Recommended Reading for February 14th

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language and ideas of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

Sins Invalid: Sins Invalid’s Interview with Terry Rowden

Leroy of Sins Invalid: We are both music historians, and in The Songs of Blind Folk, you touch on the invisibility of Black blind female Blues artists. Can you expand on this for our readers?

Terry Rowden: As I wrote in The Songs of Blind Folk, the fact that blind and other disabled women were perceived as being particularly vulnerable made and continues to make the image of a blind woman on stage an uncomfortable one for audiences that have been much more willing to accepted disabled male performers.

Carnal Nation: It Can’t Happen Here [***stalking/sexual assault/NSFW WARNING***]

Nina does not aspire to the street punk life, but she’s usually barely a heartbeat from the gutter anyway. She lived in constant peril of losing her home. Her mother was always threatening to throw her out, and would often go so far as to pack Nina’s bags and toss them through the door onto the street. Alternately, she would lock Nina in her room for whole days. She constantly belittled Nina, saying she “looked disabled” and would never be able to make it on her own in the world.

Toronto Sun: Elections Canada must open door to disabled

In March 2008, Hughes went to vote in a federal byelection in Toronto Centre — when Bob Rae was elected — only to find the polling station was in a church basement and not accessible to disabled people.

Determined to vote, he crawled down the stairs on the seat of his pants.

When he had to face the same stairs in the general election of October 2008 he complained to Elections Canada officials who “dismissively said it was not their problem,” Hughes’ lawyer said.

Brisbane Times: Holidays without hassles: a rare find for the disabled

The business [BE Lifestyle Retreats] now employs 10 fully-qualified staff and includes a retreat at Cooran in the Noosa hinterland that accommodates four people and a four-bedroom holiday house at Peregian Springs.

Special features of the accommodation include electric beds, pressure mattresses, hoists and commode chairs as well as wheelchair access and wheelchair accessible vehicle pick-up and delivery service. Picnic packages and tours to wheelchair accessible venues can be organised.

Charlotte Observer: One man in a wheelchair, one big day for racial equality

From his wheelchair, [the Rev. Cecil Ivory] led Rock Hill blacks through a bus boycott that shut down the bus company. He led the NAACP. And now he was leading the lunch counter sit-ins. He told those gathered that night he was determined to wheel himself into McCrory’s the following day and park himself at the lunch counter. “His reasoning: How could he be arrested for not violating the custom, for not taking up a stool reserved for white customers?” Boone said. “Plus, he clearly couldn’t stand up in the back to eat.” […]

Soon Assistant Police Chief John Hunsucker and another officer arrived. Hunsucker instructed the manager to ask Ivory and Hamm to leave, Ivory wrote. The manager did.

Ivory asked why.

Hunsucker said “he did not care to discuss the matter,” he wrote. Ivory argued they had just “made previous purchases … and no one had objected.” He added he wasn’t sitting on a stool reserved for whites. Still, Hunsucker arrested the two.

KATU: Disabled man tasered by Transit Police officers

[Jamal] Green, 34, is disabled, with serious cognitive impairments. His lawyer says it is hard for Green to understand and follow orders. According to McKenzie, her grandson was attempting to get home using the public transit system. He initially got on a bus that wasn’t operating, but when the police officers first approached Green they instructed him to show his hands. According to a Portland Police spokesperson, Green didn’t comply with the request and instead kept them tucked up in his sleeves.

The police report indicates that the first officer warned Green he would use a tazer, then did so. Then the other officer, who deemed the first tasering ineffective, tasered Green a second time. Green says that he didn’t understand the commands as he was confused why the officers wanted to see his hands. He was eventually taken to jail then later released.

But Green’s grandmother is also upset that the officers confiscated his seizure medicine. The police report confirms that they officers initially thought it was ecstacy and at first attempted to charge Green with posession of a controlled substance.

[More detail and security video at The Portland Mercury]

3 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for February 14th

  1. That last one… gah. Police officers in general seriously need more disability training. I mean, what if someone hadn’t been following instructions because he was deaf?

    This one’s a big worry of mine, actually. When I get too overloaded, my ability to process speech has been known to break down. There have been several instances when someone was trying to get my attention, or to instruct me to do something, and I either didn’t even notice or noticed but couldn’t understand what they said.

  2. that’s so sad, the poor guy. I bet he wasn’t even that “agitated.” people just like to use these tropes about DD people being ~out of control~, I mean it sounds like THEY were the ones who were out of control, tasering someone who was obviously just confused as to what was going on.

  3. Unfortunately many cops use the excuse that they are in potentially deadly situations every day, have to err on the side of hurting or killing innocent people so that they don’t fail to subdue a violent criminal, and that it’s unfortunate when they harm or kill disabled people but that it’s not discrimination and that the public just doesn’t understand that they have to behave in this way.

    Since the police have been called on me for walking or sitting while autistic since I was a young teen, I am always aware that it could have been me. (The worst I got was being dropped off at mental institutions after being told they are taking me home, and being handcuffed in ways that might have damaged my body by leaving the cuffs in the mode where the worse you struggle the tighter they get. I asked a cop once if they are legally allowed to lie to me like that to trick me into coming with them, and he said yes.)

    It is really terrible that such things happen, and yes deaf people have been shot by cops many times, as have dd people of all kinds and people with psych labels. One woman near where I used to live came to the door with a potato peeler and got shot. But cops always seem to excuse their behavior and it just keeps going.

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