Lest you live under a rock or don't ever hop on the Internet machine, you probably heard about Kanye West's little, uh, incident recently. You know, the one where he told two people with disabilities to "stand up" at his concert, despite the fact that said people weren't able to hop to their feet for Yeezus. Yeah. That was —oof — as cringe-worthy as it gets. West, in typical ego maniac fashion, offered a non-apology after the event, where he made mention of how the media was blowing things out of proportion, which, in turn, only made matters worse. In fact, Mark Perriello, the President of the American Association of People with Disabilities, recently wrote a piece for the Daily Beast, where he called the rapper's behavior "downright offensive."
After thoughtfully and eloquently pointing out all the ways in which the incident was both ignorant and insensitive on West's behalf, Perriello delved into how most Americans "don't think to consider the quality of life for individuals with disabilities." In other words, most people wouldn't dare act as West did (thank god), but being sensitive to people with disabilities isn't on everyone's radar as much as it should be.
There's a small silver lining, though. Now that West is in the hot seat for what he did, perhaps he, and other people, will become more sensitive to people living with disabilities. In his piece, Perriello said:
My hope is that Kanye, everyone who attended his concert, and anyone paying attention to this story in the media, learned a little bit more about what it means to be a person with a disability in the modern age, and uses their voice to help people with disabilities get off the sideline.
Good point, and certainly would be nice to see. Though something tells me that the rest of America might get it before West does.
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