Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

so, I should paint with my feet?

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 This is how we exploit disabilities: we find some "exception" to hold up as super human, "brave, courageous, etc." and tell everybody else: "you're just not trying hard enough." I don't know if this person is homeless, an alcoholic, a child abuser. I only know he paints with his feet, so I should feel bad because I'm not an artist? No. I refuse. For every Oprah, there are tens of thousands of African American incest survivors who will never earn a hundred thousand dollars, let alone millions. For every Hellen Keller, there are millions of able-minded people, locked up in institutions, assumed to be "crazy" or "retarded." For every Stephen Hawking, there are millions of neoro-non-typicals who languish in poverty, dispair and short, miserable lives. These exceptions are fed to us so we'll hate ourselves just a little bit more, hide our needs a little bit deeper (so as not to inconvenience people by "playing the victim") and work all the harder, to prove we're good slaves. If this man weren't capable of painting -- if he were begging on the streets -- would his photo be exploited to prod us to keep feeling inadequate, keep covering it up, keep up production?


1 comment:

The Nerd said...

Reminds me of the supercrip archtype. http://bitchmagazine.org/post/the-transcontinental-disability-choir-disability-archetypes-supercrip