Everything You Should NOT Say or Do to Disabled People

By: Hadeel Hatem

Trigger Warnings: Ableist Slurs Ahead.

Being a decent human being is so simple; yet many people find it hard. Why? Because it’s odd for them to see people who aren’t like them. To see diversity. We often like to blame our mistakes on society as if society is this cult of hateful and horrid people; unaware that we’re society. Unaware that not taking the blame will make the whole thing intensify.

Ableism is one of the worst types of discrimination. And it ranges from slurs to abuse. Some slurs that you should never use are cr*zy, cr*pple, r*tard (-ed), ps*cho, and fr*ak. The reason why they’re slurs because the origin of the word itself was made to ridicule disabled people and make them feel unsafe. Also it doesn’t matter what language you’re saying these words in they’re still considered slurs. And you’re probably thinking “Oh but I once used cr*zy or ins*ane to my friend who is abled.” the fact that we normalized those slurs doesn’t make them less of a slur because by calling someone who is abled an ableist slur you’ve dehumanized them and took away the meaning and value of the slur.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t use d*mb, ins*ane, or cr*zy, etc. at all. No you can, but only when you’re describing an object or a thing.

Nobody really knows how much these slurs hurt, because we have once again normalized a word filled with hate and has a tragic background into a simple word that people use in jokes or in regular conversations. No one really knows these words are slurs because no one spreads enough awareness about ableism. Everyone knows black slurs and lgbt slurs, yet no know is really aware of ableist slurs. And slurs aren’t the only things that hurt, actions do too. From side glances and whispers to full blown ridiculing, bullying, and harassing. Disabled people have suffered that all. Whether your whispers are intentional or not, or whether your glances are meant for sympathy and kindness or not they still make them self conscious and make them start to doubt themselves.

Your words, looks, and actions affect people whether you like that or not. The way to stop that is to embrace the fact that not everyone is going to be “normal”. Everyone is normal in their own way. Everyone grows up to learn to love themselves and accept themselves which is hard, but what makes it difficult and nearly impossible are your actions and words. So before opening your mouth think multiple times about what you’re about to say.

 

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