Last month, the U.S. celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), legislation that explicitly states discrimination based on disability status is illegal. However, we, as a society still have far to go. Specifically, Black disabled Americans continue to face higher rates of police violence.
While Americans nationwide continue to protest the scourge of systemic racism, it’s worth examining how a second form of discrimination is frequently employed to obscure or attempt to rationalize racist violence: ableism.
At its core, ableism is an ideological framework through which certain bodies and minds are valued over others based on socially constructed ideas of “normal,” with the consequence that anyone who deviates from those norms is deprived of equitable and respectful treatment. However, racism and ableism are intertwined historically, with ableism, and in particular, the stigma around mental illness used throughout history to hide or justify racial violence.
Continue reading in The Hill.