I came across a Twitter thread on February 11th I wanted to share. So often we “help” people from a place of sympathy or even pity. But when the work gets hard we can go back to our lives without feeling the weight of racism, bigotry, religious persecution or having to deal with a disability. India Valentine, a writer and disability advocate who handles her own disability, posted this thread speaking to the need for allies and non-disabled advocates to understand the need for the disabled to speak for themselves.
I challenge you to read through the whole thread. It’s long, and you may have to click “Show More” as you finish a section, but her words are important. Remember, she’s not saying that the fight for the rights and accessibility for disabled persons doesn’t need allies and advocates, but rather the voices that need to be at the forefront of the movement should be voices of people who actually deal with the situation every day.
This thread, though specifically talking about #DisabledTwitter and disability in general, can be applied to so many injustices we see in the world. Yes, we need to step forward and help, even if this injustice does not directly affect us, but we also need to take a back seat and do the non-glorious work because the voices we need to hear, and the humanity we need to acknowledge, is that of the people who are directly affected.
**This is one of those posts I’m going to strongly remind my readers to leave nothing behind on the sites I post. This challenge is about educating ourselves through the eyes of people unlike us, or maybe more like us than we realize. Experience a new point of view, but leave your point of view at home.**
Lenten Challenge 2016
Post #2: Coming Out Again, and Again, and Again . . .
Post #3: Dalia Mogahed and why she wears a hijab
Post #4: Why diversity in Children’s Literature really Matters
Post #5: The Emotional Toll of Growing Up Black in America
Post #6: Picture from the Box
Post #7: Diversity 101
Post #8: Study examines television, diversity and self-esteem
Post #9: Growing up Muslim in America
Post #10: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Post #11: Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person
Post #12: It’s a Choice! Oh Shit!
Post #13: Representation Matters