However, what we see in the poetry movement -- and in the university -- is still only partially happening the what we like to call the 'real world.'
I was looking at job listings for my husband -- largely in private NY high schools. I noted something very interesting. Even schools -and certainly everyone else -- are still putting notes at the end of their hiring listings that they WANT minorities, that they don;'t exclude minorities. Ah, except for one! People with disabilities. Surely more women, African-Americans, and Asians have more jobs than PWD, so, in all fairness, shouldn't companies be hiring the least represented minority?
Read carefully. I'm going to tell you why it doesn't work that way.
Awhile ago smart people decided that there was no real reason to exclude women and race groups from the work force. They decided that this prejudice was unfounded and based on stupidity. Black people are not dumb. Women are not helpless. PLEASE do not think I am saying the system is perfect and all groups don't have trouble -- I'm not.
However, people believe that they can rationalize not including/hiring people with disabilities. These people are disabled, after all! Doesn't that mean they can't work? So, isn't the prejudice logical. Guess what, no! Now think of a list of jobs -- which of these jobs include a. walking b. walking straight c. hearing (remember one can use a computer) d. heavy lifting e. running track f. giving a speech to 1000 people g. seeing. If anything else, all disabled people could be movie ticket sellers. Those guys don't do shit! Seriously, 75% of jobs today involve some form of thought (usually VERY low-level thought) and a computer. So, why can't we hire PWD?
I hate to blame the victim, but PWD have to stand up too. The reason the other 'groups' have gotten so far is because they marched, died, and voted for their rights. I can tell you from experience, though, its hard to be rejected again and again. It's hard to be sitting across the desk from a person (say, Vicki Bernstein of the NYC teaching fellows or the lovely folks at Bronx Letters) and know that you are way smarter than this person and you know what they are thinking and there ain't nothing you can do 'bout it.
But, if my story isn't enough to convince you of the world's/NYC DOE's evils read this from today's New York Times: NOTE: Mr. W is a Hasidic Jewish man:
"Mr. Waronker, 39, a former public school teacher, was in the first graduating class of the New York City Leadership Academy, which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg created in 2003 to groom promising principal candidates. Considered one of the stars, he was among the last to get a job, as school officials deemed him “not a fit” in a city where the tensions between blacks and Hasidic Jews that erupted in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in 1991 are not forgotten.
“They just said he may be terrific, but not the right person for that school,” Chancellor Klein said.
Some parents at J.H.S. 22, also called Jordan L. Mott, were suspicious, viewing Mr. Waronker as too much an outsider. In fact, one parent, Angie Vazquez, 37, acknowledged that her upbringing had led her to wonder: “Wow, we’re going to have a Jewish person, what’s going to happen? Are the kids going to have to pay for lunch?”
WHOA NELLY! DID THE CHANCELLOR OF NY PUBLIC SCHOOLS JUST SAY IN THE BIGGER NEWSPAPER IN THE COUNTRY THAT SCHOOLS DIDN'T HIRE A PERSON BASED ON THEIR RELIGION? WHA? ISN'T THAT LIKE, ILLEGAL?