Speaker 0 00:00:04 Hey, and welcome to free Willow carton podcast. I'm your host card and Wyckoff wheelchair warrior and disability advocate based in Atlanta, Georgia. On this podcast, we believe in creating an accessible world, strengthened by supportive allies to build inclusion and belonging. We share stories from people with very specific cities and help break down barriers for the disability community. If you like what you hear on this episode today, please rate, review and follow this podcast and share it with a friend. I'm giving you a shout out to my friends at I access life. It's a mobile app that rates and reviews places on the built environment. So break down barriers and transparency on the bathrooms, interior parking. And anytime that you go into a new place, you can find the mobile app on Google play and Apple app store use the referral code when downloading I access life heart in C a R D N, which was my name when signing up today's episode is an interview with Jermaine grieves.
Speaker 0 00:01:08 He is the founder of black disabled lives matter based in Brooklyn. New York city is an event planner and clothing brands, designer, actor, activist, and dancer. He has volunteered and worked for Afropunk and Brooklyn music festival. As an event coordinator is done in store festivals, many independent artists released parties. And also as it had hands-on experience picking this talent for the Brooklyn music festival, he partnered with a clothing brand of not like the other kids, which gives a portion back to proceeds or kids with disabilities. I am so excited to get to interview Jermaine tonight. This episode speaks the truth. Ooh, it was really great. Um, black disabled lives matter was founded by Jermaine and a feeling of trauma and sadness and darkness because he will disabilities for so many centuries, have not had a seat out, and you're going to hear that rawness and realness in his voice. And you can tell how passionate he is about making that change and also being the role model that kink wish he would have had growing up. So, all right, let's get to the episode. Enjoy. Hey journeyed. Thank you so much for joining the podcast. How's it going?
Speaker 1 00:03:03 Uh, I'm good. I'm doing pretty well.
Speaker 0 00:03:06 Well, I'm so excited to get to interview you because you are the founder of black disabled lives matter. And I think that is such a really powerful movement, especially with all the racial injustices that have been happening, or I guess it's not that it just started happening, but the elevation of it and the awareness of it has really been happening in the last year. And so talk to me about why you started that and why you're passionate about it.
Speaker 1 00:03:39 I started black, the sample lives matter because I was in the back of a protest line. Like I was in the backpack of a protest line at Mark that was not accessible back in June of last year. And I decided in that moment as a black disabled person, that I was stopped, I was tired of being in the back of a protest line during, you know, as you probably already know as a disabled person, we are always in the back of the conversation. We are never in the front of the conversation. And as somebody that is a black and disabled, it's double the marginalization for the type of suffering I experienced as a black person and also being disabled, the racial injustices, this is the medical racism, the systematic racism with case workers and case managers, and just the system of living in an ISS apartment versus supportive housing, which I have had experience in both. And that's really why I started. Like, they will not live as here, but also because my sister died and my mother had totally last year, but she's okay now. But those are some of the reasons I started it. It was really based in trauma. And that's what I feel like black people, but specifically black disabled people experienced on a constant basis because as a disabled person, you're constantly being told you can't do something or you're not capable of doing something. So that's the, where this started from for me.
Speaker 0 00:05:26 Wow. I totally resonate with a lot of what you're saying and that people with disabilities, disabled people, whichever one you prefer to say are often left in the dark and not in the forefront of conversations. And it's such a retroactive approach to inclusion and accessibility. And it's like, I have to keep proving to people. I don't know if you feel the same way, but I just feel like have to keep proving to people that accessibility matters, people disabilities matter, and that you have to start including us in your conversations. From the very beginning, you have to start designing with accessibility in mind at the beginning so that you don't have to spend a bunch of money and hire a bunch of resources to fix the problems that you could have fixed in the very beginning.
Speaker 1 00:06:22 Yeah. I feel, I feel just like you on a consistent basis is doing disabled and especially an adult disabled person. Like if you're an adult and you're disabled, it's just, it's harder. And now than maybe when I was a kid, I just think when you think about the organizations that are responsible for accessibility services, the adapt the Y eyes, the, the OPWD these of accessibility services. And if you look at accessibility on a, a national level and a global level, it's still not where it needs to be. There is no central point for people with disabilities to thrive anywhere in the world. And that is so traumatic for me to think about that. We don't have the kind of accessibility that makes us have a voice at the table of so many conversations that's necessary. I feel like we constantly have to, like you said, prove yourself and also prove that the conversation about accessibility is extremely important.
Speaker 1 00:07:40 I think it just, it just makes it harder as you become older, you know, living in a big city like New York, you feel that because there's more services, you get more help at a faster rate. And that's not the case. I am still fighting a housing subsidy. I am still fighting other services. I'm supposed to get a home that I'm still not getting. I am still fighting the fact that I haven't gotten a proper bath chair and that hasn't gotten my rental centrally, you know, literally almost got evicted. So yeah. And I have been paying my rent for two and a half years.
Speaker 1 00:08:21 I have, I have been paying my rent without housing support for two and a half years, you know, and, and that's what it is. You know, you have all these agencies, they're supposed to be about support services and where are the actual support? Uh, that's still a real question for me. And I think the same for you as well. Like these cell call support services do not provide space. And I'm tired of that. We have to do a better of really having that at the table and giving us a chance to hear what we have to say. Cause our cause our experience is not inspiration for it.
Speaker 2 00:09:06 Yes. Oh my goodness. Yes.
Speaker 1 00:09:13 This is real life, you know, so I don't want to, but doesn't go. I, I have to overcome something to be the most inspiration for. Um, I don't care about that. I am a person who wants to live my life fully and unafraid and able to be able to get around. I don't want to feel that because I'm in a wheelchair, isn't already limit me. I've been limited since I was a child, I was already called. I couldn't do anything. So telling me that as a grown adult is not going to make me feel any better than I've already. There's just so many things that disabled, we will have to mentally go through just to survive. And that's irritated. Like, can I live my life and enjoy my life the way I want to like, is that too much to ask too much?
Speaker 2 00:10:10 Like the fact that you're waiting, are you on a wait list? Or what's the issue with the bath chair?
Speaker 1 00:10:18 The vast chair is really Medicaid. The Medicaid, you know, Medicaid is, you know, dragging their feet as usual. And I say as usual, because this is a problem all over this country, all over the United States. I mean, so it's, you know, there are people with disabilities right now, waiting for services, waiting to get serviced properly. People are waiting on wheelchairs. People are waiting on things to survive. If, if we abolition, I'm a big fan of abolition, which is carrying systems down to be rebuilt again. So that it's equitable for everyone. You know? Um, I think that we, as disabled people need to be like the people in the 1974 riots, you know, dorming, the Capitol building blocks. What Brad Lomax did is what we need to do now because we are still being very much and ignored and nobody seems to care even in a pandemic crisis, we're not priority on the co-business guys. And we are the most, um, people that are going to get COVID most likely. And we're also going to have to deal with the ramifications of getting COVID and having the disability from elderly to the disabled. So because we are not on the priority list, there is this thing on, uh, Twitter called high-risk California because there's lot of high-risk disabled people and I'm, you know, compromising people that are not getting the priority list for the COVID vaccine.
Speaker 1 00:12:05 We have to do a better job of just meeting the needs of what we need. Now. I feel like accessibility services are so outdated and our sign that they're catching up to what I'm doing when they're supposed to already be ahead.
Speaker 0 00:12:25 Can you elaborate? Can you elaborate more on what you want to see for accessibility services to be more up-to-date with the future or in the current? Okay.
Speaker 1 00:12:36 What I want to see is, like you said earlier at the table, I think having a head to table and letting you know what our problems are, but also stating to those that are in positions of power to listen to us and to Harris. Also, I want us to start running some of these organizations because a lot of the people in the organizations are not disabled. They are able-bodied people at the top of the food,
Speaker 0 00:13:07 Right? So they're making decisions about disabilities,
Speaker 1 00:13:12 Telling people what we need when we know what we need. I think even when you go to people who study disability, studying the us is not going to give you everything that you need to know about. You have to talk to us, you have to listen to us, you have to hear us. And I think that is the biggest problem. We have never been heard in society. We haven't been looked at as outcast. We've been looked at as people who are dangerous. We've been looked at as people who are sick. So when you're kind of focusing on people who are sickly and cannot survive and are not able to survive because you see them as a sick person and as somebody who is unable to take care of themselves, you're not looking at them as a person.
Speaker 1 00:14:05 We have to undo the medical racism. We have to undo the trauma that we caused disabled people on a consistent basis from their safety, even how they're living their lives, it's trauma. And we must begin to understand what race, how race plays into that, how, where we live, plays into that and the kind of services you get all over this country, because everybody's not getting the same kind of services I'm getting here in New York. And even if you are getting the services, they're giving you the bare minimum and there's so many other people you have to go through to get what you want. So you're not going to get it easy regardless.
Speaker 0 00:14:46 So is the answer something like universal healthcare, or do you think that in combination with the abolition of the accessibility services,
Speaker 1 00:14:59 I think what has to happen in terms of universal health care and accessibility services as a whole is getting a comprehensive plan that meets the needs of the people you're talking to, like really listening to us, what are our needs and how can you get us our needs and then efficient time. And I also think Medicaid needs to come to the table and listen to us as well, because if you're not able to listen to what I have to say, how can you service me? And also Medicaid is only looking at something that a doctor is prescribing or a medical, uh, form that the doctor is sending out. Do you know what I mean? So we have to do everything from the medical hospitals. We have to combine it in a way we have to, they have to not only listen to us, but combine the information that they have on us at the hospitals as a well, as the support services. So people can not have the service as better. I do not believe that the support services currently help us in a well-rounded array. You have a case manager or case worker. You have all these different agencies with things are still not getting done in an efficient time. And because you have to go through so many other people outside of the agency, they have their own process too. So at the end of the day, when I look at everything, are we really getting serviced? So are we just getting passed around?
Speaker 0 00:16:29 Hmm. Kind of goes back to that, that reoccurring theme that you're talking about is like trauma and always being at the back of everything. Are you really, are we really getting the support and services that we desire and that we need in order to function and be able to just live a daily life
Speaker 1 00:16:52 In a weekend? At least for me, it just feels like, am I happy being on my own? Is it easier living with my parents? Or is it like, it's almost like telling you, like, the best thing you can probably do is have someone take care of you the rest of your life, but that's not what I want for me. I want to be able to take care of myself and have the services that I deserve to have to live. Why is that so hard? I understand. It's not a concept. It's not an overarching theme. I just want to have the services that I deserve to have. And beyond that is being able to be safe and have a safety with the agencies. I'm working with that lack of safety is something that looms over our head all the time and not to mention social security.
Speaker 1 00:17:43 And if you make over a certain amount, it's like they reduce your amount. And then what, what do you have left? And then if you think about the kind of work we can do as disabled people in job related fields, it's very limited. You know, and even when you're trying to break ground in an industry you're in. And luckily for me, I'm in so many industries, it's still a challenge because they haven't seen some money like during those arenas, whether it's the clothing, whether it's the acting. So you're constantly breaking the glass ceiling every single day. And it's like teaching people that you meet, how to properly treat you. It's just extremely overwhelming. And it's just like, it's just like asking, like, are you listening to me? Are you just wasting my time? I just really want people to get, like, our experience is not your inspiration porn. I'm so tired of that. Love your email. I'm a human being. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:19:12 Um, I saw on your website that you were featured on good morning America and all these other really well-known news stations about dancing at a music festival. And I love the words that they use in that look at this inspirational black person in a wheelchair who is dancing at a music festival. W like, why is that national news?
Speaker 1 00:19:45 Well, first of all, why is national news? Because I actually looked good in it, but I also think that's the first thing, but I also think it's, um, I don't know. I think for people when it comes to disabled people, when people have not necessarily seen us, having fun, people are used to us being like struggling through things or, or just having an inspirational story that we have to overcome in this case, that wasn't the case. You know, I just decided to go to a music festival and dance. You know what I mean? It wasn't a story about somebody overcoming anything. Cause I wasn't overcoming anything. I just was having a good time dancing. I think what has to happen is realizing that disabled people are people too. We have this notion that because person is disabled, they're overcoming them. No, I just happened to work really hard and get where I am.
Speaker 1 00:20:57 It's not always inspirational point. And I think, and it also takes away from you getting to know the person because you're so caught up on what they've done. Um, I love the video. I get the message of the video, but I'm in much more than that video. I think when people kind of pigeonhole you into a, uh, there's a box, that's all, you'll be for some people. It ain't, you know, it's on my Instagram or still want me to do the dance stuff, but I'm trying to show you how different I am. I'm not just this viral dance video. I'm trying to do a lot more with my 15 minutes of fame. I am a clothing designer. I am, I'm a college student activist. So respect me in all of the things I am and not just the things you are comfortable and see, because that's also problematic too.
Speaker 1 00:21:56 People want to see you in one way and that's it. Now I'm a lot of different ways and that's okay too. All of it is still valid and all of it is still important. And I think we have to get to a place as people where we see disabled people as people, not necessarily their disability, that as they are human beings. And that's important as we are not as what you think we are, because that will never, that will, people will always look at us like other, because society hasn't taught people how to treat people with disabilities, like people. And we have to do all our learning from the school system to even the IEP format that we have to unlearn an entire system that I've taught people to treat us. Like we always need help. That kind of learning takes time. And it takes people like us to educate people on the kinds of things we go through as adults and not treat us like children because we have a disability, you know, I'm definitely grown.
Speaker 1 00:23:06 I definitely have friends. I definitely do adult things. I'm not just somebody in a wheelchair who's boring. And I think that has to also change. You know, I have someone I'm in a relationship with, I have a love life what's happening. You know, I'm not just somebody who is like disabled and bored and depressed. And I am a whole adult living like I'm living my whole life. And I think people have to give us our things we never got. I think it's always like we're fighting for our things. And that's really frustrating what you touched
Speaker 0 00:23:46 On something that I saw something on Twitter that was really disappointing and kind of traumatic as a person with a disability. It was, uh, a gal who reached out to matchmakers dating too. And she has a disability. I mean, I don't know the severity of her disability, but I know she uses a wheelchair and she reached out to request dating match maker services. And they responded back saying that they're not experienced in matching disabled people to regular people. And that they're not going to be able to help them because of they, their insecurities and then the dating service being afraid of that person with a disability feeling rejected.
Speaker 1 00:24:46 Um, what the hell I can read you this entire email?
Speaker 0 00:24:59 It says regretfully, others are not always open to dating someone living with your disability and may decline to go forward with a match when offered. So we have found that achieving good outcomes for full-time wheelchair user clients can be quite challenging as we get more inquiries from the disabled. We are considering developing a specialized brand for the disabled dater. So a segregated experience for disabled people to find life.
Speaker 1 00:25:35 Um, Jan, I want to respond to that first, first of all, um, um, secondly, I am in a relationship and we can date and I deal pretty good. Okay. Mike, how, how outdated are you? This is what I was just talking about about like systems being so outdated. Like it doesn't make any kind of sense that we still have to deal with this kind of ignorance and lack of care in 2021. It does not make any sense that people don't know how to properly speak to us to say to someone you don't know how you can help her date, put her on the damn website and match her with some people. What is that like? Is it so hard to simply say, you know what, uh let's you know, and I can share with you. So my dating experiences, because I am openly bisexual. So I have had is how do I even say this? There have been some men and women who asked me for money and exchange,
Speaker 2 00:27:03 He's asked you for money. Is that what you said? Okay.
Speaker 1 00:27:08 Um, I'm telling all my business, but this is me sharing my life. Um, yeah, I think for me, I don't want people to come to me because they feel like they're either helping me or I'm helping them not lie. Like I like you because I actually like, it's not because I need anything from you. I can, I can take care of myself. I'm not somebody who needs to be babies either. And I, I think when we look at how they view us in the day tool, they don't really have advertisements for us dating. There is nothing advertising, showing a loving disabled couple. There is nothing in advertising showing an able bodied person, dating someone with a disability, like,
Speaker 2 00:28:05 Yeah, let's call out Tinder and Bumble and grinder
Speaker 1 00:28:10 And grinder and all these sides.
Speaker 2 00:28:12 They're all, non-disabled very able bodied individuals finding love. What about me?
Speaker 1 00:28:20 You know, it's, it's just very, it's, you know, it's really sad that we're not in Valentine's day as a couple of days from now, too, which is really weird. Um, but I just think, um,
Speaker 2 00:28:33 Hashtag single forever,
Speaker 1 00:28:43 You know, as a disabled man who has dated eliminated men, I just don't want people to come to me because they need something. I want you to ask you like me. I want you to actually be in a relationship with me. Not because you need money for me to have sex. It's like, what the hell is that? I want people to actually like me for me, not because I'm there to help them. And they think I have some money. I'm like, don't let the social security checks fool you. I am still wrote
Speaker 2 00:29:12 <inaudible>.
Speaker 1 00:29:18 And right now, as a disabled person, I can't even really do events right now. I mean, you could kind of do it, but it's not really a safe time to do it because of gathering. I don't have the luxury of just doing it in that way. You know what I mean? I don't have the luxury of just, you know, being able to just be disabled and kind of live my life. And people are always trying to size you up. Like how disabled are you? I'm like stop trying to size me. I'm a, I'm a person. I think, I think what happens in the day when you're disabled, because I've seen this, but I've had guys telling me like, yo, I like you, but can you stop me Murray? I'm like, you just want my money.
Speaker 1 00:30:08 Yeah. It's disheartening to know that. Like for me to find love, I have to give up something to get what I want. It's not simply because someone loves it. Although the man I'm with it's very different now. And he, he begins to under, he began to understand like how much I loved him, the way we started dating and where we are now is completely different. There is a respect level. There, there is this notion of, you know what? I love you. I care about you. I realize you actually care about me and you're not just here because you just want to make lots of money. And he eventually opened up to me and told me he had ADHD, right? So it's, I didn't know that, but it was just eye opening and it like,
Speaker 0 00:31:11 Well, I think there is the, at the root level of human, right, is our story and who we are as an individual and what makes us that person and the way we show up for others and that our beliefs and our values. But I think when you become vulnerable with someone, you allow them to feel safe and trusting to have them open up to you about their deepest, darkest secrets or, you know, whatever insecurities that they have about themselves or their disabilities.
Speaker 1 00:31:50 I mean, that's kind of true. I mean, when that person told me about that, I was definitely not prepared because it's surprising. But also I learned something in that too, the invisible disability community that they are out there and you may not see their disability, but they have it.
Speaker 0 00:32:12 Right. And the other thing is people who don't want to date disabled people is their problem and not the disabled person.
Speaker 1 00:32:23 True. But, you know, I, I felt like eventually, I guess, as I realized, like me as a person, I was genuinely for them and I cared for them and stuff like that, you know, and I had told the lover of my life about almost being evicted recently and they didn't call me and was like, you're going to get through this. I'm like, why don't I have safety? I feel safe. Right. For me, for most of our adult lives, someone's going to have to take care of me. And I'm going to have to go through this real, this roller coaster of services. It's really traumatic.
Speaker 0 00:33:10 And that's kind of what you were saying. The starting of the black disabled lives matter movement. And so can you talk a little bit more about where you've marched and the reach that you've had?
Speaker 1 00:33:27 Okay. The reason I'm Martha I'm based in New York city, sorry, March in Brooklyn and Harlem in New York city. As of right now, we have done virtual zoom events. We have a reach from California to freaking Paris. That's how far we breached on social media. And, um, for me, and, uh, recently I was just featured MPVs for the movement. So I, for me, when I started this, I started this in a place of feeling isolated. And as though I don't exist in society at all and in a place of trauma and then the place of my pain using my pain to like heal myself, if that makes sense, that's where this came from. So to see it really energizing, other disabled, he loves to feel like they can March and protest and engage in a very serious conversation. And I'm the only one in the modern time, which is now that has done something this large, but I'm also making history too. It's it's, uh,
Speaker 0 00:34:50 It's awesome. I'm talking to a famous person like, wow, I'm really,
Speaker 1 00:34:56 I'm on PBS right now. <inaudible> articles and I've done. I've done so much with it. I think where it's going to grow is going to be a global thing. I'm going to turn it into a global thing because that's all I want it to be. I want her with us, even people with disabilities to see themselves all over the world and specifically black people with disabilities to see themselves all over the world, what people don't know. And the black lives matter movement barely talks about this. I have a little beef with them about this statistic. 50% of the people in black lives matter have been disabled. 50 to 60% had been killed by the cops. And they've been, and that's not something that we really talk about, but my goal in 2020 and 2021 is to have that conversation much more. And let's go there. Let's talk about equity. Let's talk about disability services. Let's have the tough conversations. Let's speak to the head of a job. Let's speak to the head of these services, going have the real conversation of why people are not where they should be in accessibility services.
Speaker 0 00:36:16 Hmm. I actually didn't know that statistic. What you were saying. You were saying 50%
Speaker 1 00:36:22 People that are, have been killed by the cops are black and
Speaker 0 00:36:28 Wow. And yet no one really talks about black disabled lives.
Speaker 1 00:36:33 No, it's like, it's like where it goes. Whereas kind of already experienced that with the racism and all the isms that we see classes on the houses and housing discrimination, redlining, I could go on and on just so much trauma that black people have to deal with specifically black, disabled people. Although we're saying something it's like, we don't exist. And I'm fearful for the future of disability, Because if we have these so-called support services and they don't hear us now, when will they hear us say, you know, these services have been in existence for years. We are in the ADA is 30 years old. So we are basically dealing with a young adult, some growing up to do.
Speaker 0 00:37:47 That's very true. There's a lot that is not accounting.
Speaker 1 00:37:51 So like what you were telling me earlier about where you live and how there's there's there's accessibility, but it's very limited. That's difficult, you know, I mean, New York is pretty good. You have 24 seven transportation and it's pretty good. But again, to you, you can go to a different part of the country and not get the same services. I think we should have a universal plan that gives people with disabilities, the same services all across the country, because we are people too. And we have some lists, adequate housing, us things that will make our experiences so much easier. This is a, we're not going to do that. You are going to turn in your harm enough without knowing it because you're not living in our experience. That is hard for those that don't know.
Speaker 0 00:38:55 So one of the things that you mentioned earlier was supportive housing and what that is, is housing that is there to offer services for people with disabilities. And the city of Atlanta just put out their housing accommodations and affordable housing, white paper basically, or a one-pager I should say. And the supportive housing in Atlanta are basically like on the bluff. Like they're, they're not in the city center. They're not in Midtown, they're not in the three or three Oh nine district. And so how do you feel that those supportive services are not in the center, in the central, you know, as someone with a disability, you want to feel a part of a city. If you were living in it, why do you have to be on the outskirts?
Speaker 1 00:39:54 I think as someone who's lived in supportive housing in New York and just supportive housing in general, from my experience, you live in a part of housing with maybe two other disabled people, and you're supposed to make sense of it. You know, you don't have. And I think where supportive housing has honestly failed is in swarming people of the other person's disability. Because in those environments, it's usually structured by an agency. They bring people in, they bring their X amount of people in place in housing. But I like what you were saying before about them being on the outskirts. It's not accessible for them to go on the outskirts of a city. They need to be aware. There's access,
Speaker 0 00:40:46 Access to the grocery store, to health care, to leisure and activities, events, things that are happening in the city.
Speaker 1 00:40:54 I think the problem with a lot of these cities, States and countries, and even internationally is they're not willing to make the investments on disability. You know, independence. They're willing to give us the bare minimum to survive, but they're not willing to give us the things that will make us thrive and live well and do well. That's the heart. I think you give me enough to be okay that she won't give me enough to sustain myself. That is a real harm. I'm really snapping today, but you know, I'm tired of we are right now. I am disappointed that I, 28 years old, I'm still struggling with these issues I've had since I was a kid, like we have to do better than this. And I hope that people wake up and realize that we are people too, that we matter that it's important to hear us, to see us and to acknowledge us because we are raised black disability. History has been erased. Disability history as a whole has been a race. We need to teach you in school to teach our kids about disability history. We need to teach adults about disability. Listen, adults, I'm coming for you right now. You don't get it. Okay. You do not get, I'm sorry to be so damn shady.
Speaker 0 00:42:45 Do you know? What's crazy to me, is that growing up disability history was non-existent in your textbooks. You learned about the Americans with disabilities act. I think in a single sentence in, I don't know which one's the American history, fifth grade, 10th grade. I don't remember, but I didn't. What's really sad is I didn't hear about Judy human and that entire movement that was filmed in Crip camp on Netflix until last year. And that is really sad, disabled person.
Speaker 1 00:43:28 It's such a shame that disability history tends to literally been arranging. Like we already don't exist in society. So now your radar history, like what is that we deserve? And that's, that's why for me, I, I go to the media all the time. You're not gonna raise me. I do not play. I go to these media platforms where I know some friends in media sometime is, you know, smart with it, but I refuse to be right. Like my movement will be in a dam. If I have to fight for it, it will be in what you know,
Speaker 0 00:44:09 A lot of time on. Yeah. And what you're saying is, is also true. The other thing about disability history and being erased is, you know, we spend a lot of time on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust and that horrible, horrible thing that happened to so many millions of people. However, why we talk anything about in our history books about putting disabled people in these facilities and basically letting them just raw and die
Speaker 1 00:44:44 Exactly like that happened in the Holocaust. Even the section five Oh four was Brad loner. That's like never talked about. That's how we, that's how we even got to the Americans with disabilities act without them doing what they did. The section five Oh four, we would have never had Americans with disabilities act. So we have to began, you know, that's why for me a Raisel of my movement is not an option. You will hear about my movement. I will scream about it at the top of my lungs because you're not going to raise me. I'm not going to stand for that. And you will hear what about what I have to say,
Speaker 0 00:45:35 Speak it, preach it, let it be known
Speaker 1 00:45:41 A black person with a disability. I know we have to deal with racism and classism and all the isms. And I have to constantly show up at my best as a black, disabled passion. And just as a disabled person carry. And it's this constant state of showing up and yourself tired, and your body hurts and their steaks. And you're just, there's so many things you go through with spasms, uh, the body aches, the emotional turmoil, the up and down of your adult life, the lack of safety for your adult life. It's so much, and it's so much weight and it's so heavy and we can't ignore that. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:46:30 So who's there to support you. Who's there to support you other than I'm not talking about the government. I'm talking about your people.
Speaker 1 00:46:42 It's a weird that you say that I don't have a lot of answers. I mean, I can say that currently, maybe two people that I can like count on, maybe my mom sometimes, and like my home care workers are there, but sometimes the case manager and case worker, or a lot of the things I'm doing right now are very much on my own. And I have a team of people that I talk to them about my emotions. We're going to stabilize you matter. And I did go to like therapy before considering going back. It's just been a lot if he's like, you know, am I, when my boo was here as a lover of my life, I wasn't feeling like, you know, I, I realize that also with them, that being here, the shift of London, you know, and also where you don't have that constant love and affection and just, uh, the idea of being in a relationship, it does something to you. So I just, I just think that happened, but also, you know, having to be in this constant state of fight or flight as a disabled person. So draining congressional staff, we have to fight the people that we work with a home care worker.
Speaker 1 00:48:20 Can I get a break, please?
Speaker 0 00:48:25 Can you, um, yeah, sometimes it is a little exhausting. I, I definitely can resonate with that. I know when I hit the bed, it is just I'm out.
Speaker 1 00:48:39 Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:48:41 And I've always been like that. I've always been able to just hit the bed really hard and just fall asleep because I do think it is, it is draining every day to have to get up and show up for the disability community and lead the way and speak your peace and why you
Speaker 1 00:49:03 So many examples like that have lessen away. And it's always like, we're starting over and it's like queer the new face. You know what I mean? It's just like this, this starting owner for me. And it's, uh, you know, there's a realization that if I don't do it, I don't know who else will do it.
Speaker 0 00:49:28 And so you're trying to be that person for yourself, that role model that you can look up to.
Speaker 1 00:49:33 Well, like I just learned about Brad Lomax and Judy, how many times, like you, I didn't have examples of disability fires. And I had no idea that Harrogate send them was disabled people. It's like, what I was watching was the fable. So that's a complete of learning of like what you think disability is. And we are so strong. We are so strong with our spasms and our issues. We get up every day in pain. Some of us are immunocompromised and still fight. Like that is powerful. That is power.
Speaker 0 00:50:24 It's not inspirational. It's powerful. There's a big difference.
Speaker 1 00:50:29 You know? And it's, it's, um, it's, it's powered in though. Like you wake up every day and you have to be either in pain and extreme spasm, or you just can't move
Speaker 0 00:50:42 Or you mentally can't get yourself out of bed because of all of the obsessive and compulsive thoughts that are going through your head,
Speaker 1 00:50:51 You know, right now is black disabled. We have to deal with COVID killing a disproportionate amount of black people globally, right? You have to deal with showing up every day at your job, your school, your place of work, and still being awesome. Knowing your tigers. That is a lot, but we are still here. And that's why for me fighting for rights for Elijah McClain, Walter Wilson, Jr. Walter Wilson, Jr. And his fight for Matthew Russian, who's in jail right now. And this should not be up to Matthew Russian's Instagram page and his family. We talk sometimes. Thank you. You know, we have some Rachel that you get out of that jail. Cause last night Jackie has told me it's a shame I'm fighting for somewhere. Right. I fight for George Floyd. I fight for Eric Garner and I fight for Sandra bland. Those are the people I fight for. And Freddie gray, they all had a disability and they were black. So I have to go out there March and protest, Matt sanitized for a liberation. I have never seen before
Speaker 0 00:52:30 Elijah McClain and, and George Floyd had disabilities. Oh, and pre-existing conditions. Yeah. I had, I didn't know about the others, but like you said, 50% of the black people that have been killed are disabled.
Speaker 1 00:52:46 Yeah. Yeah. 50 to 60 have been disabled. Yeah. And we have,
Speaker 0 00:52:55 You were saying their names, that's so important and we continue to elevate them and respect them. I mean, there are people.
Speaker 1 00:53:03 Yeah. And the sad thing about the Walter Case is that Walter was, you know, he had a mental health after. So instead of listening to his mother, the cops shot him. And in the case of Elijah McLean, Eliza reclaim was just saying he was going on house. And he was a bit delayed in talking to the officer and the officer just tra you know, stabbed him with a tranquilizer and basically council. Yeah. You have to listen to a video. You have to listen to disabled voices, black, disabled voices. Specifically. We have been here. We did not disappear in history. We are still here to this day. We are, as a reason that the black lives matter movement started the black lives matter movement. Give us our space. We are dying out here, literally. So it says, it's a bit unfair that the disability, the black disability conversation is not elevated higher enough, but I will not continue to shadow about these names. You will hear me speak on them more. I'm not going to stop fighting for them. And I'm not going to stop fighting for those that are marginalized and suffering and just disabled people period.
Speaker 0 00:54:32 So how can people get involved in the movement and to help to continue the conversation forward?
Speaker 1 00:54:39 Okay. I have black disabled lives matter on Instagram and Twitter. Yeah. That's the two places. But also like, if you want to collaborate with me or like I said, or like I said, I'm like, I want to say right now I intend and plan to travel with black disabled lives matter all over the country at some point in the internet. So that is something I want to do. That is something that's on the bucket list of things I want to do when I do that. No, but I want to be able to show that we've been here and we're going to keep fighting and we're going to keep having these difficult conversations. It's important that we don't shut us out of the conversation we've been here. We've been fighting without Julie helmets and Brad Lomax. I cannot be give them their thing.
Speaker 0 00:55:42 I almost feel like I, yeah. I almost feel like, you know, they started the legacy and it is our responsibility to carry that torch forward. Do you feel that's the case?
Speaker 1 00:55:55 I agree. I totally agree with you about sharing the torch. I mean, without Judy Hellman and grab loam there, we could not do what we're doing now. I could not do what I'm doing now, without them without come in, I could not be without George Floyd passing away. Sadly, I couldn't start a moving on my own without I couldn't resonate with her being a black disabled without Matthew Rush. And I wouldn't even March in the streets without Walter Wilson Jr. On would not exist. So when I think of these people, I have to keep fighting. I know some days are hard. If you're a disabled person, period. I know as a black disabled person, it's so much worse, but if we don't keep fighting, we don't make it easier for the next generation to feel safe,
Speaker 0 00:56:56 Keep carrying it on, keep marching, keep doing the great work
Speaker 1 00:57:00 I have to do this work. And I know it's not easy to say this and others physically, we're tired, emotionally tired. The pandemic has killed us. And so many other things are literally killing disabled people on a daily. And it's not easy to say that, but it's the reality. And for black disabled people, they don't know where their safety mind. Isn't like we have to go different agencies that take forever to care for us. And the cops don't like that. So,
Speaker 0 00:57:42 And this is a global issue. Would you say that's true. It's not just the United States
Speaker 1 00:57:48 Just globally, because I was actually raised in Georgetown, Diana, and there is no such thing as accessibility. Uh, when I was a young child, I had to be pushing a stroller. I didn't have a wheelchair. I didn't know about a wheelchair till I came to America in 2001. So
Speaker 0 00:58:12 You're also an immigrant.
Speaker 1 00:58:13 Yes.
Speaker 0 00:58:15 So that too,
Speaker 1 00:58:19 I said, I'm not an illegal immigrant. You're saying that.
Speaker 0 00:58:22 Well, no, no, no. I'm not saying that. I'm just, I'm just saying that that adds to your narrative and your story and adding on an additional marginalized group to your title. Not that collecting under marginalized titles is necessarily a good or a bad thing, but, um, yeah, I almost in a thing that I'm learning about you.
Speaker 1 00:58:44 Oh Diana. But you know, but we have a lot of work to do to, to meet us where we are. Society is still not matter where we are and that's the problem I still have. Cause it's like, I don't exist. Wow.
Speaker 0 00:59:07 Wow. There's a lot of truth to what you're saying. And I really appreciate you being so open and having such a beautiful conversation and something that you know, me as, as a white person who is disabled. Like I obviously I don't experience the same traumas that you do. And so I'm not here to try and fix the problems of society. I'm really just here to listen and learn so that I can educate myself and others who are more marginalized.
Speaker 1 00:59:40 I'm appreciative of you taking this in and learning and understanding and connecting some of it into your own experience. I heard you like fighting terrible times. Cause it was like, you felt some of it yourself in some of the conversations, not intangible, some of the things I lived through, but knowing what your experiences, because you also know it's not easy. Right. You know, so sounds that, you know, the one thing we both have in common is it's not easy, but that's the one thing
Speaker 0 01:00:27 I'm not here. We're not here to like put you on a hierarchy of, you know, I have it better off than you. Like, I really just want to know what your experience is like in the different services that you use and that the services that you don't get, what you need. Um, I personally just haven't had to use those services yet. So I'm not familiar with what is out there.
Speaker 1 01:00:59 No, but what I will say is that, you know, for me, it's a constant fight for my safety and to make sure that I'm not falling over the edge, you know, and it was so powerful and should have to live through that. I know it feels, I would
Speaker 0 01:01:17 Classify that as like,
Speaker 1 01:01:20 You know, it feels like, although you have the support services, are they really holding you up? If you know what I mean? You know, you have all your support services. Are they really, you know, keeping you safe, keeping you in check and keeping you aware. And I've lived with my disability forever and I will continue to live with my disability forever. I just think, you know, people have to get with the program or get along. We've been here. I mean, it's not, it's not impossible for you to have kindness, not impossible for you to give me what I deserve in the phone possible for people to pay. Anyway, I deserve also because there's somebody who's an independent event, planner and disabled, I have found that asking to be paid fairly is like, it's such an uproar. And I don't know why, because for me, I just want to show people that I can be successful in what I'm doing and that I deserve to be in these spaces that you continually push me out of it. Hmm. Well thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Speaker 3 01:02:36 Thank you friends for listening. Please rate and follow this podcast. We're text card at (470) 588-1215 with comments and suggestions tune in next week for another disability topic.