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Free Speech: What’s the catch?

Free Speech: What’s the catch?

On March 12, 1990, over one thousand activists descended on to Washington, D.C. and gathered in front of the Capitol building.  About 60 disabled activists proceeded to crawl up the stairs to the Capitol building in what became known as the Capitol Crawl.  Four months later, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA, was signed into law.  On April 5, 1977, over 100 disabled activists and non-disabled supporters staged a sit-in at the Federal Building to demand recognition of disabled civil rights.  The sit-in lasted approximately 30 days, with food and medical support coming from outside groups.  The activists were protesting the 4-year delay in signing section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act into law.  On February 13, 2018, disabled activists and their allies returned to the Capitol building.  Members of ADAPT, some who were involved in the Capitol Crawl, flooded the hearing room where arguments for and against HR620, a bill that advocates believed would weaken the ADA, were being heard.  Many activists were dragged out or arrested.  On February 15, 2018, HR620 passed in the House of Representatives. Read the rest of this entry

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I Still Say Their Names

I Still Say Their Names

There are times when I just sit and repeat the story of these unarmed black and brown bodies who were killed. I imagine I am telling it to a future generation

It plays out like this: Something happens and the teen says “call the cops!” But they are stopped. Teen comes to me and asks why. I tell Teen that we can’t be sure if the cop will see us as a victim or suspect. Teen insists his friend is a victim (of whatever) and that much is clear.

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Of Gloria, Angela, and Vilissa: Feminism, Race, Disability

Of Gloria, Angela, and Vilissa: Feminism, Race, Disability

Sitting in a room full of women, I decided to engage in conversation with the other women.  The subject eventually turned to motherhood.  Of the 20 or so women present, I was only one of five who did not have children.  I was the only one of the attendees with a visible disability.  The women asked the childless attendees whether they planned to have children some day.  This question was not posed to me.  Instead, I was asked whether she can have children.

Over the next few days, it occurred to me that this question was asked a lot.  When I answered in the affirmative, it was only then that I was usually asked whether I planned to have any.  On one occasion, a “yes” answer was quickly followed up with a hypothetical: What would you do if your child came out disabled?  These questions not only revealed that Disabled People are not viewed as able to engage in sex, but also that Disabled People are not generally viewed as parent material.  These questions did not sound like what the author expected to hear at a meeting of women declaring themselves feminists.

Simmons – Feminism, Race and Disability (PDF).

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