Can a Person of Color with a disability[ies] also be a Person of Privilege?


PRIVILEGE- A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or a group of people

I have not always been a person with a disability. I have been called, referred to, told, classified as, relegated to NON-PERSONHOOD  as Crippled, Physically Challenged, handicapped, and disabled.

The above nouns have one specific thing in common. THEY ARE ALL CONDITIONS.  

Anything or anyone considered to be a condition gives those of personhood the option and authority to do with it or them whatever they darn well please. I say this not to be glib or reckless, IT IS MY TRUTH AS WELL AS MY LIVED EXPERIENCE.

At the age of seventeen I gained my personhood within myself. Once I recognized and believed I was no longer a condition, but a real live person my life changed. I began to lead instead of follow. I began to love my name, whom I was, the body I was in, the heart I possessed, and the hard work I had been doing. I stopped mistreating others. I stopped allowing others to mistreat me. I walked although with an uneven gait, I walked proud with my head up and purpose. I valued the few honest relationships I had, and from a troubled heart-truly began the journey of LOVING my family members. My one failure was I drank to much of the Kool-aid and believed in the “American dream.”

The American dream: All men are created equal. Get your Education, follow the ten commandments, treat others the way you want to be treated, work hard. If you work hard and follow the rules- you will be noticed and promoted to management and more money. Hard work will get you far and rich.

The “American Dream” I found and understand for persons with disabilities of color is not only a dream, BUT A TRUE TO LIFE NIGHTMARE. The on-going heavy hand of White Supremacy steeped in oppression and degradation of “THE OTHER” operates well in this country. We are not equal as the facts below will show.

Since most of us view the world as a top down society, people of color with disabilities: REMAIN BELOW THE BOTTOM RUNG OF THE ECONOMIC LADDER.

Nearly [40%] forty per cent of African Americans with disabilities live in poverty

African Americans with a disability are more than two times as likely to not have graduated high school than African Americans without disabilities. 25% to 11%

14% fourteen per cent of African Americans  have a disability

Only one in 4 African Americans with a disability are employed

67% sixty seven per cent of African Americans with a disability are unbanked or underbanked

The above facts are from the National Disability Institute September 2017 report:

The intersection of disability and race