Tell me. What do you think of when you see this?
Do you hear Morgan Freeman's "wise" voice gently speaking the words?
Do you think of his eternal role in every movie as the good guy, the one who provides sound counsel to the younger, more foolish, less aware people?
Does the fact that he is black – and as such, a member of an oppressed minority in America – have anything to do with the words resonating a little more within?
The photo is of Morgan Freeman.
The caption reads, "Attacking People With Disabilities is the Lowest Display of Power I Can Think Of" – Morgan Freeman
Tell me now, when you think of "lowest display of power", what do you think?
Person low on the societal totem pole attacking someone lower, perhaps?
Because I know that's what comes to my mind. It's that if you are to display a more noble form of power, you will attack those worthy of attack (who would that be, I wonder?), and a person with a disablity couldn't, by virtue of this statement, be worthy of attack, right?
Because those of us with disabilities are somehow born more enlightened more "inspirational" or something simply because we might think, walk, talk, act, hear, see or feel differently, but we are still lower than the low.
Ever stop to really wrap your mind around people with disabilities being really just that – people?
That disability is indeed the only minority group that anyone can join at any time?
That by some accounting, 2/3 of the planet has a disability, or a connection with disability?
That it's really very common?
That disability is an opportunity for growth, as a human race?
That the issue we are really talking about here is simply to not attack anyone; that bullying others is wrong? That it has nothing to do, really, with having a disability?
Have you ever thought about the fact that memes like this promote this idea, this concept that people with disabilities are incapable people. That, as the weakest of our society, we especially should not be picked upon.
I am not denying that within a political framework, it may true, and I'm not denying that from a benefits/services standpoint, it also may be true.
But I am denying that a popular meme, read in Morgan Freeman's voice, set in simplistic terms holds any truth for me and feels anything other than dis-empowering.
And I am saying that we have simply got to stop thinking of "disability" as the smiling kid who uses a power chair with a ventilator. That "disability" also means famous people like Franklin D Roosevelt, Cher, Marlee Matlin, John Chambers, Robert David Hall, Michael J Fox, Stephen Hawkings. That there is tremendous diversity in disability; you can't simply throw out a statement making all disability one and the same and have that statement – made in Morgan Freeman's "wise" voice or not – be valid.
Morgan Freeman: Take a page from your own book:
Let us narrate our own shit!!