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Recognizing Ableism

ccywes's picture

One of the themes that came up in several of the short essays/articles that we read is the idea of recognizing ableism. Specifically, the "Disability Justice Is an Essential Part of Abolishing Police and Prisons" article mentions that "most people in social justice movements are unable to recognize ableism". I found this to be a profound statement. Intersectionality between disability and other identities is becoming more recognizable intertwined in social movements, so it di not make sense to me that people would ignore the ableism component to disability. Yet, after reading the "Ten Principles of Disability Justice", it was made clear that cross-movement solidarity is not always present. So, how can movements fix this dilemma in order to better advocate for all members of their movement despite intersectional differences? As the "Ten Principles of Disability Justice" article states so well, it takes challenging the movement to push beyond its surface values. However, it cannot be only the people experiencing the intersectionality to fight for equal treatment in social movements. Each movement as a whole should gather in support of their peers even if that means a movement must challenge its own members to be more respectful to their black peers, or challenge any homophobia or other forms of discrimination or point out ableism. Social movements must learn to stand up for its members not only in times where their primary identity as part of that group is challenged, but rather any time a member of their group is challenged for their ability, disability, or identity. Challenging social movements to wupport all aspects of its peers is a form of social justice to change social conditions and norms to support all people's will to live and thrive.