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  • Larissa Martin

What Candace Owens Needs to Understand About Her Ableist Comments

I am a biracial writer with multiple disabilities and a disability advocate. I always tend to look for disability inclusion in whatever ways I can find it. It could be in television, movies, clothing campaigns, etc. Why does this matter to me, and why do I look for and crave it? Growing up, I didn’t see disability representation anywhere, and I want future generations to have it in ways that I didn’t. They deserve to see themselves in a wide array of diverse representations in media. However, some people, such as right-wing conservative Candace Owens, disagree and think society has taken it too far, as she recently said.

She suggests disabled people would agree with her and even goes so far as to say “if I am wrong educate me.”

So here we go, Candace. If you’re tired of seeing disabled people included in a simple ad campaign for adaptive clothing, I’m sure you will be surprised how far we will go to get our rights and representation seen everywhere. In my personal experience as a  person with a disability seeing disabled representation in media and other ways all around is important, because people want to see themselves represented in the world. If you can’t see that, then that is your problem which you really need to reevaluate. As a person belonging to multiple minorities yourself, not only being a woman, but a woman of color, I would think you’d have a different opinion when not so long ago, people of color and women were and still are fighting for their rights to be seen as equals. I would hope you will see why this matters so much to disabled people. We need to be included in all aspects of society. Just because you don’t want to see it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary.

In response to your question, “How far will inclusivity go?” apparently too far for you, but not nearly far enough for disabled people. We want to and deserve to be included everywhere in everything; we want marriage equality because we still don’t have that. We want equality in the workforce, where we are often discriminated against and so much more.

Look, Candace, we have come a long way from when I grew up, but we need more because… well, why not! By asking how far this needs to go and saying that you’re tired of inclusivity because you don’t like it or don’t think it matters. Well, try looking at it from a disabled person’s perspective. I know this will get under your skin, but representation matters. I know you don’t think so because you doubled down on that in your response; it always matters and always will.

Think of it this way — at some point, Candace, you could become disabled. Disability is the only minority you don’t have to be born into, but you can one day be a part of it. My question to you is, are you really honestly tired of seeing it because you don’t understand it? Or are you ignorant about disability issues and just not accepting that disabled people deserve to have a platform just like you do?

We deserve to be included in society regardless of disability, physical or invisible! It doesn’t matter what people like you say. People like me will continue fighting for representation everywhere because we see its value, unlike you.


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