I’ve always credited my “academic success” (not sure you can call it that considering I just failed online P.E.) and parent’s involvement in my life due to my Korean heritage and the pursuit of the “American Dream” that my mother had as an immigrant. It was interesting today to drop my brother off at college— my father (who is not Korean) was very emotional and told me that out of seven children, only one of his siblings went to college and that today was so meaningful to him.
I’ve always felt that I live(d) a life of upper-middle class privilege: I don’t remember a recent time in my life where my father was not a high ranking military official or when we could not have something that we earnestly and reasonably wanted. That said, it was enlightening to hear how my great grandfather was a sharecropper [a person who does all the work on the land but receives almost nothing] and my grandfather, worked in a factory and was very involved with his union to the point where picket lines and protests weren’t out of the norm. My father’s siblings all worked with their hands and my father joined the military straight out of high school.
I’m not sure where things really changed for my family but history is so important. As a non-white person, my mother has always felt left out of the family (my grandparents did not even come to the wedding) and I felt the same. Now I feel like I’ve spent a lifetime devaluing one half of my family. Who knows I guess, still it just proves to me more why teaching young people about disability history, heritage and culture is so important. I viewed them as strangers when we may have had more in common all along.
Coverage of the Dem presidential candidate debate last night re: queer issues “If you want to tack the “T” on the end of the acronym [glbt], at least ensure that you REPRESENT us! Don’t do what a lot of groups do and have that letter there, yet not be able to understand what matters to those of us who go through transition or are gender-variant, much less only slightly acknowledge (or not acknowledge at all) our existence in contrast to the questions pertaining to gay men, lesbians and bisexuals!” (—katiegeek23.wordpress.com)
Ruben Navarro, disabled man given morphine so docs could have his organs “Right now, the big concern in the public dialog appears to be that the publicity surrounding this will negatively impact the rate of organ donation…In a state where assisted suicide is still a hot and popular topic, the disability community cannot afford to be silent. This is about the lack of proper community support, abuse and neglect in institutions, the devaluing of our lives in medical settings, and the lack of accountability that exists for members of the medical profession.” (—www.fridanow.blogspot.com)
Military Woman Charged with Her Own Rape “The rape charges were dropped against the three Airmen who were accused and they were given small fines and a reduction in rank. But they have now been granted letters of immunity so that they can testify against Hernandez…. If convicted, she would have to register as a sex offender.” (— www.brownfemipower.com)
A good friend and I spent the afternoon chatting about our experiences in the disability community and how they were impacted by white privilege. A lot of people refuse to believe white/heterosexual/male/class/disability privilege exists but it is everywhere because it is subconscious [hidden but there]. If you can’t speak the same language or think like the dominant culture does, it’s going to be much more difficult to squeeze through the door. It’s pathetic that we have to have such an oppressive hierarchy within a movement that is supposed to promote the “nothing about us without us” philosophy.
I saw how alive and active the “good ol’ boys club” was when I was living in DC this summer; especially during this one instance when we were asking an elder for help and the elder addressed my straight white male friend while completely ignoring my Latina friend and I. Or how about the time this summer when other young people and I were asked to speak at a rally (as an afterthought of course,) and wrote a piece about how our community values the opinions of nondisabled “professionals” instead of viewing our own people as experts. Right before we were about to read it, we were kicked off stage so a Congressman could speak. Oh the irony. Continue reading