Equal rights and the wounding of others

I take no pleasure in wounding others. None. However, no equal rights advocate gets to choose the oppressors. They are who they are. They are accountable and must be held accountable.

You can’t play favorites as an advocate. Silence in the face of oppression is never an option. Silence empowers the oppressor. Silence in the face of oppression is not in my repertoire. It never has been.

As an advocate you will inevitably wound others along the way.  But if, for example, someone denies people with disabilities a seat at the table, I am going to say so.  If a company providing services to people with disabilities  in the community  engages in community-based warehousing, I am going to say so. If a non-profit organization designed to help others offers little more than lip service, I am going to say so. If leaders from any walk of life are  are among the oppressors, I am going to say so. It’s what advocates do.

Knowing people have been wounded by my advocacy is not pleasant. There are, however, reasons I will not stop. At the top of the list, those being oppressed suffer the deepest wounds of all. And then there’s this. Knowing that oppressors have a found a way to live with themselves as oppressors has made it much easier to live with myself as an advocate.

Those who have been wounded by my advocacy should take a moment to reflect. Perhaps they will realize their wounds are self-inflicted. Those that have complained about me remind me of  someone complaining to a friend about getting a speeding ticket.  Complainer: “That S.O.B. cop gave me a speeding ticket, can you believe it?” Friend: “How fast were you going?” Complainer: “Around 70.” Friend: “What was the speed limit?” Complainer: “Forty-five.”

Sunshine is the best disinfectant and my task as an advocate is to bring things that impede or deny equal rights into the light of day.  My suggestion? Don’t speed.

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3 thoughts on “Equal rights and the wounding of others

  1. Judith Avner is and has been a champion for persons with brain injury and disabilities for over 20 years. In fact she supported you for many years when your message was empowing for all individuals. Judith Avner an oppressor, hardly. Does Judith Avner represent her constituents yes, has she denied access to anyone…never!!!!!. For you to rely on comments of a few without and make such a charge is discouraging. Individuals like Martin Luther King empowed the masses and it was that empowerment that lead to change. I do not not know if he attacked people to perpetuate his cause. You once empowered individuals with brain injury , professionals and the public at large…what happend to that Peter Karhmann.

    Oppression is a harsh term to use on someone and opression is not a one time occurrance , there is not enough history of examples to warrant such an accusation. There are some people who are worth attacking , Judith Avner is not one of them. She fights the same battle as you!!! Why you do not embrace her in unimaginable.

    I also challenged you to put this comment on your blog.

  2. Martin Luther King never did attack or humilate others. He also did not wound his readers, when they commented on his behavior. He was non judemental and did not criticize people. Neither did the the old Peter Kahrmann. No judgement was your philosophy. I miss that a lot. I miss the Peter I met many years ago. I hope you can find him again.

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