Friday, January 12, 2007

Note:

Nothing ever came of my communication with Matt about Bronx Letters. Such is life. In reality, an employer should never have to defend the reason they chose not to hire someone. ALSO. In reality, an employer should hire the person with the best credentials, not based on race, sexuality, or disability: yet prejudice is (obviously) still rampant in the employment community.

Along these lines, this was part of an email I sent to my friend the great poet/activist Jen Benka:
But what I was getting at was that as a person with a
disability just living my life has been more effective than marching in the
streets. Something like 75% of PWD so not work, so having a job, for me, is
a revolutionary act. Especially, since I taught high school. All my
students, collegues, and employers who thought handicapped people were
uncapable meet me and change their minds. Also, having a child is political.
Normal people don't believe handicapped people can have healthy, active
kids. So just by walking down the street with Jeff, I change minds (and
numerous people ask me - is he yours? Is your husband disabled?) I'm not
saying I'm the all powerful Wizard of Oz! But, I just wanted you to
understand were I'm coming from. Of course, community power works too. But,
I sometimes find it hard to find enough like-minded people. We went to EVERY
anti-war demonstration, but they always made me uncomfortable because
everyone was pushing their own adgenda instead of focusing on the war!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Jen,

You are so right. I cannot believe that we act as if a handicapped person is an anomaly. Actually, I am finding that anyone who appears to be different from the norm (whatever that is) is judged as incapable.

I saw a special about a dwarf couple living in Berkeley who have a normal daughter. They have had to overcome so much. People do not believe their daughter is their own.

You have accomplished so much in your life and no one can take that away from you--handicap or not.

Mom