“Life is to short to drag a trunk of suppressed negative feelings around, dump that crap and travel life’s road with an overnight bag. The trip is much more enjoyable when not weight down with old baggage.” – Terry Wiens (2018)
CONFESSION – ALERT, if course language and angry outbursts affect your sensitivities you should stop reading now.
Every now and then I just feel the need to lose it. I get tired of the “political correct” approach, I get tired of worrying over others sensitivity when it is very apparent they don’t give a damn about mine. I get tired of swallowing my feelings to the point where I’m a festering volcano of emotional sludge ready to blow just to avoid hurting someones ego. This is one of the moments.
I thought the light had come on last night until I woke up this morning and realized there is no longer a bulb in the socket. The “flickering” of the light was simply the shorting of the power running through the empty socket. Society has unscrewed the light bulb. I am fucking tired of this. I am not just tired of how society can overlook so many aspects of inclusion I am also fed up with many in the disabled community who want everybody else to do all of their advocating.
I’m sorry but just because you broke your back doesn’t mean you don’t have a spine. Start standing up for yourself and quit waiting for the next thing to screw up before you take a stand. Grow a pair and start to #SpeakOut before you lose something else, rights are not guaranteed if you don’t fight for them. You can choose to be the doormat of societies compassion or you can choose to be an agent of change. If you want a system that is fair and protective then be an agent of change.
I have been an activist for 50+ years. Over the last ten years I have been attending the funerals of my mentors and role models. That generation that laid the foundations of so many of the rights I enjoy today. Sadly they are gone and it is now my generation that is fighting to protect and strengthen the work they did.
Fifty fucking years of fighting for access, services and recognition. Fifty fucking years of fighting for the right to employment, the right to live where I want, the right to self-determine and, when you add all of these things up, the right to be a contributing member of my community. And still I get calls from people or organizations asking for help. I’m an activist, not an enabler. I’m fucking tired of it, I helped set the table, I’m not going to cut your meat. The tools are there, make use of them.
Yes it is frustrating when you get to a theatre just to discover the closed captioning equipment isn’t working. Yes it is frustrating to check out the newest restaurant just to discover there are three steps into the place or you can get into the place but all of the tables are bar style tables so you have to eat your meal off the stool where, twenty minutes earlier, somebodies fat ass had been sitting. Yes it is frustrating to call an Uber just to discover a driver who refuses to take your service animal due to their allergies. Yes it is frustrating to go to the cinema for a new movie just to have your friends sit ten rows behind you while you get a crick in your neck spending the entire movie staring up from the “disabled” seating level.
But these things won’t change because you send me an e-mail. I may be able to teach you about advocacy but I’ll be damn if I am going to continue to fight your battles. This new generation needs to learn to #SpeakOut. Quit riding the coattails of those who came before you. The system is eroding and you have to learn how to defend it. The things you are enjoying today were fought for by many people that came before you so quit “settling”, stop the “it could be worse”, that type of groupthink just encourages erosion of rights.
That’s my little rant of the month. In the meantime meet Ace Ratcliff. She calls herself a “disability justice advocate”. I call her the future of change makers and one of the new faces of social justice. If you know other young activists let me know and I can highlight them. Time for the next generation to step forward and #SpeakOut
Put a bulb in that socket so the next time the light comes on you know it. Until then have a good day as the summer wears down…
If you like what you are reading a small donation will go a long way to helping me cover the costs of keeping this up. A small donation to my e-mail goes directly to my bank…everything has a cost including information. If you can’t donate, not to worry email@example.com
3 thoughts on “No Bulb in the Socket”
Terry, you make such an amazing point in this article. It’s definitely a needed conversation! I’m only disappointed in that there’s nothing included to guide someone who might be moved by your words. You say that you want people to quit riding the coattails of previous activists, and that you’ll teach us how, but this article doesn’t follow through. Are you writing a follow up to provide that information?
Thanks for the response and I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I’m not usually quite that vulgar but every now and then I just let loose. I try to write two articles a week and there are 8 years of articles on my site. Previous articles on my site include numerous references to activism, mentorship, role modelling, etc as well as strategies to do so. I write regularly and tend to focus on current events within the world of social justice and disability advocacy. Check out “Is Being a Pioneer Worth It”, “The White Noise of Activism”, “Redefining Social Justice” and many more. I’m also available through my “Why Me’ page which gives people ways to connect with me. I write as a hobby and to make money I provide training module development and contract trainer. When people have a specific topic they would like to hear more on I encourage them to drop me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a request. There is also the “Contact me” function on my site. But again glad you liked it…