Re: the hand we've been "dealt"

Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 11:45:35 EST

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    So, in other words, we should ignore discrimination, and just be grateful
    for our blessings? Don't get me wrong. I feel very blessed by the life I
    have, INCLUDING what being born with a disability has taught me. My life
    would be very different, and lacking in many blessings had I not been born
    with a disability.

    However, I take issue with your saying my efforts to examine the
    sociological dynamics of privilege is either a waste of time or self-pity.
    It is not done with that intention, and it doesn't lead to that for me. Are
    you familiar with Peggy McIntosh's list of "white privilege"? It is a
    brilliant piece of work. All I am proposing is that the dynamics at work to
    discriminate against people of color, are similar for people of other
    minorities. My list serves to illustrate this, as would other lists of
    privileges, written by or "for" others who are in the "majority".

    "Helping out others when weakness becomes apparent" is so NOT the issue. I
    don't want HELP. People of color don't want HELP, gay people don't want
    HELP. That doesn't mean we don't appreciate it when we receive it, or that
    we haven't received it in our lives, as everyone has. But what we want is
    for people to work to lesson the privileges those who AREN'T in the
    have over those who aren't. I don't want HELP - I want all buildings to be
    accessible, and I want all people to judge me on my abilities, not some
    "perceived" notion of my abilities or disabilities. Gay people don't want
    HELP - they want equal access to health care, parenting rights, marital
    rights, etc.

    I don't whine or wallow in self pity. I help others. I am not talking
    about "shortcomings" - I am talking about injustices. And I am playing my
    hand quite well, thank you. Your response to our efforts (mine, Peggy
    McIntosh's, and those who write other versions of the "knapsack list")
    over-simplify the issues more than I would ever expect from ANYONE on this

    Amy E. Kelly

    "Disability is not a 'brave struggle' or 'courage in the face of
    adversity'....disability is an art. It is an ingenious way to live." - Neil
    Marcus, 1993
    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2000 2:59 PM
    Subject: Re: Equal'ing Adv. - Peggy M.

    > Amy;
    >>>>We're all privileged to agreater and lesser extent. Of course, we all
    have our crosses to bear to agreater and lesser extent. That's what it
    means to be human, to have strengths and weaknesses. This is why having
    good family and friends is such a blessing. We use our strength (privilege)
    to help others and are helped by others who are stronger than we. Anyone
    whose ever been part of a successful team of any sort knows this. Everyone
    plays to their strength (privilege) helping out others without question
    when weakness becomes apparent. Making lists of privilege by which you can
    compare your shortcomings is a wasted effort leading to self-pity and
    whining. Best to spend the time identifying and improving your strengths,
    learning how to help others, and do the best you can to "play the hand
    you've been dealt.">>>>>>
    > PWO

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