Oppressioncan be defined as the cruel or unjust treatment of a group of people. Anexample of may include ableism, the unfair treatment of people because theyhave a disability. Discrimination against those who are disabled physically,mentally, or emotionally occurs worldwide and happens on three differenttypes/levels, individual, institutional, and cultural, each of which areequally discriminatory. Society views these individuals as inferior.
Awell-known example of ableism is the Holocaust. Not only did Hitler order aGenocide against the Jewish, but also against those who were not considered tobe normal in society, people with disabilities. Ableism exceeds beyond the lackof courtesy towards those who are disabled, but goes deeper into the assumptionof abled-bodied people being more prominent than anyone living with a disorder.Promotion of poverty in the disabled community, the refusal to hire peoplebased on their disability, and laws being limited and not providing maximumprotection for those with disabilities are considered ableism at its finest. TheAmericans with Disabilities Act of 1990 states that it is unlawful todiscriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability.
Unfortunately, the refusal to hire individuals based on their disability stilltakes place today. On television and in movies, we often see people withdisabilities as ‘token characters’ meaning, “intentional or not, a company mayhire one and only one member of a minority to their team to prevent adiscrimination lawsuit,” (Farlex Finical Dictionary). In this case, the’minority’ would be a person who is disabled. Often, companies cast abledbodied actors to play a disabled characters role because, according to BradFalchuk, “It is extremely hard to find people who could actually sing, reallyact, and have that charisma you need on TV,” (The Washington Post). This statement is excessively contradictive,directors must recognize that there are great actors with disabilities, theyonly need to be given a chance.
Surprisingly, only five percent of televisioncharacters with a disability are performed by a person with a disability. Thisis considered Ableism. Anotherform of Ableism is the promotion of poverty in the disabled community. In thearticle, Can employers actually pay disabled Americans below the minimumwage? the author, Taylor Leighton states, “Under section 14(c) of the FLSA,employers are able to pay a wage below the federal minimum wage to workerswhose work is affected by a mental or physical disability.” She later states,”This means that some disabled workers can make significantly less than theminimum wage, in some cases even less than a dollar per hour,” (Leighton).
Thisshows evidence of Ableism because those who are effected by a disability areearning less money than an abled-bodied person with the same skills. Somepeople with disabilities rely on supplemental income which can affect theirincome from the job they are employed at, although often they must choosebetween a good paying job or Medicaid coverage. Thelaw doesn’t always provide the disabled community with maximum protection. Forexample, if a parent murders their disabled child, they are acquitted. EmilyWillingham writes, “…so in the public mind, an alleged overwhelmed mother with’no supports’ should certainly be pitied and not judged harshly for killing the’monster’ (the monster being autism).
” The mother of an autistic child got awaywith murder due to the disability her child had. Another example may includepeople with intellectual disabilities being sexually assaulted because they maynot understand or know how to tell someone who is trusted. They may be aware ofthe assault but not know that its illegal. Other times, when the assault isreported, they may not be considered reliable due to the disability. This isableism.Inconclusion,Ableism is the discrimination of those who have disabilities. The disabledcommunity are often turned away from jobs.
Lack of job availability will movepeople who are disabled into a lower finical stability. The law is limited anddoesn’t provide maximum protection for those with disabilities. Althoughableism can be described in numerous other ways, the ideas expressed touchedmany details of it.