I’m sure it surprises exactly nobody that I was going to get around to a political post following this election at some point or another. Well, here it is, so strap in and hold on because this ride is about to get fucking bumpy.
First, let me get this out of the way. He is Donald Trump on first mention, and then Trump thereafter. That is the only way in which I will ever refer to him. No less, and certainly no more. I will not refer to him by his elected title. Oh, you want to know why?
Remember this little moment? I sure do. That was the moment I became a punchline for him and his supporters. That was the moment all people with disabilities were reduced to jokes for the amusement of his groundlings.As if that was not enough, he then double-downed by insisting that he was just imitating What’s that? He was just imitating somebody groveling? You have some link to a YouTube video as proof?
OK, lemme break this down for you as simply as I possibly can: Bull. Shit.
See, here’s the thing y’all don’t get in your rush to defend your boy. Those gestures? They aren’t random. They aren’t meaningless. Oh and most importantly? They are universal code that has been used FOR DECADES to shame and mock those of us who are disabled.
How do we know this? Because we’ve seen those gestures before. You thought we didn’t see you making them, or that we’d forgotten because first grade was so long ago, didn’t you? Where do you think your boy learned them? So yeah, we’re onto your little gaslighting game. We’ve smelled that gasoline since that first day of first grade.
Now let us move on to Exhibit B:
This horrific incident, in which four black teens tortured a disabled white man for several hours. Yes, it was terrible. Absolutely, they deserve the maximum possible sentence. That’s great that you are willing to show your support for the disability community in the face of such a terrible…[insert sound of needle scratching across record here] wait, hold on a sec? You support us now, but went to such pains to able-splain to us how we totally misunderstood Trump’s gestures that were actually just imitating somebody groveling? Hmmm, why could that be? What changed in this scenario that we are now your besties?
Could it be that we are a convenient way for you to let your racism fly under the radar? Yeah, I know, it’s a terrible thing to think of you, but just work with me here.
See, this is just another part of that whole gaslighting grift you are trying to run on us that just isn’t working so well any more. We know you really aren’t our besties, or our amigos, or our allies. Again, we’ve seen this before. It’s that same classic bait-and-switch set-up from elementary school.
Oh, you think we are cherry-picking examples? Right then, can we please have Exhibit C?
Did you support this black disabled teen who was attacked by his fellow white teammates? Or was this just an example of “boys being boys”? Careful now, you might get your racism in my disability.
Point is? Much as you want to believe — and make disabled people believe — that there was no specific intent in Trump’s gestures, you’re wrong. Those gestures are coded language, as sure as using your fingers to pull the outer corners of your eyes further out and speaking in ching-chong gibberish is coded language for mocking Asians.
We know that language. You taught it to us years ago in elementary school. And we will not conveniently forget that because it gets in the way of your racism.