From Color of Violence
“Disability in the New World Order” by Nirmala Erevelies and “Crime. Punishment, and Economic Violence” by Patricia Allard are two essays that ultimately made me think: exactly where do we draw the line? “Disability,” first of all, lacks any kind of cogency that the author attempted to have. It’s one of those articles that I can see where she was trying to go with it, she just didn’t quite get there. The bottom line ultimately becomes: Disabled people and women of color in Third World countries are still being marginalized and oppressed. Ooo-kaaaay….and then what? Oh, the author’s further point being: World governments are bad. Again…and??? Okay, so apparently this “New World Order” of which she speaks is one in which women of color in Third World countries and disabled people everywhere are being economically oppressed—one is being overworked and underpaid (with a whole lot of gender and race rhetoric thrown in), the other isn’t being worked enough (with a whole lot of bleeding heart rhetoric thrown in). Well, the former is in a Third World country…that’s why it’s a Third World country. Her argument kind of lacks punch with that. Not to say that I’m happy it’s happening or that it is deserved—I’m simply pointing out that this essay went a whole lot of nowhere. The latter is, well, disabled. Yeah—they’re not going to be able to contribute as much as others to economic growth. They can’t. They’re disabled. If you want to argue this, show me that man with no limbs who can climb eight stories of scaffolding to lay down electrical wire. Yeah, didn’t think so. To claim that disabled people aren’t being employed is what is “simply preposterous” (and though she doesn’t exactly come right out and claim that explicitly, it certainly does seem to be implied). Seriously, there comes a point in time where people simply MUST stop rallying the “Difference” cry and getting up in arms whenever someone isn’t treated the same as someone else because, well, PEOPLE ARE INDEED DIFFERENT. And yes, sorry, but some people aren’t capable of doing the same things as other people, and their “perceived value” in certain situations is different. Much like you would rather have a smart person as your lawyer and a strong person as your bodyguard, a man with no hands could be a brilliant accountant but can never be a carpenter. I found this essay to be little more than useless drivel.
“Crime, Punishment, and Economic Violence” by Patricia Allard isn’t quite leagues better than the last, but her arguments seem to be a little better founded. While ultimately I disagree that socially disadvantaged people should be given what equates to limitless opportunities to abuse what advantages they are given, I do see some value in the points Allard makes. The transition from welfare to work or from jailcell to self-sufficiency needs to simply be more realistic. If the government truly desires a reformed life for women who have fallen victim to drug use, then they need to offer the proper assistance instead of saying “This is what you need to do and you’re on your own.” I don’t, however, believe the government programs and rules are as cruel as Allard at first tries to paint them (then as she continues she must continuously note the many “exceptions” and “pardons” to the very rules she’s lambasting), and I simply must play Devil’s Advocate here by stating another point: for every drug addicted minority mom who wants to get herself cleaned up and has the personal conviction to do so, there’s AT LEAST one more who has no such desire and who uses (and abuses) the government’s free housing, free food, and free money as an excuse to never have to. And yes, the greater amount of tax breaks goes towards the rich. Guess what? They pay the most in taxes. Why should they continue being in a 50% tax bracket, losing tens if not HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars to the government to be later dumped into programs such as WELFARE, HUD HOUSING, AND FOOD STAMPS while the poor go from a 20% to a 15% tax bracket, saving what amounts to MAYBE a few hundred dollars over one year? This is a real flaw in the logic of any person who soapboxes “Tax breaks always go to the rich!” Well, YEAH…they paid more. While there are some glimmers of sense being made in this essay, there is still quite of bit of asinine cry-baby hot-button-pushing rhetoric in it as well.