Yesterday, the well-known Black Canadian disabled activist Sarah Jama posted these provocative words to Twitter:
1/I’m on a break from the internet but logging on to say: ableism is systemic. Too many people use social justice language/ spaces as a vehicle to process personal experiences rather than as *disciplined tools* to fight for movement based change. That is rooted in individualism.
2/My fight against anti black racism and police violence is rooted in *liberation for all*, not just because of my personal stories. In the same way, I’m not gonna fight ableism by only talking about how I was bullied for walking like a drunk to teach others. Level up the analysis.
3/Trauma brings a lot of us to this work, but it can’t be the only reason we stay in it. We’re fighting so *no one* has to experience certain forms of violence again. The level of militancy needed means we can’t just centre ourselves. Social justice work isn’t just story telling.
4/Mainly this thread is directed toward white people & new organizers. For every trauma I’ve experienced I know there are many like me. Therefore, the work must be rooted in collective thought, especially for those w/o access to movement spaces. Don’t just individualize the work.
Follow Sarah Jama on Twitter @SarahJama
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