I’ve been sharing my Bar Exam GoFundMe now for a couple of weeks on social media. And I appreciate every share. I really do! But what I don’t appreciate is being made into the star of a #fakespiration aka #InspirationPorn post, esp when it centers the poster.
So, someone, for whom I have much respect, shared my campaign added their own caption to the post. That caption said:
“One of the bravest hardest working individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Tiara was born in a wheelchair as well as missing several fingers due to circumstances she could not control.
Though she was not one of my students at [ABC College], I was her supervising professor when she helped create the [ZYX Legal Clinic]. Her Professor M, and I never once saw her handicap to the point that we were applying to positions for her and were confused when law offices called stating she did not meet the requirements for lifting case files, which were a certain weight. Tiara is one of those people that is so hard working that you don’t notice that she’s in a wheelchair.
What’s even more amazing is she NEVER ONCE stated she was not able to do something because of her handicap. She still inspires me to this day!”
They saw me accomplish every freaking thing I set out to do in my 10 months in that program.
They saw me “talk the talk, and roll the roll”
But do they talk about ANY of that? No. They talk about my disability and the struggle as if it were their story to tell. They center themselves and how I was somehow less disabled because I didn’t act disabled even tho I was/am hella disabled. They focus on how hard I work and on them not seeing my wheelchair yet, it’s all they talk about.
They completely erased me to the point where I, the person raising funds, am a plot device. I am the reason they deserve a pat on the back. I “inspire” them to this day. Because I was/am what? Doing sh*t? Living? Reaching goals? Not being the way they thought disabled people should be? And after ALL of that harping on how I’m so disabled but less disabled, they didn’t even say “Hey! Let’s help!”
I am here to be Tiara. An educator. An activist. A wife. A mother. A fighter. A role model. An advocate. Just another Disabled Black Girl navigating this ableist society we call home.
Not your inspiration