Blog Action Day: do better

Today is Blog Action Day.

I marked my calendar last year when I learned of the annual event after the fact, mostly because it seemed like something to do on my blog. I registered as a participant and added the badge to my blog several months later. At the time, organizers announced the 2013 theme of human rights. I signed up even though I had this nagging question in my head:

What do I know about human rights?

In all honesty, I don’t keep up with the news like I once did.  I bury my head in the sand. Where did the girl who used to read news magazines go? Where is that idealistic teenager who joined Amnesty International? Whatever happened to the young professional who caught Democracy Now! on her afternoon commute?

She went to college, got married, got a job, moved back and forth across the country, got divorced, got different jobs, got remarried and became a mother.

Were it not for that last detail, I would stick my fingers in my ears and sing “la, la, la” instead of participating in Blog Action Day. But even as I’ve been drafting this post, other questions have been nagging me:

What does it mean to take action on human rights through this post?

To what action will I call my readers?

How can I keep this from turning into Blog INaction Day?

Finally, a simple phrase hit me: disability rights are human rights.

Human rights violations occur when one person views another person or a certain group of people as less than human. Others must stand up for those who cannot fight for themselves. We must bring attention to inequity, injustice, and inhumanity.

My son is autistic. He is different, but not less. Many people who will encounter him will dismiss him. There will be those who will think he does not deserve their attention, understanding, compassion or respect.

Every time I advocate for him, I am advocating for disability rights. I am reminding someone else that differences are not an excuse for marginalization, abuse,  or murder.

Today, I am asking my readers to click through to the links I’ve included on the words “abuse” and “murder.” I want you to read words more eloquent than mine and to learn about what happens to autistics and others with disabilities when no one advocates for them. As Maya Angelou said, “when you know better, do better.”

Do better. That’s my plan for Blog Action Day.

9 thoughts on “Blog Action Day: do better

  1. You know, I used some of the same phrases and my thought processes were very similar to yours. But I stopped at talking about people with disabilities, as Mark and I both are. At the time I thought I didn’t want to make it all about us…ME ME ME. So I decided to generalize. But after reading yours, I wonder if I should have. I think you rocked it!

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    1. Well, I’m pretty god at the ME, ME, ME thing 🙂
      I wouldn’t worry about how you did your post. I see that you made others aware of the event and inspired them to take part with the post you wrote. Don’t second guess!

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  2. Great idea for a post:) I have been meaning to send you this link to a blog done by a mother of an autistic child, crusader, and disability rights activist. She is amazing and getting right out in front trying to fight for folks with disability as a human rights issue http://www.esteeklar.com

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  3. A few years ago, I taught Of Mice and Men to high schoolers and we discussed not just racism but two more isms they didn’t know much about, genderism and ableism. We are lucky our disabled people are not killed, shunned, etc…although there is more we cando to help and show kindness.

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