Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gaze Upon the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss / Why I ain't Impressed by Young White Liberals

Another white liberal/progressive removed themselves from my Facebook friends list today. Apparently, I'm too upsetting to her gang of racist friends and the more assimilation minded POC buddies. At first this bothered me. This was someone I'd been giving the benefit of the doubt for over a year. She always seemed just one step away from strictly claiming to care about POC and PWD to understanding that it was time to act on those supposed feelings of regard for us. It never happened. In the end, whiteness is just too comfortable and comforting for most people to willingly reject it.

I should have seen it coming. She had no problem posting articles about Indigenous folks and occasionally claiming to have some Indigenous ancestry. However, whenever her white friends started spouting anti Indigenous crap she was quieter than the grave. In that world, it's fun to be able to start all sorts of conversations about marginalized people and then disappear, knowing that your friends will spout all of the hateful pro-extermination of cripples arguments and crude racist stereotypes that would make even the staunchest Southern republican feel obligated to back away from them. It gives them plausible deniability. She can continue to posit herself as "one of the good ones" by providing a forum for her less "refined" bigoted buddies to come out and do the dirty work. Then she can stroll in and say a few "Now, y'all know that's not very nice!" comments and then proceed to scold any marginalized person who gave as good as they got.

I hated seeing the way other POC and PWD were treated by her gang o' bigots. She would NEVER speak up when this was going on. So, I did. I simply can't sit back and watch privileged people take advantage of the fact that many POC are so trained to be civilized and long-suffering that they'll actually try and convince these bigots to TREAT them like human beings even though we KNOW--or at least we should know--that they'll never really believe that we ARE human.

Welp, I guess somebody has to be the bad guy. I know many POC who interact with white people online have a lot invested in these relationships. Doing what I do is about the fastest way to find yourself rejected by them. Fortunately, I don't mind. I'd rather be known in those circles as someone who is too "crazy" or "out of control" to deal with than to be someone who sits back and watches our people being killed off by the families and friends of the nice white liberal moderates. In the end, this chick didn't even have the guts to just say she didn't want me defending my people. She had to throw some unnamed POC under the bus by claiming that she was defriending me for their sake, because even they agreed that I was just too over the top. Now, how can I do anything other than laugh and shake my head? There's a verse in the Holy Bible that says there's "nothing new under the sun". Well, if you don't believe anything else about the book, believe that. They may not know it, but everything they do is stuff that POC have witnessed and dealt with a thousand times before.

If I didn't have radical POCWD who taught me our history, I might be shocked to find out that it isn't the KKK or the Aryan Nation that we need to be fighting. Those folks are so tiny in number as to be basically insignificant. Really, it's these "Well, I believe in what you say, but you can't go around saying it like that" folks who are the bigger danger. Some folks might be surprised to know that I actually have quite a few Republicans, right-wingers, conservatives, et cetera on my friends list. I can't even think of the last time one of them was even rude to me in a conversation. Regardless of what we disagree about, not even one of them would sit there quietly while their friends talk about supporting a child-killer. Not even one of them would be so uncouth as to openly degrade the culture of my people. It simply doesn't happen.

When I say, I'm going to get myself a gun and protect my people from anyone who tries to come for them, they don't scold me or try to feed me some garbage about how awful I am for saying that, if it comes down to me or them--my child or them, my lover or them, my cousins or them--I'm going to do my best to make sure it's my people who live to see another day. They understand why marginalized people want liberation, even if they aren't too eager to see us get it. They understand that this system is FUBAR and no gentle tweaks like the phony "marriage equality" nonsense and "Obamacare" will be enough to produce equality. They understand that none of these campaigns are really about fairness or saving the lives of people like me and my loved ones. They know that none of these attempts to isolate "big meanie" POC like me are really about protecting vulnerable individuals in my community. At least they have the candor to admit that they'd just rather not be bothered with marginalized people who make them feel bad about their decisions. I wish to God that I could find as many nice white liberals who were that honest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Switch to Online Courses Presents Challenges for Students with Disabilities

Slate has an article about how universities are switching from using original content generated by professors to online courses produced by the major textbook companies. It's a very disturbing trend.

My child is taking one of these Pearson math courses in college right now. Ze also took an online math course in high school. The high school version was great for a student like hir who could zip through all of the assignments at hir own pace by utilizing resources like Youtube for learning concepts that weren't explained well by the course material. Ze says the math course ze's in now is going well. Still, I worry about students with other kinds of disabilities.

Students who need screen readers or video captions are going to face barriers because of the way that many of the sites are set up. I seriously doubt that the companies are going to produce alternate versions of each course's material in order to accommodate students with disabilities. So, what are these students supposed to do when these online courses are used for the majority of freshmen and sophomore level classes? This is obviously the direction that things are headed. As usual, people with disabilities are the first to be sacrificed when Western educational models mutate.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Goats and Disabilities

I spent the morning mucking out the enclosures for 17 goats. It was really, really physically taxing. After the first pen, I regreted taking this job. When you're sweeping and shoveling goat poop, your clothes get covered in a fine dust consisting of dirt, hay, and dried poop. It was impossible to keep cool. I quickly ran out of water in my thermos and I was too far from the house to go back for more.

Still, I kept at it. The second and third pens were easier and I think it was because I developed a strategy for cleaning them. The fourth and last pen was THE WORST. I couldn't even get to the wood on the floor without having to break up slabs of compacted crap. Regardless of those challenges, I got it done.

I'm proud of myself, I think. Well, what I'm most proud of is that I was able to get my body to accomplish all of that. My body often does things that I wish it didn't and then, at other times, it just won't or can't do what I want or need it to accomplish. It feels great to be able to go beyond what's safe and pain-free. I did what I went there to do and I did it well. After it was over, all of the hard work that it took to get to that point sort of faded away. I got to enjoy a cold drink, come home and take a shower, and now I'm going to schleep!