Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Other Minorities in Your Cause

Recently, in an online group, one of the better-known disabled poets said something prejudice.  She wanted to know:  How do you invite people into your group who don't include people like you?  Valid enough question, until she specifically calls out organisations for people of color and LBGTQIAPN individuals.
So many able-bodied organisations don't include disabled and/or neurodivergent people.  But, yet, she pointed out those for other minorities.

Possibly, she feels all minorities need to look out for each other (like we do at H.U.P.) and is disappointed that it doesn't often happen but, in her post, she makes it sound like she is ready to cut other minorities out of her group because there is no representation of disability in their groups.  And that's wrong.

It doesn't matter what other organisations do.  It doesn't matter what certain individuals in various other groups believe.  If you truly believe in equality, you make sure to include as many diverse people in your organisation as possible.  You seek out those who would bring something valuable, not caring if other people would do the same.

Often, minorities are so busy lobbying and promoting their own causes or their own equality to the masses, they sometimes don't think about joining forces or promoting the causes of others.  Some people think, to raise up other minorities, means dampening (or even silencing) the needs of people like themselves.  Because of this, it can feel like we're at odds with each other, instead of each other's allies.

For people who embody multiple marginalizations, the mindset of keeping to your own "set" of people means they fall through the cracks.  What of the Asian cripple, or the gay person with autism?  They exist in a space often outside of any group because they are part of multiple groups.  If everyone helped everyone else, there would be no one left wondering "what about me, which group am I in?".

Playing the game of "I'll only help you if you help me first" or "you didn't let me in your club, so you're banned from mine" is childish at least, and selfish/prejudice at worst.

Clamoring for rights, everyone's rights, no matter what group you belong to, benefits us all.  More voices, more unity.  All for one, and one for all.

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