Leroy Moore Jr. (b. 1967)

Leroy Moore Jr. (b. 1967)

Writer and activist Leroy Moore lectures throughout the United States and Canada, as well as other parts of the world, on topics including the intersections of disability, race, and sexuality, as well as police brutality against people with disabilities. He has written extensively on the history of Black artists and musicians with disabilities in popular culture. Moore was the founder of Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization and a member of the U.S. National Minorities with Disabilities Coalition. He is a regular contributor to Poor Magazine, a webzine for community activism. He is also the cofounder of an arts performance series in San Francisco called Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility. The project serves as a dialogue space where artists with disabilities examine and challenge normative conceptions of beauty and sexuality. Moore was also a founding member of the disability radio collective, Pushing Limits at KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley, CA and is the founder of Krip-Hop Nation, an international project bringing together and disseminating the work of hip-hop artists from around the world. Moore is currently writing a book about Krip-Hop Nation and, in collaboration with Emmitt Thrower, working on a film documentary about police brutality against people with disabilities that will complement the Krip-Hop mixtape CD on the same issue. Source: https://disabilityrightnow.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/interview-with- leroy-moore-2/

Dynamics of privilege are deeply embedded into our socialization and

thus into our psyches. Ending a system of privilege is not as simple as identifying their external manifestations and “stopping them” or “giving them away.” We may be able to do this with some types of privileges, such as changing the way we design buildings in order to make them more accessible, or challenging our assumptions about who is more or less likely to engage in criminal activity (i.e., reduce racial profiling). But many




aspects of our privilege are intertwined into our very identities and personalities—how we see ourselves in relation to those around us and thus how we interact with them.

Returning to our opening vignette concerning the prime minister and her cabinet, we can see some of these deeply internalized manifestations. The men assume that it is women whose movements will be restricted. They also assume it is their right to walk freely wherever and whenever they choose. They take offence at the suggestion that their rights should be restricted, even though it is their group that is causing the problem. They appear to be unaware that women must monitor and restrict their movements on a daily basis. Ironically, women as a group must do this monitoring because of the patterns of men as a group. In this situation, it isn’t as simple as suggesting that the men “give away” their privilege to women so that women can move more freely. There are many complex dynamics involved that make this not only challenging, but also highly unlikely. The very idea of men giving up their privilege is foreign to them, even though it makes sense—or is rational—that it should be their movements that are restricted under these conditions, not the women’s. Due to internalized dominance, we can be confident that they will vigorously resist the prime minister’s proposal. The prime minister also now risks being seen as seeking “special rights” for women and of having a biased perspective. In other words, she now becomes a woman prime minister who is no longer seen as representing everyone or playing by the rules. Deep-level ideological, institutional, and behavioral shifts would need to occur in order to challenge the male cabinet members’ privileges.

Discussion Questions

1. The authors argue that privilege is not the product of luck, happenstance, or natural occurrence. If it is not these things, then what is it?

2. What are the “external and structural” dimensions of ableism? Identify some specific examples beyond those the authors provide. What are the “internal and attitudinal” dimensions of ableism? Identify some specific examples.

3. Identify the external/structural and internal/attitudinal dimensions of another form of oppression (such as sexism, heterosexism, classism, or racism).

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