I have gone on and on about how people said some really stupid things to me since I became disabled. Among them are friends who thought it would be funny to refer to me as the cripple or gimpy, or thought my new nickname should be Wheels. Maybe it was cowardly, but I never said anything. Inside, it felt worse than when I heard doctors use the words chronic and acute for the first time. I just collected these stupid comments in this ongoing blog post. I hadn't given much thought as to why it bothered me so much. Maybe it was because it was the first time someone referenced me based on my outward appearance. I'm white guy, what's to make fun of? Occasionally, people try to make fun of my religion. But, I did not make that connection because it's only my parents religion. (Someone once looked me in the eye and said "why would you help me, you are a Jew". It didn't bother me, it just let me know I was dealing with a crazy person.)
I would never reference someone either in joke or in an insult based on their race, gender orientation, faith, or anything else they have no control over. It's not that funny, and if I would have to sink that low to use it as an insult it would mean I have nothing reasonable left in that argument.
There are words I cannot say out loud even when I'm alone here with my voice to text device. Some of them are common words, that people used to generalize against people with certain colored skin or people from certain parts of the world. I can't even think those words because to me they're just people. But yesterday I caught the last minute of the show called Blackish. Apparently, the episode was about who gets to use the N word.
I suddenly realized why African-Americans have a right to go bat shit crazy if someone uses the N word, but are fine with it when other people use it. The answer is easy, it is for the same reason I want to shrivel up when someone who is perfectly healthy calls me a cripple. But, if some of my new friends I have met in the Achilles running club want to give me a hug at the end of a race and say "Way to go my crippled friend!" I'd be fine with it.
|THIS GUY CAN CALL ME CRIPPLE|