I am not a good disability activist. I don’t have enough staying power. Might have something to do with how I’m so tired all the time.
I went to the board of my choir last year and got permission to look for a new, more wheelchair-accessible rehearsal facility. Spent weeks on the phone during November and December, finally located an acceptable place. I thought I was keeping the board very well apprised of my progress with frequent emails.
Now, apparently, we are moving too fast. We haven’t properly thought out what impact a move would have on the membership. Some people might quit, because they have to drive further, or heaven forfend, cross the blessed Boulder city limits and mingle with the unwashed in the county. We should have some more meetings, sound out the choir on their opinion, wait until next year.
To hell with that.
There’s a special purgatory, I hope, for people who would rather meet and talk than act. In that place may they learn something about how little is brought about by meetings and talking.
I am disinclined to judge one’s “goodness” as an activist by near-term results. By that standard, most activists fail. We do not yet live in a world where people accept responsibility for excluding others on the basis of accessibility. We will never live in such a world unless people continue to tell their stories, to press the point, to teach what the world has not yet learned.
That said, there are some things I have to teach the world about. I find it discouraging and, not infrequently, it seems easier just to keep my mouth shut. But I am a prophet and a prophet’s business is to keep talking. I think you are a prophet, too.
Certainly my near-term result record is dismal. I guess I judge “goodness” by the ability to deliver a consistent message, in a fashion that is more likely to get the job done in the long term than piss people off. Sometimes you’ve just got to piss people off, though.
The prophets certainly did.