On being an unperson

arvan's picture

Being an unperson means being at the mercy of opinions that other people have about you.

This video was created as a presentation on the experience of being treated as a 'person with disabilities' rather than as a person.  We all want to be known as the person we are and for many of us, the dismissal of our identity comes in small doses.  For others, it is a complete disregard.  Sometimes the denial of our identity is violent, sometimes silent.  However, for any of us, when we are denied recognition and acknowledgment of our identity - it is the most insulting and most painful assault there is.  

Of the many points well made in this presentation, I was struck by this:

An unperson is a ghost, a prejudice in people's minds.

When we label each other in the terms of our own internal dialogue about them and not in their own terms of identity and value, we are silently killing them.  It's the murder of their identity for the sake of our own story about who they are.  Whether the conversation is about sexual preference, gender identity, age, ability, body shape, skin color or any other term - we are either accepting people as they are or we are killing that identity in favor of our own delusion / illusion. 

There are an infinite number of reasons why we may choose to turn someone into an unperson, but none of them really change anything.  We are either listening or we are talking.

In the end, most of us will become disabled.  So, we have a choice in each of our lives: we can either come to grips with this dynamic now and change how our society treat each other - or we can wait until our identity is taken from us and spend our solitude thinking about how awful it feels to be treated like we treated people or allowed them to be treated.



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