Accessibility note: The image descriptions for this series, since they are very long, can be found under the image .jpgs in each installment, rather than in the alt-text field.
Click “Read More” to read part 4 of this comic series; click the images to fully enlarge.
Top text: Disability rights and scholarship, too, seem to have their own race issues.
Image: A sign attached to a post reads “Nothing about us without us!”
Bottom text: In this popular disability rights slogan, for instance…who gets to be the “us?”
Top text: Hesitant as I am to critique either movement, both have continually struck me as…well, pretty white.
Image: A white hand hoists a cane into the air.
Top text: The few inroads that a specifically feminist theory of disability has made have also tended to be advanced by white folks, without much consideration of race.
Image: Annaham looks at a pile of books: The Rejected Body by Susan Wendell, Illness as Metaphor by Susan Sontag, Feminism & Disability by Barbara Hillyer, Crip Theory by Robert McRuer, and Extraordinary Bodies by Rosemarie Garland-Thomson.
Top text: As Karen DePauw puts it, “[women scholars with disabilities] have explored issues facing (mostly white) females with disabilities and have begun to examine the complexity of difference as a result of the confluence of being female and having a disability.”
Image: A mashup of the feminist “woman” symbol and the classic symbol for people with disabilities.
Bottom text: DePauw, “Space, the Final Frontier…,” 21.
Top text: This non-engagement with race—and white privilege and whiteness—is problematic; not all PWDs are white!
Image: Annaham speaks directly to the viewer.
Speech bubble: And for those of us who are concerned about white privilege and whiteness as “default,” this is a worrisome trend.
Top text: Ignoring white privilege, furthermore, is not a condemnation of it.
Image: A large elephant, holding a cane in its trunk, stands in a small room. The image is a depiction of the saying “the elephant in the room.”
Thought bubble: How do I get out of this room?
Top text: So, what can be done?
Image: Annaham appears deep in thought. She is surrounded by an exclamation point, a raised fist, the “woman” symbol, and the “disabled person” symbol.
Thought bubble: Contains a large question mark.
Top text: As with many systemic social problems with shifting material effects, there are no easy answers.
Image: A wavy tangle of lines, meat to represent shifting contexts, sits to the left of the text.
Bottom text: The shifting effects, furthermore, depend on many factors (cultural, historical, political, and economic contexts and factors, for example).
Top text: Simply naming (or “denying,” as Troy Duster contends) white or abled privilege is not enough to make either go away.
Image: A white woman addresses other people, who are out of frame.
Speech bubble: I have white and abled privilege!
Bottom text: See Duster, 2000.
Top text: The continued derails, side-steps, and shifting of responsibility for ending oppression onto the people who already deal with said oppression isn’t working, either.
Image: The woman from the previous panel, Annaham, and a young black woman stand in the frame.
That’s all I have to do, right?
SIGH. Here we go again.
What Anna is trying to say is that there’s much more to it than that…
Top text: There are, as I have demonstrated, many similarities between the construction of race and ability, at least discursively.
Image: Set of satirical trading cards with the title “The Things Privileged People Say TRADING CARDS.” Three cards shown depict various people, with captions: Bootstraps; Naïve; Post-Race; -ism; But…WHY?
Bottom text: Collect them all! (Better yet, don’t.)
Top text: The opportunities for coalition-building among people of color and people with disabilities, though, are ones that we have to start.
Image: People of various ethnicities and with various disabilities are gathered together; two people to the right of the image hold a banner that reads (NOT) The End! that features a graphic of a black fist holding a cane.
Bottom text: Our movements’ futures may depend on this.