bio_dave_hingsburgerAs I was thinking about today, International Day of Disabled Persons I came across a link that completely turned around my thinking. The theme this year was about the future. I hadn’t read the theme closely but I was happily thinking about tomorrow’s tomorrow and what that might look like for disabled people.

But, the constant devaluation of the lives to people with disabilities to the point where our murder isn’t murder, where we aren’t worthy enough for our lives to be considered stolen from us. I thought that really, people with disabilities don’t have the luxury of ‘future’ when the present and the past are still so horrific.

Where millions of people with disabilities are still locked away in institutions.

Where our skin is shocked as punishment and our hunger used as a motivator for good behaviour.

Where our deaths are measured, not in tears shed but in dollars saved.

Where we are never really guaranteed freedom, or equality, or opportunity.

Where the pursuit of happiness begins up a set of stairs.

We can’t get to future. We can’t get to tomorrow. We still have to still the voices of today and squelch the practices of yesterday. We have to fight bigotry born of ignorance and hatred. We have to demand space, we can’t even imagine safe space yet, that’s, perhaps the future they talk about.

I want the past to finally be the past.

I want the present to be catalogued and put away.

I want to leave my home secure in the knowledge that I will not suffer social violence and ignorant assumptions.

I want to open my mouth and have my words weighed equally with the words of others.

I want to breath freely, without the constriction in my chest from knowing that others, others like me, are caged, prosecuted and found guilty of the crime of difference.

I want the past to be the past.

I want to close the door.

I want to lock it.

I want to feel secure that some politician, some ethicist, some accountant, won’t find the key and a head for that door at their first opportunity.

Future.

I don’t have time for future.

The past is still taking all my time.