Naturalistic Neurodiversity

Exploring our differences through science.

Ableist Speech is Hate Speech

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Rogi Riverstone can be found on YouTube and in the Genderqueer Atheist Facebook group, preaching it like it is. This post is her response to ableist language used in that group.

It’s a HUGE risk for me to be “out” about my behavioral health challenges. Last summer, for example, a room mate decided to get me illegally evicted. She’s close friends with the sheriff’s department in this county. So, they put their heads together. She called Dispatch, lied and said I was suicidal. I was wakened in the middle of the night and hauled to a psychiatric hospital, seventy five miles away, for “observation.” I had no money, identification, walking shoes. They left my little dog out in 40 acres of land with coyotes and bobcats on it. My trailer was unlocked; everything in it could have been stolen. The next morning, I had no way to call anybody for a ride, no money for a bus. The hospital wouldn’t let me leave until I had a ride. Finally, the HOSPITAL paid for a taxi seventy-five miles “home.” A few hours later, she and her friends put their heads together again. She took out a restraining order, accusing me of threatening her with violence. I was immediately ordered off the property. EVERYTHING I OWNED, including 4 cats, a dog, 2 goats and 20 chickens, was on her property, and I wasn’t allowed within four hundred YARDS of them. I had thirty dollars in the bank. I had no: vehicle, credit cards, cell phone. I didn’t know anybody for a hundred miles of here. I was stranded and homeless. And THAT is just the BEGINNING of my story. Friends of hers “took me in,” held me captive, abused & terrorized me, committed an arson crime & accused ME of it and ran me off and gun point. Again: stranded, broke . . . And you think it’s okay for you to use words like “crazy, idiot, brain dead, etc.????” YOU THINK I WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING ELSE you have to say, when I KNOW you’re going out into that redneck world that tried to kill me, using that language, reinforcing that hate?? Why should I listen to anything else you have to say?

I live in a damn PARKING LOT, owned by a self-described “bible thumper” who’s also a paranoid, homophobic, redneck ex COP! He thinks I’m a WITCH because I own a “Coexist” flag and a Hindu doll, hanging in the tree in my lot!

You probably have running water, friends, a quiet and safe place to live, a real building around you when you sleep. And you think it’s okay to use slurs about MY disabilities, even after I’ve very politely and articulately asked you NOT to, and explained why?

HOW can you demand justice for YOURSELF, in a group I started, and not respect my rights to politely request justice for me? The first time I ever heard anybody use the “n” word it was a white, Gay dude. I was flabergasted at the shortsightedness. I just can’t understand hate.

And, yes, you are hating me by using that language. It’s no better than the “n” word. I’m SO discouraged. All I can do is cry.

and, BECAUSE I have behavioral health disabilities, I don’t dare display strong emotions like anger, fear, etc. because people will pathologize them, say, “see? She’s crazy.” You can rant and rail all you want. I have to remain composed, polite, rational. What an ironic double standard! wow


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