Stop Calling Trump Disabled: Ableist Slurs and Politics

CW: ableism and slurs.

This is an issue the world over, but this post is about US politics. During Trump’s time in office, ableist slurs have come up again and again. Why call him “insane”, “psychotic”, “deluded”, a “narcissist”? These are the words people reach for when they are angry and when they want to express the idea that Trump is evil or wrong. What are we saying, that being cruel is one thing but being disabled is beyond the pale? Don’t be a part of this.

Policies aren’t insane, they are unjust or bad. Trump isn’t psychotic, he is racist and misogynistic. He shouldn’t be in office because he is perpetrating injustice. Referring to “insanity” confuses the issue badly and is extremely stigmatizing.

I ran across this meme (below, with image description) this morning that infuriated me. It’s meant to call out Trump supporters but it expresses the idea that they are disabled because they support him. But you aren’t just supposed to think they are disabled – you are supposed to think they are “retarded”; I know this because of the many supportive comments that spell this out that I saw in response to the meme.

Please intervene and interrupt this discursive framing. Words matter. Disabled people matter.

Also, read Shelley’s posts at the now archived Discrimination and Disadvantage blog on this topic, here and here.

Image description: against a gray background, many simple line drawings meant to depict various disabilities (like those you might see on parking placards or in stores) are lined up under the message: “Some disabilities look like this”. Just below this set of images is another simple line drawing, but this person is depicted wearing a red MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat. The message above this image reads “some look like this.”

3 Responses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.