First, she didn’t want to move the display. I had come into a store to pick up two gifts, that I’d seen there before. I couldn’t get into the aisle because there were now display cases on the corner blocking entrance. The display was a light cardboard thing that just needed to be slid over. I had glanced at the first employee I saw who was unoccupied with a customer and asked for assistance. She came over and when I told her I needed entry to pick up what I wanted, and maybe needed help to get the gifts to the counter, she agreed, reluctantly.
Disability and Displays
She slid the display over and I entered the aisle, following her. She said that we had to be quick because she didn’t want the display to block other shoppers. I said, “Oh, yes we wouldn’t want to inconvenience those who walk, do we?” sarcasm dripping from my lips. She said, “Just because we can walk doesn’t mean anything, we all have some kind of disability.”
Now I hate that shit.
We’re all disabled in some way.
We are maybe the only minority that people say that shit about.
Man: Oh we’re all Women in some way, look, I like pink.
Straight woman: Oh we’re all Lesbians in some way, look, when I bake, I like to lick out the bowl.
White person: Oh we’re all Black in some way, look, I tan.
Those are ridiculous statements, offensive in every way. But when people say, ‘we’re all disabled in some way’ they are presuming membership that they are not entitled to. Non disabled people not only exist but they exist in such a privileged way that they can humble themselves by claiming disability status because their nails are too long to use a calculator and we’re supposed to go gooey inside at their understanding. Fuck that.
Oh and same goes for:
I understand because my mother uses a wheelchair.
I understand because there were kids with Down Syndrome in my school.
I understand because I once walked by a rehab center.
Stop that shit.
I told her that I found that statement offensive and would she please stop saying that. She’s carrying the two gifts I want to purchase now and following behind me. She is continuing on insisting I understand that disability means nothing because everyone is disabled, that there is no meaning to disability, no difference arising from disability, because she …
“OK, I’m done,” I can shop elsewhere.
I turned and left the store.
She actually called after me, “Don’t you want these anymore?”