Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Love Speech

 

 

Anybody who’s thinking about saying something hateful about cripples on Twitter better think twice. The very first sentence of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy says,  You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

Violating this policy can get you banned from Twitter.

It’s good that Twitter is cracking down on hate speech against cripples. Why not? But now Twitter needs to stop cripples from being brutalized by the opposite of hate speech, which I guess I’ll call love speech. I think cripples have been victimized by love speech a lot more than by hate speech. Like for instance, when cripples are locked up with no possibility of parole in places like nursing homes and state institutions, those responsible for locking us up never try to justify it by saying , “We need to lock these cripples up because they’re all a bunch of predators and thugs!” Nope, instead they say stuff like, “We need to protect these poor, fragile, most vulnerable citizens from harm because we love them so much.”

 Twitter’s hateful conduct policy also says, “We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category…We also prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, age, disability, or serious disease.”

So that’s all the more reason Twitter needs to also crack down on love speech because that exactly how love speech works. It dehumanizes. How about all that inspiration porn? Those are those stories in the media where they gush about how courageous a cripple is for doing a simple thing like going to the grocery store. Those stories are feel-good because they make lots of people feel blessed that they’re not crippled. And then there are those stories we see all the fucking time where some cripple rises from their wheelchair and triumphantly walks across the stage to receive their diploma or down the aisle to get married. These stories congratulate cripples for putting so much of their heart and soul into proving to themselves and everyone else that they’re not so abnormal, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

That’s why inspirational cripple stories inspire me to puke. I fear getting mugged by them most of all. But if you engage in cripple love speech on Twitter, you’ll probably be all right.



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Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Crippled Guy in the Burger King Commercial

  

I saw a crippled guy in a Burger King television commercial.

It was in a montage of people who are supposed to look like ordinary folks off the street. They were probably actors who auditioned for the role of ordinary person off the street but the point is one of them was crippled. And each of those in the ordinary folks off the street montage said something about what makes a Whopper burger taste so great. The first one sang the praises of the beef patty. The next one gushed about the lettuce, tomato and onion and the third one was a crippled guy who rubbed his hands together enthusiastically and said “and ketchup!”

The crippled guy was only on screen for about two seconds. But it was clear that he was in a wheelchair because he was sitting and you could see the push handle of a wheelchair behind his shoulder.

I’m not sure what this all means but whatever it means I guess it’s good, all things considered. Cripples are always bitching about how we never see authentic cripples on stage and screen. When there are stories about cripples, we’re usually played by uncrippled actors. And a lot of those actors win Oscars for playing a cripple.

But the cripple in the Burger King commercial looked like an actual cripple to me. But then again, who knows. It all went by so fast. I suppose if those were actors playing ordinary folks off the street, whomever cast the commercial could’ve cast an uncrippled guy in the role of crippled ordinary guy off the street and sat him down in a wheelchair. That would suck but in a way it would still be good that Burger King thought it was important that a commercial designed to show how everybody loves the Whopper must include a cripple.

And even if those really were ordinary folks off the street, it’s good that Burger King sought out a crippled ordinary person off the street to contribute to the montage. Or even if they weren’t specifically seeking out a cripple, maybe they couldn’t help but include this cripple in the montage because he said “and ketchup” with such unbridled joy. That’s good, too.

I certainly hope it wasn’t a case where they took an uncrippled ordinary person off the street and had him sit in a wheelchair and say “and ketchup” while rubbing his hands together. But even so, again it would go back to Burger King feeling compelled for whatever reason to make the point that ordinary folks off the street includes cripples.

So at the end of the day, when that cripple said “and ketchup” on a Burger King commercials that millions of people will see, I guess he made the world a little better place for cripples. 


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