I’ve to be reading around race relations in 1962 Atlanta, Georgia, and repeatedly hatred has actually been the focus. In fact, as soon as it concerns issues of diversity based on race, gender, sex identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion, hatred is just one of the dominant emotions. (When the prejudice manifests chin in one act, we call it a “hate crime.”) The means bigotry toward these marginalized groups is combated entails fostering claims opposite to hatred, such together kindness, compassion and also understanding.

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On the various other hand, hatred is not an emotion i associate with the prejudice I endure as a human being with a disability. Pity is the main culprit and unlike hatred, the does not have opposites that concerned mind which can be advocated within the mind of human being without disabilities.

To make sure we space all ~ above the same page, let’s open up a dictionary. Pity is identified as “sympathetic or kindly woe evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another, regularly leading one to offer relief or aid or to present mercy.” among its synonyms are words prefer compassion and also commiseration. While probably not a pleasant emotionally state, pity is not, uneven hatred, provided the stamp of social sanction. An action springing indigenous pity is thought about an action of mercy, do it an extremely hard come quash.

Looking at the antonyms that pity, we find three broad categories. There space the an excellent words, the poor words and the neutral ones. Opposites come pity through a an adverse bent space cruelty, harshness, hatred, meanness, mercilessness, disfavor, malevolence, unkindness, and disdain. Slightly much more palatable are disinterest and detachment. The positives are cheer, happiness, joy, advantage, blessing, and an excellent fortune.

Think around this because that a moment: come combat racism and also sexism, us encourage states opposite to hatred. In the instance of disablism, to encourage the the contrary of pity would certainly either involve promoting something choose cruelty or hatred, working toward indifference, or trying to in which method convince people that impairment is an excellent fortune. The is a lousy, impossible collection of options.

It’s far clearer come say, “Don’t hate someone. Feel compassion, kindness and also love,” than to say, “Don’t pity someone. Feel…” What? Indifference? Cruelty? I suppose “joy” isn’t a negative idea, other than I can’t conceive of just how you obtain a nondisabled person to go from viewing impairment as negative to not just tolerable yet joyful?!

Dissecting every these grammars has given me some new insight into why disablism is for this reason intractable. In a people where pity is a virtue, just how do you get rid of it? once its opposites range from the an excellent to the bad, what ultimately becomes her goal? When even the confident states room going to be impossible to sell, in the end what do you have left?

Someone said to me that the opposite of pity is confidence. “I don’t pity you. I believe in you.” belief in my ability as a human being with a impairment to execute what requirements to be done is definitely much more of a ar to start than i had before the ide was made. I’m still not certain, though, just how you get world from the condoned “You negative thing” come the ar where lock view special needs as something various other than tragedy.

This entry was posted in The Why the It and also tagged (dis)ablism, acceptance, inclusion, Language, Myths and Misconceptions, Oppression/Discrimination/Bigotry, Other"s Perceptions, Other"s Reactions, societal awareness by Jen. Bookmark the permalink.

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About Jen

After obtaining a degree from Vassar college in psychology, I relocated to west Mass wherein I ran a peer mentoring network for disabled college students and activism and also organizing about disability issues. I additionally conducted research on disabled women’s body image. One Upstate brand-new York native, I eventually followed my heliotropic nature come the sunlight of southern California. I divide my time in between writing (disability fiction and also essays) in addition to moderating mountain Diego Bisexual Forum which is one of the oldest teams of its kind in the country. In mine off hours I can frequently be discovered in my neighborhood live music venue enjoy it our neighborhood talent.