Re: #Bafta #IDanielBlake #KenLoach – Comment of the year – By Fiona Robertson
‘The one and only famous person outside of the disability community to use his privilege to take on the government.
We are being killed by the government. They laugh at us as they do it. There have been no marches in solidarity with us. No major protests. One day of anger which resulted in the reversal of one tiny aspect of the destruction of disabled people, which was nice, but that was it. There have been no nationwide protests, no sustained anger, no public calls for accountability.
The UN itself censured the government for its attacks on disabled people and nobody gave a shit. There were a couple of articles about it and then the silence was crushing.
Even though it may make me look bad, I’m going to admit now to something I’m ashamed of:
I love the spirit of protest we’ve seen over the last few months. I’ve joined the protests where I can for years against Trump, against misogyny, against wars, against racism. I love that the world came together to resist fascism. I love that thousands of people in Scotland gathered to raise their voices against Trump.
And I am bitter – furiously, viciously bitter – that people will unite to call for accountability from a man on another continent but will never be seen doing more than occasionally remembering to add disabled people into lists of marginalised communities. While we, quite rightly, see national focuses on systemic racism and misogyny, disabled people are dying at the hands of the government and have been for years and there is silence. And I am bitter, because I know that the propaganda has worked, that the people who have done such stellar work in service of our community – mostly people who are disabled themselves – to raise awareness, to scream for people to help us, that they’ve all been ignored. That the UN agreed with all our concerns, but this government – this callous, brutal, murderous government – will do nothing without a popular uprising which is never going to come.
I’m ashamed because I loathe setting oppressions against each other – I believe that liberation for any group helps all of us, so I hate being angry about the protests which are so necessary, but there is this raw, bleeding part of me, the part which has watched my comrades die one by one by one, which screams that it isn’t fair. That we show up for others where we can, but nobody shows up for us. And still Tories go on Twitter to mock the one and only major public voice raised in solidarity with us, who made a film that even left-wing journalists thought was using metaphorical extremes rather than stories and dialogue lifted directly from the common experiences of our lives (I can point you to the article about the real-life event which the scene described as ‘viscerally horrifying’ came from) and it will only be us who notices.
I’m tired. I’m so tired. I’m thankful he won and that he used his voice for us. I’ll keep showing up for as long as I can for as many people as I can. I just wish that even a fraction of the anti-trump protests could be harnessed against our own government, to stop the mass deaths of a marginalised population at their hands.
I’m so tired.