Let me start off by saying and apologizing for pulling politics in to this post. This post is not intended to convey any political viewpoints only to address the way the media is using disabilities to get to further their political views and increase personal views on various stories.
So with that said, let me just start with the politics that prompted this post.
Here’s the issue.
Children are being kept in cages, separated from their families. That right there should absolutely be enough to stop you in your tracks and make you questions what the fuck is going on in our world.
A few weeks ago the headlines all read: Families Being Separated At The Border
I guess that didn’t get people as stirred up as the media wanted.
So, soon it became Children Being Ripped Away From Families At The Border
And shortly thereafter: Families Seeking Asylum Being Ripped Apart At The Border
Now… here’s the issue I have.
This same exact story has been in circulation for a number of weeks now. But the new outlets are trying to keep it present in your mind.
I scroll through Facebook and Twitter and I come across these headlines close to every other post. So hey, people are talking about it. That’s actually really good. This needs to be addressed. The new policy definitely needs to be looked at and perhaps rewritten. I have not read the policy so I have no comment on the hard policy itself or if any changes need to be made. I also have no comment on suggestions for the policy, as I do not know what it all entails.
So, here I am. Scrolling. And let me tell you the headline they concocted today stopped me dead in my tracks:
Children with Disabilities Being Locked Up in Cages After Being Separated From Their Families
And OH MY GOSH. Let me tell you how up in arms our world just became.
People are now begging of you to contact your elected government officials. People are sharing the posts like crazy. People are so up in arms because not only are they children but they are disabled children!
It should have been a problem weeks ago when it was simply children.
But it took CLICKBAIT. It took the word “disability” to be brought into the conversation to make enough people care.
Now I have to ask, WHY DO YOU CARE ALL OF A SUDDEN?
You didn’t care yesterday about the children. You didn’t care yesterday about your neighbor with a disability. You didn’t care a week ago when you got a call from school because your kid called some one “retarded.” You didn’t care when you humiliated the girl with an invisible disability, as she parked in the handicapped spot at the grocery store.
I sit here and I wonder. I wonder why, when it’s related to a political controversy, why that is when you care about the disabled population.
Funding for Social Security is going away. Do you know where disability payments come from? You guessed it… Social Security.
I won’t even get started on how ineffective the existing payments are. But they won’t be around much longer.
Our society has “special minimum wages” for “disabled workers” and its typically well under the federal minimum wage.
Our society doesn’t cover the majority of treatments needed for disabled individuals.
Our society turns a blind eye.
Our society has an issue with installing a handicap ramp.
Our society excludes disabled children from fire drills. From active shooter drills. From anything that may cause them to “act out”. Because them acting out is worse than them understanding how to respond to a very real emergency.
Name a department store or any store for that matter, that is ADA compliant. I’d wait for a response, but we’d all be dead before we found a store that wasn’t some mom and pop place that catered 100% to people with disabilities.
I may be able to walk, but I certainly am squeezed in awfully tight places when shopping for clothes.
I hate to say it, but all of our lives would be a lot easier if everything was made to ADA standards.
But it’s not.
And tomorrow they’ll have a new “clickbait” drawing attention to something.
But today. I was the clickbait.
My disability. No one’s disability. Should ever. Ever. Be used to draw attention to an article.
To say I’m disappointed in society would be an understatement.
I don’t know how to advocate for those around me suffering from visible or invisible disabilities when society only pays attention when its clickbait.
I’m angry. I’m in pain. I’m fighting for a better society.
Share your clickbaits all you want, but next time, ask yourself, what are you doing to help other than sharing?
Looking to help? Below are links to various foundations and organizations working everyday to help those with disabilities and to help families separated by immigration services.