.@JessicaValenti sigh. I hate to say it. But disability rights would be nice to hear. Just once.
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) February 2, 2016
This tweet came in response to Clinton’s Iowa speech, in which she said:
I know we can make college affordable and get student debt off the backs of young people. And I know we can protect our rights, women’s rights, gay rights, voting rights, immigrant rights, workers rights. I know too we can stand up to the gun lobby and get common sense gun safety measures.
Later, Sanders talked about jobs and climate change, with this passage as the only call out to specific groups (he knows his lead is predicated on two lily white states, Iowa and NH, and that he hasn’t made inroads with non-white voters):
We will end the disgrace of having more people in jail than any other country. Disproportionately African-American and Latino. What we are going to do is provide jobs and education for our kids not more jails and incarceration.
Each candidate has ideas on disability, having completed the RespectAbility questionnaire in considerable detail (storify with all relevant links here). The differences between them are important and interesting, and reveal much about the nature of this election. I’ll have more to say about that in the leadup to New Hampshire (I’m going on Sunday, thanks to an invitation by RespectAbility to meet with them and disability rights leaders in the state).
For now, though, I just want to go back to those Iowa speeches – I don’t blame Clinton and Sanders for not name-checking disability, but disabled individuals are in need of health care, jobs, protection of reproductive rights, and more. In any marginalized group, the disabled members of that group will be multiply marginalized (just as the non-white, non-heterosexual, etc. members of the disability community are multiply marginalized).
Clinton is running an intersectional campaign. Disability isn’t in the frame.
Sanders is running an economics only campaign. Disability isn’t in the frame.
We have a lot of work to do.