Week 8 Disability justice

We live in an ableist world. The world was not designed for people with disabilities. I can attest to that fact because my big sister is severely disabled and I see how hard it is to navigate the world as I am her care taker part time. I am my sister’s ally in this ableist world. What does it mean to be an ally? In the reading Becoming an Ally it is define as “being a supportive of other people who are different than you.” Evans, Washington. That the support is flexible so that it does not define a person as a whole. Being an ally is being able to meet the person where there at listening and not making assumptions.

As I stated earlier the world we live in an ableist world. In the reading Recognizing Ableist Beliefs and Practices the authors articulate that ableism is a form of oppression that is pervasive in our society. That in order to combat ableism we need allies. Those allies are abled bodied people like myself advocating for those who have disabilities to have accessibility in the world we live in. For example an ally can be a white person speaking out against racism against minorities or men calling out sexism. An ally helps facilitate social change and is agent against oppression targeting certain groups. An ally is someone comes from a group that has advantages and privileges that those is a marginalized group does not have. “Challenging ableism truly requires that we recognize how this oppression is manifested on the individual, institutional, and cultural levels of engagement.” (pg 541) People need to be reevaluating their perceptions and stereotypical responses when it comes to people with disabilities.

Students with disabilities have a hard time navigating institutional support in college. The reason for this is because it is a complicated bureaucracy that is less supportive than what they had in high school. I wonder why that it is? You would think that educational institutions would be up to date on accessibility for their disabled students. In reading 105 several students spoke of their frustrations on how hard it has been to navigate their education. Often times those students don’t have accommodations that are supportive to their learning and their environment. Their first year of college is often the most stressful time for a student who has disabilities as they are trying to figure out what their needs are and often times those needs are not meet because the school is not equip to support a student who is disabled. Some of the ideas that are being implemented to make accessibility a lot easier for disabled students is creating space for these students. One suggestion was creating safe zones where students could go talk to a counselor about their needs as well as place where they can relax and be themselves. As well as getting the resources they need.

People with disabilities are often targets of violence and discrimination which can be equated to racism. How so? in the reading 103 they touch on this subject and why they came to that conclusion. They spoke of the lynching of James Bryd Jr. Not only was he black but he was also disabled and the press brushed that over until Davis wrote an op-ed discussing the intersections of race and disability. The fact that his disability was not accounted as a hate crime did not go unnoticed. Davis discloses that ” Could race be equated with disability, whether the history of lynching and slavery could be meaningful equated with occasional violence against people with disabilities.” (pg 494) Race was consider a factor and disability as an after thought and disability is hardly an after thought or a minor category. 16 % of Americans live with a disability; which comprises a minority group with high rates of abuse. Disabled women are raped at higher rates than non disabled women. People with disabilities report that they are harassed on a daily bases by the public or by private institutions. Society has accepted that we are a racist society but has not accepted that we are an ableist society. Through out history disability has been ignored. The two intersect and ableism needs to be taken seriously.

There has been an increasing emphasis on human and civil rights in the United States starting in the era of World War 2. Minorities and women have been speaking and advocating for their rights to gain the privileges, freedoms, and rights guaranteed for all Americans by the Constitution. While that was accomplished other marginalized groups still struggled. Although the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s resulted in legislation that was designed to bar discrimination based on sex, race, and national origins. This did not include prohibition of discrimination based on physical and/or mental disabilities. It was not until 1972 that they included a bill that prohibited discrimination based on physical or mental disability. It was not too long ago that disability was finally recognized as a minority status. It was not until the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that they were consider a “class” of people. This lack of concern by congress is attributed to ignorance, knowledge, and the lack of input from people with disabilities. These bills were done without their input it was more like business as usual pass a bill to appease the masses but with no thought of how it can be implemented.

“Becoming allies means helping each other.” (pg 637) Sometimes that can be hard; standing up to what is right and just when the world is set in a certain way, Becoming an ally exposes you to a strangers wounds. People who engage in alliance they work together by being good allies to each other. When doing alliance work it is important to announce who you are. For example I am an Afro-Latina cisgender woman. One must situate themselves and state what their stance is on particular issues. Allies may also challenge your position it is another way to see if you are trust worthy enough to do this work. The biggest risk of of forming allies is betrayal. Anzaldua speaks of her personal experience. She felt really good being part of the Lesbian community even though it was all white. She realized that due to being Chicana her voice was not heard. That her white counter parts were heard because of their white privilege. She felt they only saw the queer part if her while ignoring her race. She knew that her sexuality and race intersected and needed her counterparts to recognized that. By bringing her race and culture to the conversation in a room full of white people she becomes the educator where that gap of knowledge can be bridged. I also want to note that it is also up to the ally to do the research to bridge that gap of knowledge. Patty Burns from SinsInvalid has done a lot of work in regards to disability justice. Her advocacy work is to make the world accessible for disabled people. As well as bringing more visibility to disabled people; that they have the right to live a normal life just like anyone else that is abled bodied. That the world we live in must include a disability lens.

Sources Cited:

Adams, Maurianne, et al., editors. Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. 3 edition, Routledge, 2013. 115. Recognizing Ableist Beliefs and Practices and Taking Action as an Ally” (Madeline Peters, et al.)

105. Students with Disabilities Frustrated with Ignorance and Lack of Services (Allie Grasgreen)

103. Go to the Margins of the Class: Disability and Hate Crimes (Lennard Davis)

96. Struggle for Freedom: Disability Rights Movement (Willie Bryan)

90. Becoming an Ally (Nancy Evans and Jamie Washington)

136. Allies (Gloria Anzaldua)

WK7: Violence against Black People seen as Entertainment in the Media.

Violence against Black people is represented in media and is used as a signifier, and seen as entertainment. It is not entertainment and it plays into the stereotypes that people have about Black people and that is problematic to find joy in others standing in society.

In the reading Grand Theft Auto:V Post Racial Fantasies And Freguson Realities discusses society’s sick fascination with seeing injustices against black people as fun and games that is harmless. Leonard goes on to discussed RockStars games in relation to race. That Grand Theft Auto games have marginalized characters that depict real life social injustices that black people face on a daily bases when dealing with police. There is a level of detachment and denial within White America about racism. For example Leonard articulated that “RockStar released a game that has been defined as ” ghettocentric games”, where White kids can fulfill their insatiable desires to become Black, to experience the danger of “ghetto life.” Pg 130 This just another way to devaluing Black life. These games traffic in anti-black stereotypes which creates a world of finding pleasure in black death, sexual violence, that rips inner city communities. That is not entertainment. One of the characters in Grand Theft Auto is black marginalized in the game compare to the other characters. Every time he comes into contact with police just walking by he gets shot. I find it funny that the company denies that there is bias in the game when quite clearly they are using real life situations that involve black people. “The nature of race in the 21st century America (and its entrenched racism and sexism) is on full display here. GTA:V anf the entire Grand Theft Auto franchise, alongside of the video game industry as a whole, has relied on hegemonic anti-Black stereotypes as the anchor of its virtual playgrounds. According to Lisa Nakamura (2002), new media, with its circulation of “cybertypes,” “propagates, disseminates, and commodifies images of race and racism” (p.3). White pleasure derived from the dehumanization of black bodies and spaces put into video games to make a profit.

Despite the fact that video games are not real games like Grand Theft Auto depict real life instances of social injustices. Its hard not to think that these games are not being connected to the affirming of White privilege. Especially when you look at the depictions of race and gender. Even the women are depicted as hypersexualized skanks that black women are not humans but sexual play toys. Sexism and racism is rife in the gamer community and these games justifies that community’s stereotyped views about black people. Denial of racism from companies that produce these games is just as loud as it is in the real world rejecting it with the notion of playing the “Race Card.”

Sources cited: Leonard , D. J. (n.d.). Grand Theft Auto V: Post Racial Fantasies And Ferguson Realities. In The intersectional Internet: race, sex, class and culture online (Vol. 105 , pp. 130–142). Noble & Tynes EDS.

Week 5 Wikipedia’s Policies

Wikipedia’s policies encourages writers to avoid gender terms like he and her when talking about someone within in a Wikipedia article. This practice is good to use because the past the default was he or him which was applied to everyone and that is generalizing. Wikipedia is asking for people that are contributing and writing to be as specific as possible when describing people. “Use the most specific terminology available. If someone is of Ethiopian descent, describe them as “Ethiopian”, not “African.” For example I am from the Dominican Republic so you would refer to me as Dominican. Another example is assuming that everyone who speaks “Spanish” as being “Mexican” not everyone who speaks Spanish is Mexican. There are people that come from other places in the world where they speak Spanish. That is generalizing all Spanish speakers. It is also important to also not focus on gender it is best to identify who is being discussed unless these details are important to the article. The goal of this policy is to push for more inclusiveness and diversity within Wikipedia. Because as we learned earlier in class Wikipedia is male dominated.

Wikipedia’s guidelines and policies work to avoid to contributing to stereotypes when discussing women, minorities,and marginalized groups. When writing about women one must make sure that the content is not using sexist language that promotes sexism. I also wanted to point out that male is not the default. Refrain from assuming that. Always use gender neutral language. “Avoid langue that make the male the “self” and the female the “other.” (“Wikipedia”, 2019). According to Wikipedia the editor who specify a gender in their preferences was 115,941 (16.7%) were female and 576,106 were male as of 13 June 2019. (“Wikipedia”, 2019). These statics are not surprising because as we learned earlier is class Wikipedia is male dominated.

The Failed Proposal in Wikipedia is a guideline for dealing with issues labeling people and organizations within in articles. That one must label in way that is not offensive or going against the wishes of those involved with the article. It is good etiquette and avoids any editorial conflicts per Wikipedia.

Sources Cited:

Wikipedia:Gender-neutral language. (2019a). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Gender-neutral_language&oldid=908035673

Wikipedia:Manual of Style. (2019b). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style&oldid=923575615

Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Identity (failed proposal). (2019c). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Identity_(failed_proposal)&oldid=878962548

Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. (2019d). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view&oldid=913713064

Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. (2019e). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view&oldid=913713064Wikipedia:Writing about women. (2019f). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Writing_about_women&oldid=914269931

Week 6: Race, Sexuality, and Gender as signifiers in media, social networks, online spaces and other systems of cultural production.

How does US media and entertainment represent cool? How do we code beauty, rebellion, urbanness, sexuality, (in)civility strength, weakness, and resistance to institutional rules and regulation?

The US Media, entertainment, and social media has a big hand on what is consider cool and culturally appropriate. Which often times is rife with stereotypes of groups of people that society thinks is real and true. What US media thinks is cool is very narrow minded and not inclusive. White opinions are what are matter and is consider the norm. Which is often use to marginalize people who don’t fit into the social construct of is considered cool or beautiful and as we all know the standard is whiteness.

Blogging is another form of social media and entertainment. Blogging for the longest time as early research shows was centered on the experiences of Western White men. (pg 73) Steele In the reading “Signifyin: Bitching, and Blogging: Black Women and Resistance Discourse Online the author Steele discusses how “A Black feminist epistemology centralizes the conversations of Black women that occur in settings that are often excluded as valid by academic researchers.” (pg 73) Steele This research that was done examines how the online gossip of black women is used to contribute to discourse of resistance . As” Audre Lorde (1984) writes that black female writers manage “the external manifestations of racism and sexism with results of those distortions internalized within our consciousness of ourselves and one another” (p. 147). This study found out that gossip can decimate information to keep people in the loop of information; that it is a connection between woman sharing information and being united by an appreciation by that media text. This analysis suggests that black women use these blogs to “talk back” ( hooks, 1988) to the systems and structures from which they are excluded or within which they are exploited.” Black Feminist Epistemology was developed to bring attention to the multiple oppression that black women face. Since White feminist only focused on the oppression of gender while ignoring the issues that race, class, and sexuality bring.

intro: ” Every child in America deserves a world-class education – especially in science and technology… we also need folks who are studying the arts because our film industry … tells our story and helps us to find what’s our common humanity.” President Obama. I agree that every child deserves a chance regardless of who they are and where they come from. His quote means to me that what he described is another way to bring people together to show we are all humans. That he recognizes the immense power that these mediums have. To go in even deeper in chapter 14 “Education, Representation, and Resistance: Black Girls in Popular Instagram Meme Tanksley discusses how social media is impressionable and powerful to teenagers. That Social media can be used as a tool to circulate oppressive views about certain groups of people. The circulation of racist and sexist media has grown with the internet. “With the advent of the Internet, ideological investments in “post -racialism” require new forms of racial common sense (Omi &Winant, 1994) and interrogations of how the invisibility of Whiteness (Daniels, 2013) serves to limit our understanding of the interesectional nature of race and gender in social media engagement.” (pg 244) Tanksley

In the reading section The Landscape of (mis) Representations and Black Girl Resistance Tanksley discusses the consumption of social media and the misrepresentations of black girls. From Vine videos to podcasts to blogs the social media landscape is virtually saturated with demeaning images of black womanhood (hooks, 1996; Richardson, 2007; Stephens & Few, 2007). ” I agree with this statement as I stayed away from all social media because of how it was affecting my image of myself as a Afro-latina woman. I just now got instagram to keep on touch to do some activism in regards to sex work and women of color. Often times social media misrepresents black women as hyper-sexual, hyper-aggressive, and stupid. As well as slut shaming them, calling them hoes , gold diggers and baby mamas I hate the last term with a passion. I feel it is just another way to degrade a black woman and white society has adopted this racist moniker as true. “In resistance to many of the mass and online media depictions of Black girl/ womanhood, Black girls have created and circulated memes as a means of resistance. These memes, which consist of text written over images as a form of social critique, address sexism, racism, colorism, and multiple forms of aggression against Black girls.” (pg 248) Tanksley

In reading 8 Roberts discussed that social media platforms are empty vessels that need user generated uploads to fuel visits. That companies use these platforms even though its not their specialty. This is what a CCM is which is an acronym for Commercial Content Moderation. ” CCM is not an industry but rather a series of practices with shared characteristics that take place in a variety of worksites (e.g., in-house at large tech firms; online via microlabor websites such as Amazon Mechanical Turk.)” (pg 147). Basically workers are dispersed all around the world, work in secret by low status workers earning low wages; which they review day and night. One of the things that I found interesting was the piece on Doing A Good Job In The CCM World. That while the internet is rife with racist, homophobic, and sexist content that CCM flag inappropriate content and remove it from the site so that users don’t see it. To go in even further America has a long history of racialized and racist material as humor in which the punchline degrades and degenerates marginalized groups. “The participatory Internet, perhaps once seen as a potential site of escape from racist tropes or sexism and misogyny (Light, 1995) embedded in American Popular culture, has largely failed to deliver on foregrounding mass critical engagement with these issues at all.” (pg151) Roberts

Sources cited:

Roberts , S. T. (n.d.). Commercial Content Moderation: Digital Laborers’ Dirty Work . In The intersectional Internet: race, sex, class and culture online (Vol. 105, pp. 147–161). Noble & Tynes EDS.Steele, C. K. (n.d.). Signifyin; Bitching and Blogging: Black Women and Resistance Discourse Online . In The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online. New edition edition, (Vol. 105 , pp. 73–95). Noble & Tynes EDS.Tanksley, T. C. (n.d.). Education, Representation, and Resistance: Black Girls in Popular Instagram Memes . In The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online. New edition edition, (Vol. 105, pp. 243–269). Noble & Tynes EDS.