Microaggression & Disability, George Takei and the Guardians of the Galaxy
The ‘despicable meme’, as it has been dubbed by the disability community, features a woman standing up from her wheelchair to grab a bottle on a high shelf in the alcohol aisle. It is typically accompanied by a slogan; usually along the lines of ‘being filled by the holy spirit’ and/or ‘a miracle has happened in the alcohol aisle.’ I refuse to add the meme to this blog. If you’re curious to see it refer to the link above.
From Takei’s blatant refusal to take the tweet down it’s clear he doesn’t get the impact of his bullying tactic.
Judging people with disabilities based on their disability is far from harmless. Since the tweet went up August 2nd, wheelchair users have shared stories about being judged, sometime violently, for moving their legs while in a wheelchair.
Spread the word folks! A wheelchair does not equal perfect paralysis of the legs. I had a friend in my early university days with Spina bifida. She could walk but preferred to use a wheelchair. It made mobility easier, safer, and much less stressful.
Don’t Look Down on Me, Jonathan Novick’s short documentary on the daily abuses suffered by himself as a little person is a window into what abled people rarely experience. You get to experience microaggressions and their impact on his life. It’s a relentless barrage of people taking photo’s without permission, invading his privacy, and unasked for off-colour street commentary.
The judgment of people with disabilities is pervasive.
Despite being highly intelligent, Groot is constantly referred to as an ‘idiot’ because he only speaks three words “I am Groot.” If you check Groot’s wikipedia page he’s not actually saying “I am Groot”. His language is so incomprehensible to average lifeforms that only Rocket can interpret him. When Rocket is called upon to explain Groot’s language skills on the silver screen, only a derogatory, poorly grammatically phrased explanation of his 3 word vocabulary is shared. 🙁
The cultural bias against persons with limited vocabulary is glaringly obvious in this movie. Lack of spoken language says only that a person has a limited vocabulary, nothing else.
How do you combat microaggressions on behalf of the people you support?
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