Listening To Conversation With Discriminatory Remarks

A few weeks ago I was sitting with friends and some of their friends talking about things locally, one of my friend’s wife came in talking about about how she got an awesome massage at a new place today.  The conversation came to to what used to be at the location, a spa that got lots of negative attention for some discriminatory behavior directed to an Autistic Child. The discriminatory behavior resulted in a social media and eventual news media firestorm which resulted in the spa being closed down due to loss of business.

Those that know me well know that disability advocacy is a hot button issue with me.  If I observe any discrimination directed at anyone with a disability on the basis of their disability I typically go off a bit.  Friends in the room know this and I’m sure they could see the tension building as I just sat there listening.

I listened to her say how the spa owner was right to be upset and she would of been upset if she was in the back room getting a massage.  She talked about how she wants to hear peaceful flute music and not screaming kids when she gets her massage.  My tension went up even more.

I asked if she knew that the child was autistic and she said yes, but she feels that all children should be banned from going to places like that and getting their hair cut.  People in the massage rooms don’t want to hear kids yelling and screaming as they get their hair cut.

And I agreed with her, there is a place to take you kid in getting your hair cut.  What I first thought was someone being discriminatory was not – it was someone who actually had a legitimate point to make.

So I learned a bit, maybe I need to listen to someones full point before I jump down their throat.

One Reply to “Listening To Conversation With Discriminatory Remarks”

  1. Hi, Zachary, I’ve been following your blog for some time. I admire the gutsy way you speak out on behalf of people with disabilities.

    When I was a child back in the 1960’s I was put in special ed classes for an undiagnosed condition that probably would now be diagnosed as Aspergers. My story is too long to tell here but let’s just say I went through hell. “Normal” people have no idea of what it is like to live with the threat of knowing you can be locked away in an institution with no one to stand up for your rights. I sometimes think that they would rather have people like us out of sight out of mind. Don’t ever stop speaking up.

    I am engaged in a different sort of community activism. I live in a run-down mobile home park whose management is ripping off the tenants. These people also have no recourse. It is absolutely unbelievable what goes on in the mobile home park industry–it operates by its own rules and they are separate from how the rest of society operates. I have started a blog called trailerparkcatlady at wordpress which tells the whole story. I’d like to get the word out to as many people as I can, not for my own ego, but because I think this is an issue that needs to be investigated.

    Keep up the good work! We need more voices like yours!

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