I’m marching in this disability march online because I really wish I could go to DC and I can’t. I am so glad the march is happening as part of a large wave of resistance to the Far Ridiculous Right that is just now picking up its first momentum. They will not know what hit them when we get roaring.
My body has changed since my first marches on Washington in the 1990s. I have a few connected autoimmune conditions and joint pain, so walking for a long period might be ok, might not. It would be the exhaustion, however, that would put my system over the edge at the beginning of a semester in which I need to work.
To be honest, when I was at the age of my first marches and even in the decades since then, I have not been great at all about including disabled people in my list of groups that needed demands met until I landed in this category. And I struggled for a long time with putting myself in that category because social stigma and fear makes that category seem something separate and very hard. Hello, ableism and internalized ableism.
In the hectic rush to get things organized, the phrase “and disabled people” has been left off far too many organizations’ platforms. Get used to putting it in, right in the middle of everything and everyone else. We need to orient our movements to the needs and agendas of the most vulnerable, and the disabled is a huge huge population that will be drastically affected by cuts to the ACA, Medicare, housing assistance, and every other Republican cut you can think of as well as the instability of the Trump economy. People who are disabled are here and we can help in a million ways, especially with Internet access. Do not write us off as less-than or incapable. We are a huge slice of your movements.
Sonya Huber is the author of five books including the forthcoming Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System. She is a firm supporter of healthcare for all, Medicare for all, national healthcare, single-payer, whatever you call it that takes the violation of the market as far as possible away from our bodies.