Jesse Williams is not only one of my favorite actors on the hit TGIT show “Grey’s Anatomy,” but is also a vocal activist about the Black experience, inequality, and injustice in this country. On Sunday night, Jesse delivered one of the most “woke” award speeches given when he received the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards. When I heard his speech, it made my heart almost leap out of my chest at the hard truth Jesse delivered to Black & White America.
On social media a couple of weeks ago, the hashtag #GirlIGuessImWithHer trended on Twitter that showcased voters, particularly Black Millennials like myself, reluctance to support presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Some of the tweets had a humorous flair, while others displayed the true confliction many are battling about whether to support Hillary in the general election come November. The hashtag got me thinking about my own unease in realizing that I may have to eat crow and vote for Hillary in November, and I felt that being a politically active disabled woman, it would be fitting to give my thoughts on the topic.
This week’s post will be to honor the 49 lives that were taken too soon in the Pulse shooting that happened in Orlando last weekend. The act was senseless and filled of hate, and another example of how pivotal it is for us as a nation to take a firm stand on gun control in order to stymie the all too frequent occurrences like this we see too much of.
I wanted to cover this moment, since so many within the disability community, particularly those who are of color and LGBTQ+, were deeply affected by what took place. I asked those who were of color, disabled, and LGBTQ+ to share their thoughts with me, and my request was fulfilled by several who were willing to give us a glimpse into why they are Pulse.
Me Before You has been the main topic within the disability circles I am a part of for the past few weeks, and rightfully so. The depiction of disability within the film, which spurred from the book under the same title, is disturbing; the main character decides that death is a better choice to make than to live with a disability. The film is suppose to be a romantic tale, but I am hard-pressed to see anything related to romance within a story that has a twisted view and understanding about the disabled life, especially when the actual story was written by a non-disabled author, and the main character is played by a non-disabled actor.
Film depictions, and other media portrayals similar to Me Before You’s storyline, hones in on the gross disability tropes that adds to the stereotypes and misperceptions surrounding disability in our society rather than shine a light on what living with a disability actually is like for the largest minority group in the United States and globally. Though I fully and steadfastly support my fellow advocates and allies in their protesting against Me Before You, I have remained silent on the film until now for a number of reasons; reasons that goes beyond the movie storyline. This piece will take a closer look at the issues that stood out to me regarding what the debate is truly about – assisted suicide and disability representation – and the gaps I witness within media portrayals and the faces of the protesters against Me Before You. Me Before You is just the “mouthpiece” that has provided the opportune moment for these matters to be discussed for me – that is more important than rehashing the sentiments my fellow advocates have written and uttered over the past few weeks.
The SC State Primary is less than two weeks away, and I plan to rock my disabled vote as I have done since I became a registered voter at the age of 18. The voting process as a disabled South Carolinian has changed in many ways, particularly in the area of accessibility with new voting methods being made available.
Important Disability-Related Videos You Should Watch
Here's the Out of Step's TOOST Radio interview I participated in as a panelist on Nov. 6th, 2013. During the interview, I discussed my personal & professional viewpoints about the choice of discussing disability status while seeking employment opportunities. The part that I'm featured begins 15:29 minutes into the interview.
In this video, Beyoncé helps Kid President with World Humanitarian Day 2013. The Kid President has OI like I do. I think that his messages are ones that all walks of life & ages can learn from. I'm so jealous that he met one of my idols & favorite music performers, Beyoncé! I wanted to share with you all the interview the Kid President did with Beyoncé for World Humanitarian Day, which was August 19th, 2013.