*CONTENT WARNING: discussion of anti-Black racism, ableism, police brutality, murder*
Over the last several months we have observed global uprisings and world-wide responses to the rampant and systemic anti-Black racism that is embedded in the fabric of our society. Black folx have been subject to colonial rule, the transatlantic slave trade, and are still grappling with the ongoing legacy of white supremacy. The economic system from which some in society benefit was built on colonization, stolen labour, and violent dispossession from Black and Indigenous folx. Ultimately, Black and Indigenous folx, and People of Colour all over the world have continued to be systemically and disproportionately targeted by state-sanctioned tools of oppression, including the law.
Raced-based violence has real and long-lasting effects on the mental and physical wellbeing of BIPOC. One reason why the intersection of disability and race is important is that everyday encounters with racial antagonism from micro-aggressions or extreme racial violence take a toll on mental health. But there are other ways in which disability and race intersect to produce multiple marginalization and harm. These include the existence of racism in receipt of healthcare, which may result in poor health treatment for racialized disabled persons, and poor treatment of incarcerated disabled individuals (where statistically overrepresented among those incarcerated are individuals from BIPOC communities). The movement for Black lives is needed for social transformation; however, the change agents involved in the movement are engaging with harmful systems while fighting to stay alive. The intersectional nature of disability and race needs to be at the forefront of discussions instead of one erasing the other. Social movements that prioritize the protection of able-bodied/minded folx not only miss the full picture of circumstances that result in the inequity we observe in society but is materially dangerous for racialized individuals. Even within our own racialized communities ,the voices of women, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community are too often an afterthought in the fight for liberation.
Therefore, the Law, Disability and Social Change Project stands firmly against systemic anti-Black racism and systemic racism against BIPOC communities. We feel that it is imperative that we bring to light issues of intersectionality and, particularly, the issue of disability in the anti-racism movement.Continue reading