Donald Trump is the most ableist presidential candidate in modern U.S. history...I talk about the insults, yes, but also the policy, the fat shaming, the "illness politics," and again the policy.
"Naming something an “-ism” won’t persuade the bigoted to surrender their bigotry and might even harden differences. But sometimes it’s important to identify ideas and acts that marginalize and discriminate, to group them together, and to name them as a system. Trump is empowering ableism. Let that be one of the many reasons he should never be president."
Some additional thoughts:
- Read "Ableism is not just bad words," by Lydia Brown.
- A quote I wasn't able to work in:
A systematic practice like Trump’s ableism pushes the politics of exclusion. Lisa Diedrich, Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stony Brook University, suggests that Trump is using illness politics to say that only healthy white men are fit to be president. Diedrich told me, “While it’s true that every four years the question of the health of the candidates becomes an issue in presidential politics, there is clearly something more going on this year.” Diedrich thinks that it might be too bigoted even for Donald Trump to say that non-white men are unfit, but that “Illness politics is perceived to be somehow more acceptable than more obviously racist and sexist arguments about fitness for the presidency.”
- I did quote Gregg Beratan from Crip the Vote, but Andrew Pulrang, a co-founder, talked to me about being bullied, but also said:
My sense is that disability activists are a little less interested in Trump’s crude ableism than they are in his complete lack of any disability policy ideas at all. I know I worry that for all the progress we are making, we risk sending the message that the only important thing in disability politics is not hurting our feelings.
Me too, which is why I ended up quoting Beratan on policy issues.
But insults keep coming anyway. After my piece was filed, the news of Donald Trump's insults against Marlee Matlin spread, along with her outstanding statement in response.
Ableism watch continues.