Dealing with prejudice

Carrie Aimes


Disability blogger Carrie Aimes talks about her experiences with disability hate crime.

As it is so familiar to me, and something I have endured my entire life, I became almost immune to and accepting of it. But we shouldn’t accept or tolerate such abuse.

A few years ago, whilst out shopping with a friend, a complete stranger approached me on the High Street. He gawped at me in my powered wheelchair, then, invading my personal space, told me I’m “like this” because I don’t believe in God.
 
I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but it is not.

I have experienced discrimination all my life

Physically disabled from birth, I have experienced a lifetime of judgement, assumptions, accusations and insults. Many times, I have been told I am a sinner, this is my punishment, and strangers have offered to pray for, and even cure me!
Tuts, disdainful stares, internet trolls, hearing that I am “in the way”, and mutters of “eurgh, look at her!” are not unfamiliar to me. And I am aware that many disabled people face similar encounters. 
Hate is a strong word. Personally, I perceive it as ignorance, stupidity and a lack of awareness rather than malice. At least in my case.

Speaking out about hate crime

I have never before reported or shared my experiences with a disability hate crime. It is only through seeing others speak out, that I feel able to do the same. As it is so familiar to me, and something I have endured my entire life, I became almost immune to and accepting of it. But we shouldn’t accept or tolerate such abuse. 

To eradicate such prejudice and narrow-mindedness from society, we need to inform, educate and normalise disability representation. Inclusion and greater visibility of diversity are essential in stamping out disability hate crime.

Say no to disability hate crime

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