Mia Mingus on the Disability Justice framework (video clip)

00388_00013-1/2 minute video clip where Mingus explains the three aspects of the framework of Disability Justice.

Recorded November 18, 2013 in Ottawa as part of a longer 20 minute video interview (which has now been posted).



Yeah there’s like three main pieces I feel like to Disability Justice that I think are important right now.

One is that it’s a multi-issue politic, which is just a fancy way of saying that it’s not single-issue, it’s not just talking about disability, it’s talking about, we’re including class, we’re including race, we’re including gender, citizenship, I’m thinking about colonization, thinking about war and militarization, like all of those things. It is a multi-issue politic, that it’s not just about ableism and disability, that it’s also about other systems of oppression, institutions and forms of violence, because disabled people aren’t just disabled people, we are also mothers and fathers and, women and trans people and queer people and young people and old people, we are so many things and there’s so many things that impact for example my life, it’s not just ableism that I also need to be able to talk about and think through.

The other piece is that it is moving away from just a rights-based and equality model. So it’s not just about, how do we expand the ranks of the privileged to include a few more people, it’s actually saying, no we don’t want to just expand the ranks of the privileged and just, what usually happens is just to add a few more people who had privileges and were at the top of that group anyways, who was getting included. But it’s actually saying, questioning that whole system and that why some people are constantly and perpetually at the bottom, and who never get included into those, that expanded ranks. It’s talking about redistribution, it’s also saying, we don’t necessarily believe that, what am I trying to say, that that approach is necessarily going to work anyways, like we haven’t, there’s nothing that has shown us that simply expanding the ranks of the privileged to add a few more people has actually led us to a more just world.

And then the last piece of it is, is that it’s really talking about what justice and liberation would look like, not just equality which is very different than justice, but what justice and liberation would look like for disabled people and our communities. So again, not just disability, and not just, I think for me, what liberation would look like for me is not just liberation for my disabled communities that I’m a part of, but also for the queer and trans people of colour communities that I’m a part of, and also the Korean communities that I’m a part of, also the radical women of colour communities that I’m a part of. So it’s also talking about connecting disabled people to our communities, which I think is so important, especially in a society kind of like moment in history and, a history, and a legacy of people who have been doing, where it’s been so individualized, our notions of justice are so individualized in terms of, you sue somebody and you get a settlement, and that’s justice. Or you send that person who hurt you to jail, and that’s justice. No, we’re talking about a much more collective form of what justice would look like, and hopefully deeper form.


Full interview: http://equitableeducation.ca/2013/mia-mingus-disability-justice

Mia Mingus’ website: LeavingEvidence.wordpress.com

Interview/video by Greg Macdougall, EquitableEducation.ca

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