Once again, it becomes even more apparent just how influential Puar’s The Right To Maim is in terms of the topics that it discusses. Talked about in Puar’s The Right To Main is the racial injustices and the discrimination that minorities (specifically African Americans in this case) must face in society. Examples of these are very evident in Tuesday’s chapters. They are not only seen when Bob Ewell accosted, spat on, and swore revenge on Miss Stephanie’s father, but also when Ewell is overheard saying “one down and about ten more to go” when speaking in reference to Tom’s death. Even more examples begin to show up when Ewell blames Atticus for his firing by telling him he was “getting” his job, and when Ewell follows Helen Robinson whispering obscenities at her as she walks. Finally, there is yet another example when after the trial, Miss Gates says that it’s about time someone taught the blacks a lesson. While these are only a few examples, it’s worth noting that these alone all happened within six chapters in a thirty one chapter book. These examples not only hearken back to Puar’s The Right To Maim, but they also go to put even more emphasis on the obstacles that minorities are faced with in society and even bring to light some of the problems in our current society.
Something that really stood out to me about Bell’s proposal was his justification of and preference to discuss what he prefers to call White Disability Studies. i think what makes it particularly interesting is that it is a topic that I can see both a positive side and a negative side of.
On the one hand, I can almost see where Bell is trying to come from with his White Disability Studies approach in that he wants to view everyone as an equal. He states in his proposal “do not forget to revel in the idea that as more and more disabled people enter the main stream all disabled people irrespective of the racial and ethnic subjectivity occupy the same place at the table.” To further explain his stance, Bell mentions in his post-proposal notes that “far from excluding people of color, White Disability Studies treats people of color as if they were white people, as if there are no critical exigencies involved in being people of color that might necessitate these individuals understanding and negotiating disability in a different way from their white counterparts.” While I can understand the idea that it could potentially be a good idea to not include race as a factor and just look at someone’s disability, I can’t say I completely agree with Bell’s approach to disability studies. In fact, I would argue against it and actually say that race should be a major discussion point when studying disability because there are in fact gender, race, and ethnical injustice based disparities between members of the disabled population, and I think it’s important to recognize those differences. I would also point Bell in the direction of Toni Morrison’s Sula or Jasbir Puar’s The Right To Maim as clear examples of how race and ethnicity can play into disability studies.
As I said, I can understand where Bell is coming from with his approach but I do not necessarily agree with his stance on disabilities and our approach to studying them. I do think however that there is enough wiggle room and evidence to possibly back up either side and I would love to hear other people’s comments and their stance on the matter.