The Chainlink

Attention cyclists! The weekend is upon us, so you, like me, will be out there riding. And, inevitably, some of you will pass me on the road. That's ok. But when you pass me, I want you to know that I prefer a gentle "good morning" rather than a loud "on your left!'. The former usually results in a pleasant smile from me; the latter results in me saying something like "on my left? Really? Cus you would have to be retarded to try passing me on the right." You have been warned. :)

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I suppose it's all about whether you would like cycling to be a place inclusive of minorities or one that would knock them down. 

Had I said "Wow, gee wilikers, you really shouldn't use that word" ... I would have been ignored.

Also, regarding the use of slurs: it's still a harmful microaggression, regardless of whether or not you intended its use to be offensive. 

Also I love that calling someone a piece of shit is apparently considered MORE OFFENSIVE than using an ableist slur here. 

Way to go Chainlink!

Thanks, Michelle.

I had started thinking to myself "I was raised in a time when it was not offensive", which is a bit of a slippery slope towards mediocrity.

But you sparked a memory... Within my own family, in casual conversation with no outside observers we always referred to "Aunt Jean", "Niece Susie" or "Cousin Elvir", not "sun-stroked Jean", "Intrauterine Hypoxic Susie"  or "Meningitis Elvir". A long-time childhood playmate was just "James", not "Concussed James". Even when we as kids were cruel, it <i>was</i> still "person first".

It's not such a big leap to apply that to everyone.

Thanks for the reminder.

-jeq

Michelle Milham said:

If anyone is wondering how to PROPERLY address someone with disabilities, it's just that: 

Person first. 

A person with autism. 

A child with Down Syndrome. 

A girl with one arm. 

Not "autistic" "retarted" "one armed." 

It does not define them. 

Michelle - I am glad that your women/LGBT/queer/transgender/race/ethnic/disability studies classes in undergrad have helped you to feel empowered to "fight the fight" on behalf of oppressed minorities, especially those to which you don't personally belong. It seems like your professors have sparked in you a powerful sense of righteousness and an eagerness to challenged received prejudices and biases, including their expression through microagressions, which is to their credit; and they've also given you the kind of specialized vocabulary you need in order to signal your authority and expertise when instructing others how to behave (so that you don't have to persuade them to listen to you, instead). That's fantastic.

What your background doesn't seem to have prepared you to recognize is that here - in this strange, bike-centric corner of the internet's reflection of the real world - we don't live by the rules of a very narrow slice of academic discourse or by the curious gotcha! word-policing that has become the price of admission to certain self-selecting communities on various other sites like Tumblr.

We live, instead, by the common-sense "morality" of just getting along, the way anyone has to do in a city like Chicago, where lots of people do things that we find irritating, offensive, even unnecessarily hurtful, and they can't all be held to account (as we, ourselves, are generally not held to account by those we irritate, offend, or hurt). By that standard, there's no justification for wishing physical harm on a person just because they might blithely use a "slur," even after one has yelled and shouted at length about how using that slur is the worst. thing. ever. By that standard, there's no reason for us to overlook the fact that one is hypocritically calling for empathy and sympathy for oppressed classes while using their own classist privilege to beat others around the head with abusive rhetoric. In the real world - and I think this makes for a sound morality in any case - we take people as they are and, where we disagree, we try to work with them in good faith and with good will. Basic human decency kind of stuff.

So yes, it is worse to use this community and Tristan's post as a punching bag for working out your anxiety that, in the real world, there's no one to give you gold stars for calling people out on their anti-disability microaggressions, than it is to be out-of-sync w/r/t the word "retard." We're not here to validate your existence or to cheer you on in your quest to shout people like Tristan into submission. We're here to talk about bikes and cycling. 

You're no Andrea Dworkin, Michelle. I think more: Britta Perry.


Michelle Milham said:

I suppose it's all about whether you would like cycling to be a place inclusive of minorities or one that would knock them down. 

Had I said "Wow, gee wilikers, you really shouldn't use that word" ... I would have been ignored.

Also, regarding the use of slurs: it's still a harmful microaggression, regardless of whether or not you intended its use to be offensive. 

Also I love that calling someone a piece of shit is apparently considered MORE OFFENSIVE than using an ableist slur here. 

Way to go Chainlink!

The culture wars rage on and the politically-correct word-police are going to keep on fighting that rear-guard action where as they keep coming up with new words to describe people who are cognitively different, or behind the curve mentally, with a "socially sensitive term." And then those words are going to be continually co-opted by others who are going to use them to compare yet another group of people to the first group of people who are different. 

That's because words mean things.  This is how language works.  Words, used individually and together are crafted to convey ideas and thoughts.  They are tools to compare, group, and even contrast things (and also people.) 

What it all comes down to is that no matter how sensitive we are to those who are differently-abled mentally, there are going to be people who going to compare the less differently-abled in society to the more differently-abled.  That's because there are differences and they can't be ignored or pretended not to exist. 


All the words to describe low-intelligence or cognitive-impairment can also be used as put-downs. All the white-knighting cyber-copping by the likes of Michelle Milham (with all her associated veiled threats of physical violence if her demands are not met, a behavior I've notices almost always seems to accompany such white-knighting internet police brutality) isn't going to change this fact. 

So folks, don't be backwards or hold back, hamper, stall, fetter, delay, and arrest perfectly cromulent words such as retard.   You may think you are embiggening language, but you are simply impeding it. 

Oh fuck off. Seriously. 

HOW ABOUT WE JUST TRY TO FUCKING INCLUDE MINORITIES AND NOT OTHER THEM?! 

Simon Phearson said:

Michelle - I am glad that your women/LGBT/queer/transgender/race/ethnic/disability studies classes in undergrad have helped you to feel empowered to "fight the fight" on behalf of oppressed minorities, especially those to which you don't personally belong. It seems like your professors have sparked in you a powerful sense of righteousness and an eagerness to challenged received prejudices and biases, including their expression through microagressions, which is to their credit; and they've also given you the kind of specialized vocabulary you need in order to signal your authority and expertise when instructing others how to behave (so that you don't have to persuade them to listen to you, instead). That's fantastic.

What your background doesn't seem to have prepared you to recognize is that here - in this strange, bike-centric corner of the internet's reflection of the real world - we don't live by the rules of a very narrow slice of academic discourse or by the curious gotcha! word-policing that has become the price of admission to certain self-selecting communities on various other sites like Tumblr.

We live, instead, by the common-sense "morality" of just getting along, the way anyone has to do in a city like Chicago, where lots of people do things that we find irritating, offensive, even unnecessarily hurtful, and they can't all be held to account (as we, ourselves, are generally not held to account by those we irritate, offend, or hurt). By that standard, there's no justification for wishing physical harm on a person just because they might blithely use a "slur," even after one has yelled and shouted at length about how using that slur is the worst. thing. ever. By that standard, there's no reason for us to overlook the fact that one is hypocritically calling for empathy and sympathy for oppressed classes while using their own classist privilege to beat others around the head with abusive rhetoric. In the real world - and I think this makes for a sound morality in any case - we take people as they are and, where we disagree, we try to work with them in good faith and with good will. Basic human decency kind of stuff.

So yes, it is worse to use this community and Tristan's post as a punching bag for working out your anxiety that, in the real world, there's no one to give you gold stars for calling people out on their anti-disability microaggressions, than it is to be out-of-sync w/r/t the word "retard." We're not here to validate your existence or to cheer you on in your quest to shout people like Tristan into submission. We're here to talk about bikes and cycling. 

You're no Andrea Dworkin, Michelle. I think more: Britta Perry.


Michelle Milham said:

I suppose it's all about whether you would like cycling to be a place inclusive of minorities or one that would knock them down. 

Had I said "Wow, gee wilikers, you really shouldn't use that word" ... I would have been ignored.

Also, regarding the use of slurs: it's still a harmful microaggression, regardless of whether or not you intended its use to be offensive. 

Also I love that calling someone a piece of shit is apparently considered MORE OFFENSIVE than using an ableist slur here. 

Way to go Chainlink!

I was very harshly chastised by someone in the "disability community" a few years ago for letting the words "differently abled" leave my lips....


 
James BlackHeron said:

 people who going to compare the less differently-abled in society to the more differently-abled.  

Or you could just try not to be an insensitive jerk who hurts everyone in their wake by using words that are offensive to them. Huh. 

And I never veiled any threats of violence. I said I hope someone else smacks him. Because he deserves it but I don't hit people. 

James BlackHeron said:

The culture wars rage on and the politically-correct word-police are going to keep on fighting that rear-guard action where as they keep coming up with new words to describe people who are cognitively different, or behind the curve mentally, with a "socially sensitive term." And then those words are going to be continually co-opted by others who are going to use them to compare yet another group of people to the first group of people who are different. 

That's because words mean things.  This is how language works.  Words, used individually and together are crafted to convey ideas and thoughts.  They are tools to compare, group, and even contrast things (and also people.) 

What it all comes down to is that no matter how sensitive we are to those who are differently-abled mentally, there are going to be people who going to compare the less differently-abled in society to the more differently-abled.  That's because there are differences and they can't be ignored or pretended not to exist. 


All the words to describe low-intelligence or cognitive-impairment can also be used as put-downs. All the white-knighting cyber-copping by the likes of Michelle Milham (with all her associated veiled threats of physical violence if her demands are not met, a behavior I've notices almost always seems to accompany such white-knighting internet police brutality) isn't going to change this fact. 

So folks, don't be backwards or hold back, hamper, stall, fetter, delay, and arrest perfectly cromulent words such as retard.   You may think you are embiggening language, but you are simply impeding it. 

Just say "person with disabilities." It is what they have requested be used. Is it that freaking hard to obey a request? Why must you go making up your own random crap to call them instead of just calling someone what they have asked to be called? 

Your name is James Blackheron. But I think Jimbob suits you better. 

So, Jimbob, I'm going to call you Jimbob. I don't really care what you want to be called. Jimbob is better.  

h' 1.0 said:

I was very harshly chastised by someone in the "disability community" a few years ago for letting the words "differently abled" leave my lips....


 
James BlackHeron said:

 people who going to compare the less differently-abled in society to the more differently-abled.  

Did it leave any visible bruising?

Whenever someone feels the need to use threats, chastisement, and similar offensive in-your-face non-non-violent communication methods to back up their demands & cultural temper tantrums to get their way socially, it usually is a good indication that what they are "selling" is complete and utter bullshit. 



h' 1.0 said:

I was very harshly chastised by someone in the "disability community" a few years ago for letting the words "differently abled" leave my lips....


 
James BlackHeron said:

 people who going to compare the less differently-abled in society to the more differently-abled.  

I think that's a fantastic goal. I just think that we ought to convince people to stop using "othering" terms by treating those people like they're decent human beings, not their own class of "others" who are beneath contempt. 

Again, you seem to be blind to the way your own class privilege is coloring this conversation. Not everyone here has your level of education or experience in discussing these issues. I think that should be clear with Tristan, given the way he's responded to you. Granted, he's not apologetic about using the term "retard," but you haven't exactly given him any reason to change his views about the hurt the word can cause. He's not an "enormous douche." He's just someone for whom this notion of "retard"-as-slur seems genuinely novel. No doubt your spectacular advocacy has made a favorable first impression on him. 

I have to say, though, that I find your response immensely amusing. I suggest that your sin has been a basic disregard of human decency? Your response is "fuck off, seriously." Are you trying to convince me that you're not a decent human being, yourself? That you're so unsettled by concerted disagreement, even if otherwise largely sympathetic, that your only possible response is to demean those who disagree with you? Because on that count, you're making a very persuasive case.

In the spirit of Britta Perry (a character I loved, by the way, despite her flaws): You really are the worst.


Michelle Milham said:

Oh fuck off. Seriously. 

HOW ABOUT WE JUST TRY TO FUCKING INCLUDE MINORITIES AND NOT OTHER THEM?! 

OBEY!

(no)

Call me whatever the fuck you want to call me.  I can't (and wont) stop you. 

Michelle Milham said:

Just say "person with disabilities." It is what they have requested be used. Is it that freaking hard to obey a request? Why must you go making up your own random crap to call them instead of just calling someone what they have asked to be called? 

Your name is James Blackheron. But I think Jimbob suits you better. 

So, Jimbob, I'm going to call you Jimbob. I don't really care what you want to be called. Jimbob is better.  

h' 1.0 said:

I was very harshly chastised by someone in the "disability community" a few years ago for letting the words "differently abled" leave my lips....


 
James BlackHeron said:

 people who going to compare the less differently-abled in society to the more differently-abled.  

That's why the first time I just said "You don't get my respect for using that word." 

The SECOND time he PURPOSEFULLY used it, I got upset. 

And I'm NOT the worst. I am the only person on the chainlink who has continually stood up for this stuff. The literal only one. 

I have to deal with all the "mansplaining" and the "conservativesplaining" and the "defensivesplaining." 

And there is no fucking END to it. 

JUST ADMIT ITS A SLUR AND STOP USING IT AND MOVE ON. There is NO defending the position, and if you try to? YOU ARE A DOUCHE. 

Simon Phearson said:

I think that's a fantastic goal. I just think that we ought to convince people to stop using "othering" terms by treating those people like they're decent human beings, not their own class of "others" who are beneath contempt. 

Again, you seem to be blind to the way your own class privilege is coloring this conversation. Not everyone here has your level of education or experience in discussing these issues. I think that should be clear with Tristan, given the way he's responded to you. Granted, he's not apologetic about using the term "retard," but you haven't exactly given him any reason to change his views about the hurt the word can cause. He's not an "enormous douche." He's just someone for whom this notion of "retard"-as-slur seems genuinely novel. No doubt your spectacular advocacy has made a favorable first impression on him. 

I have to say, though, that I find your response immensely amusing. I suggest that your sin has been a basic disregard of human decency? Your response is "fuck off, seriously." Are you trying to convince me that you're not a decent human being, yourself? That you're so unsettled by concerted disagreement, even if otherwise largely sympathetic, that your only possible response is to demean those who disagree with you? Because on that count, you're making a very persuasive case.

In the spirit of Britta Perry (a character I loved, by the way, despite her flaws): You really are the worst.


Michelle Milham said:

Oh fuck off. Seriously. 

HOW ABOUT WE JUST TRY TO FUCKING INCLUDE MINORITIES AND NOT OTHER THEM?! 

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