensations, emotions, sexual fantasies, perceptions, and quirks. Disabled people are whole people.
I don’t know if I can communicate how meaningful this principle is to me. Disabled people are not fundamentally broken or incomplete or lacking.
We are whole.
We are enough.
6. Sustainability: We learn to pace ourselves, individually and collectively, to be sustained long-term. We value the teachings of our bodies and experiences, and use them as a critica/guide and reference point to help us move away from urgency and into a deep, slow, transformative, unstoppable wave of justice and liberation.
This principle is essential—and challenging. Urgency surrounds us all, both based on material circumstances and as a part of 3
connection with others. Wealthy, abled people’s needs are almost always met immediately and without a fuss, whereas poor and disabled folks’ needs are often stigmatized. Stigmatized needs usually only get met with strings attached: shame, control, surveillance, enforced poverty, etc.
9. Collective Access: As Black and brown and queer crips, we bring flexibility and creative nuance to our engagement with each other. We create and explore ways of doing things that go beyond able-bodied and neurotypical norms. Access needs aren’t shameful — we all function differently depending on context and environment. Access needs can be articulated and met privately, through a collective, or in community, depending upon an individual’s needs, desires, and the capacity of the group. We can share responsibility for our access needs, we can ask that our needs be met without compromising our integrity, we can balance autonomy while being in community, we can be unafraid of our vulnerabilities, knowing our strengths are respected. [Note: “crip” is a reclaimed slur that should not be used to describe others without their permission.]
I’m still learning to ask for what I need. Watching disabled friends assert their rights has been so powerful for me to watch; I want to be that inspiration for another disabled person. The process of making access requests always feels tender, but little by little, we create a culture where we all work to shamelessly meet everyone’s access needs.
Full text of the 10 principles: https://tinyurl.com/ DJ10Principles
The Principles of Disability Justice
Part 3 of 3
In June, I wrote about the first four principles of Disability Justice: Intersectionality, Leadership of Those Most Impacted, Anti-Capitalism and Cross-Movement Solidarity. Last month I wrote about the next five principles: Wholeness, Sustainability, Cross-Disability Solidarity, Interdependence and Collective Access. This article is about the tenth and final principle: Collective Liberation.
Collective liberation is so much bigger and broader than rights-based discourse. It’s not about the bare minimum that is required for surviving and participating in this society—it’s about creating a new and different society without systemic oppression.
Aurora Levins Morales, in her book Kindling, explains: “There is no neutral body from which our bodies deviate. Society has written deep into each strand of tissue of every living person on earth. What it writes into the heart muscles of five star generals is distinct from what it writes in the pancreatic tissue and intestinal tracts of Black single mothers in Detroit, of Mexicana migrants in Fresno, but no body stands outside the consequences of injustice and inequality […] What our bodies require in order to thrive, is what the world requires. If there is a map to get there, it can be found in the atlas of our skin and bone and blood, in the tracks of neurotransmitters and antibodies.”
Thinking about disability calls us into our bodies. Disability is profoundly practical, physical, emotional and messy in the most human sense. Being kind to our disabled selves requires humility and grace—and it also should be grounded in an analysis that reaches beyond any one body.
Patty Berne, one of the founders of Disability Justice, continues: “Disability Justice activists, organizers, cultural workers understand that able-bodied supremacy has been formed in relation to intersecting systems of domination and exploitation. The histories of white supremacy and ableism are inextricably entwined, both forged in the crucible of colonial conquest and capitalist domination. We cannot comprehend ableism without grasping its interrelations with heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, colonialism and capitalism, each system co-creating an ideal bodymind built upon the exclusion and elimination of a subjugated ‘other’ from whom profits and status are extracted. 500+ years of violence against black and brown communities includes 500+ years of bodies and minds deemed dangerous by being non-normative— again, not simply within able-bodied normativity, but within the violence of heteronormativity, white supremacy, gender normativity, within which our various bodies and multiple communities have been deemed ‘deviant,’ ‘unproductive,’ ‘invalid.’”
Transphobia is, among other things, colonial: colonizers attempted to erase the many non-cis genders that have existed for thousands of years outside of Europe. Similarly, colonialism is misogynist, misogyny is fatphobic, fatphobia is racist, racism is classist, and on and on. These major forms of oppression are deeply interwoven, and to completely undo any one, we must undo all of them. This is the beginning of the final principle of Disability Justice:
10. Collective Liberation: We move together as people with mixed abilities, multiracial, multi-gendered, mixed class, across the sexual spectrum, with a vision that leaves no bodymind behind. This is disability justice. We honor the longstanding legacies of resilience and resistance which are the inheritance of all of us whose bodies and minds will not conform. Disability justice is not yet a broad based popular movement. Disability justice is a vision and practice of what is yet-to-be, a map that we create with our ancestors and our great-grandchildren onward, in the width and depth of our multiplicities and histories, a movement towards a world in which every body and mind is known as beautiful.
Patty Berne expands on this principle: “Disability Justice holds a vision born out of collective struggle, drawing upon the legacies of cultural and spiritual resistance within a thousand underground paths, igniting small persistent fires of rebellion in everyday life. Disabled people of the global majority—black and brown people—share common ground confronting and subverting colonial powers in our struggle for life and justice. There has always been resistance to all forms of oppression, 4
as we know through our bones that there have simultaneously been disabled people visioning a world where we flourish, that values and celebrates us in all our myriad beauty.”
Disability Justice is always inherent anti-racist, anti-colonial and opposed to all forms of oppression. Because we get free together, or not at all.