Taking Charge of Your Health

STACEY: Testing testing!
PATTY: We’re here. PATTY: Yes, thank you for CART! And thank
you Stacey for organizing the CART. OFFSCREEN: Thank you so much, Stacey.
PATTY: So, just to tell folks that are here on time which is rare, we know, is there something
weird happening where, like, if we look at each other it’s backwards? Oh, there’s a heart,
thank you! Somebody’s watching. We are having some technical confusion. Can you just…
Thank you, bye! So, if it seems like we’re weird with computers its cause we are. And
welcome to Crip Bits: a conversation on things that are relevant to all of us, which is our
bodies and the state of our bodies, and the state of the world. Which is hopefully going
to be a fun and not super sad, but super norming and exciting conversation that we will be
having monthly — that Sins Invalid will be having monthly. I just want to acknowledge
Stacey Milbern doing awesome tech support, and Mordecai Ettinger, who is amazing. He
has been a friend for 20 years and has started – can you remind me of the name?
MORDECAI: Health Justice Commons PATTY: Health Justice Commons, thank you.
And I have to just say, as evidenced by my blanking out, that I feel like shit right
now. I have the flu, the stomach flu specifically. So if I’m seeming weird it’s because I am,
not just the technology is weird. But I know that Mordecai and Stacey will bear with me
and hopefully you guys will too, and if you don’t then you can turn the camera off. I
wanted to speak with Mordecai for the first time that we do this monthly series for multiple
reasons. One — oh, if you guys are hearing something, we forgot an introduction.
STACEY: Yeah, can we do five minutes? PATTY: Ohhh, sure.
STACEY: Five minutes, is that okay? So people know who we are?
PATTY: Oh, that’s exciting. I also heard noises. That noise was not Mordecai’s stomach, or
mine! Can you hold up our other person? MORDECAI: It’s Aristotle. He’s a good friend
of the Disability Justice advocates. PATTY: Oh my god, he’s so cute on camera.
He needs his own little spot. Oh my god. We can have another one with Amina here too.
STACEY: We’re here to talk today about how we can heal our communities and how to do
this healing work without relying on ableism. We will be talking about the intersections
and the tensions. Both Patty and Mordecai have been doing this work for decades, so
its a really exciting conversation. Patty Berne is the co-founder, Executive Director,
and artistic director of Sins Invalid, a disability justice based performance project centralizing
disabled artists of color and queer and gender non-conforming artists with disabilites. Patty’s
training in clinical psychology, focused on trauma and healing for survivors of interpersonal
and state violence. Her professional background includes offering mental health support to
survivors of violence and advocating for LGBTQI and disability perspective within the field
of reproductive genetic technology. Patty’s experience as a Japanese-Haitian, queer, disabled
women provides grounding for her work creating liberated zones for marginalized voices. She
is widely recognized for her work to establish the framework and practice of disability justice.
Yay Patty! Mordecai Ettinger is the author of the forthcoming book, We All Hold Up the
Sky: Lessons in Health Justice for the 21st Century. He has over 20 years experience as
a social justice activist and organizer, radical scholar and educator, and integrative healer.
He serves as adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he teaches
Critical Science, Medicine, and Technology Studies. His academic research focuses on
the neurobiology of the social nervous system, and its implications with regard to trauma/
historical trauma, healing, and collective liberation. He is the founding director of
the Health Justice Commons. PATTY: Woooo!
STACEY: Go Mordecai! So we have some questions then. PATTY: And your bio?
OFFSCREEN: Yeah, your bio! Would you like me to read it or do you want to?
STACEY: Let’s just keep going. I’m with Sins Invalid, too, I’m on the program team and
live in the Bay Area. Hi! So we only have 30 minutes and I want us to be able to get
to the questions. For anyone who needs it, if you follow the live captioning link then
there is real time captioning available. That’s the link above.
PATTY: Can we just acknowledge: Hi to everyone that we know.
MORDECAI: Thank you for joining us. PATTY: And it’s also great for people that
we don’t know: hi, thank you. MORDECAI: Hi, we’re glad to meet you.
PATTY: Thank you for spending your afternoon with us. I also just want to thank Mordecai
for participating in this because I really do think there are overlaps and tensions with
healing justice and expanding frameworks and this is an opportunity to get in more alignment
with healing justice. I think it’s a great place to start the process. So thank you Mordecai.
STACEY: Thank you, Mordecai! MORDECAI: Thank you both. I am really grateful
and honored to be here. STACEY: So, Mordecai, can you tell us what
is healing injustice? MORDECAI: I think that like many frameworks
or concepts that we organize around it means different things to different people but I
think fundamentally from my perspective what it means is integrating our ideas of health
and healing for what we have been kind of conditioned to believe by conditioned to believe
and experience through systematic oppression and historical trauma and a lot of unredressed
justice. So we can actually stake a claim to understand and experience health and healing
from the perspective of our own autonomy and self determination. So and I think it addresses
what it means to feel good and free and alive in our bodies, you know. Within our communities
and what it means to have institutions that kind of reflect that freedom, that autonomy
and the affirmation of wholeness of our community and wholeness of who we are and what we can
become. And that is a very far cry from the health care that we have available to us right
now, you know, particularly given the fact that it has even been more and more under
siege, so to speak, since this neofascist and we’re seeing a lot of the contributions
in health care that you know really have been accumulating since, you know, the colonial
period and period of slavery and emancipation where a lot of that knowledge has been accumulated
in medical science discipline was accumulated during those times. So we’re seeing community
based efforts led by traditional and sexual behaviors like [off microphone] and all different
types of non equestrian healers to lead the charge to have community based healing.
STACEY: That is Mordecai telling us what healing justice means. An introduction level. Patty,
do you want to tell us what disability justice means to you or means?
PATTY: Yes. I’m also wear there is a comment that we might want to address or you might
want to address Stacy. STACY: I saw that one person says there is
an audio delay. Is that the case for anyone else?
PATTY: It might help STACEY: If we annunciate more
PATTY: It might help if people have the captioning screen on as well. Unfortunately it is not
on the screen. As we progress in the monthly talks we may have a different set up in the
way we are positioned and also the way the captioning happens. We shall see. I say hello
to my Sister Mary. Hi. So what is disability justice to me? I think it is a disability
justice is a framework of practice. I think the disability justice is an understanding
that all bodies are whole and valuable. And that we are always who we are whether or not
we say we are always integrated. We’re not just, you know, brains attending a meeting
or bodies that are populating in movement or community but we are all people and we
don’t have to distance ourselves from our disabilities to engage in moving more to engage
in in living our lives. You know, it is not so, for example, a very
competent example is that we within capitalism we’re taught to pretend that we’re always
know well or healthy and that is just not the reality. That is just not. Like if I’m
feeling kind of ugh it is okay to say that. I don’t have to judge myself. People that
are in bodies which I assume everyone is on FaceBook with us now is also in a body. And,
you know, it is okay. It is okay. We can actually be honest about how and who we are. This is
a natural part of being human. Disability is a natural part of life, a natural part
of existing on the planet just like aging, just like giving birth, you know, being in
pain. It is all part of what needs to be resolving and similarly, it is also part of, you know,
the reality of our species. You know, we’re the majority of people of color. We need to
acknowledge that we are majority of people of color and the work for building justice
has to be led by people of color. And it has to be led by those of us that are most marginalized
because we really do deeply understand systems of oppression and what things are in fact
unjust and honest on certain levels and that things are need to be what power need to be
shifted in interpersonal well being within ourselves.
You know, I think that for me disability justice is not colonizing myself not just around my
disability, not just beginning to love my body and then not just like being able to
tolerate my body but actually dig it and I can actually say at this point like my body
is pretty juicy and pretty healthy looking and I think that it is sure, that is part
of disability justice but the same kind of romancing so to speak or loving of all of
ourselves and acceptance of all of ourselves is also part of disability justice and from
that place, from that center, self acceptance and acknowledging that power again not just
tolerance of the power of embracing our disabilities and the power of embracing our genders and
the power of embracing our heritages and understand that our linage or initial ground that we
stand on is what gives us strength individually and also collectively and again that standpoint
that we can once we basically erase our power we’re able to more affectively change social
and political relationships and that is really economic relationships.
I say it is a way of it is a frame but also a practice because we live and as Mordecai,
you know, I think so brightly identified, any time of intense colonial, fascist leading,
capitalist equalization and I mean, it is not like this just happened. I mean obviously
it has been it has been happening for 500 plus years and at the same time there is intensification
right now which is led to the climate change that is actually a threat to 90% of all species
is it 90 or 99? Either wakes it is not good. And so you know if we can understand that
our health of our bodies and our I say bodies and nerves, psychic body as well as our physical
bodies are related to the wellness of the land and you know the abilities of our communities
to thrive. I think the better chance we have of not just sustaining ourselves as individuals
but our communities and ultimately the planet, pre existences of the planet.
STACEY: We’re here today talking about the connecting points between disabilities justice
and we’re going to open it up to questions soon but before we do, I’m curious if you
all have any thoughts around a question of what does disability justice and healing justice
uniquely bring to an intersectional lens for collective liberation?
STACEY: Do you want to speak first? MORDECAI: Go ahead
PATTY: Some of those are the same as other social justice movements, right, like the
led by the those most impacted, for example. This is the inclusion of people with disabilities
and when I say that not necessarily understand that people with disabilities exist in their
communities as a political and not just as a tragic, you know, experienced or addition
for someone. But you know there are many of the principles of disability justice are similar
to other movements however they’re three that I think are really specific to disability
justice and one of them is a commitment to cross disability organizing that we zero that
we move together. This isn’t very easy to unpack. Especially in a couple of minutes.
But I think that for example when we are grieving because of a loss and we’re moving more slowly
and many of us experience losses recently. We move more closely and that means we work
down and we need to make space for that grieving. That is not something that we say okay go
in the other room and handle your business and process yourself. It means that we move
at a pace where we can all come to move and if that that looks like we are not moving
very much. I can guarantee isometric movement is also movement.
So I think that the idea that we move together and that we move when we are committed to
ensuring that regardless of someone’s body, mind, space that no one is shunted to the
side. Or in a social justice setting is pretty novel. Really grateful for that. It does dictate
a speed that is organic, right, and not predetermined. That is life, you know.
>>Stacey: It is clear what I said metric movement?
>>Patty: Yes, isometric this camera is weird. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So here is my fingers and
like right now I’m stretching my arm up. You can’t see my fingers. Trust me my fingers
are there. And I’m stretching my arm up and all my muscles are moving but you just can’t
see it. The muscles are not moving. And that movement that movement carries so much like
energy and currents of electrical, neurological push in all of the blood flowing and it is
happening, right? It is happening and so we’re cooking, right? Sometimes bread is rising
and we’re not seeing it. It is slow. That doesn’t mean it is not rising. You know, it
just means that is the process. Does that make sense to you? Did you want to answer,
Mordecai? MORDECAI: Did you want to say any other things
about the principles, disability principles? PATTY: Well, I could go on a lot. Talk about
that a different time. It is 6:22 and we want to answer the questions.
STACEY: Mordecai, can you take the question and then we’ll go to the audience?
MORDECAI: Sure. I think for me this moment one of the most important thing about healing
justice or justice framework is helping our communities understand the kind of medical
institutions that we have access to are really part of other oppressive systems and institutions
and it is just kind of an institutional continuum. And [NAME] who is a friend talked about this
in her research all the time and the way that we receive our medical care right now is really
through the medical industrial complex which is haha, skip and jump way from prison industrial
complex and military industrial complex and all these other interconnected institutions
and sets of practices and we have this sense well, to some extent because many of us have
had such horrible experiences with the medical establishment. It really has been torture.
But still I think in our collective imagination we have this idea that going into a doctor’s
office and this isn’t to criticize individual doctors or nurses because we know a lot of
amazing revolutionary doctors and nurses but as institutions, you know, we have this myth
that it is benign kind of neurally charged in terms of power situation that we’re going
into but really medical institutions historically and currently are about power and social control.
The extent to which we can really kind of liberate health care, get a sense of in body
wellness that we define on our own and with our communities in a way of interdependence
and interdependence is another important piece of disability justice principles. I think
it is just really crucial right now. And I think galvanizing resources our communities
for helping violence and doing basic health education so we can take care of ourself at
now but na in crisis as well, those things are really important. So I think when Patty
mentioned that, you know, disability justice really has a lot to continue around the practices
of how we are with ourselves and each other I think health justice and healing justice
does as well. And I think a big piece of it, too, is, yeah, moving at the real pace of
bodies as opposed to the pace that others try to push us like Patty indicated and just
holding ourselves and each other which is much, much, much more compassion and tenderness
than that our kind of society pushes us into. That is pretty basic but it is also really
essential. PATTY: Right it is amazing how many of the
principle that we’re talking about have been I mean are just about how we live with integrity
with ourselves. And somehow that has gotten lost not somehow but capitalist pushed capitalist
culture pushes our bodies and communities into really uncomfortable, unsustainable exploitations
and we find ourselves either pushed out of the social bodies or kind of punished and
for, you know, just being human and trying to hide our actual humanity which is, you
know, that we I do see a comment I think is wonderful.
STACEY: Do you want to read it? PATTY: Yes.
STACEY: We have a question from Olivia that is saying invalid justice how can we expand
our knowledge base without other cultures without pushing it on people. I’m not a spiritual
person and I don’t believe in the soul and it is triggering for me as a survivor of religious
trauma to hear people suggest that spirituality is necessary for me to be a good person or
a culturally connected as a left next person. I think it is also important to acknowledge
a predatory nature of a lot of alternative medicine in addition to the drug and insurance
company. And the supplement industry despite the appropriation of progressive language.
PATTY: Can I speak to that a little bit? I really appreciate you bringing that up because
we are in an accomplice context and there is no way that we can engage without acknowledging
that that is the way that most/all business models are and industries are going to be
attempting to engage with individuals and communities and to your last point about the
approach of alternative medicine. Not all certainly not all practitioners not all however
it is true that people I’m experiencing this right now. Has a second impairment and we’re
trying to look at alternatives for to the drugs that she’s take as an inpatient. We’re
looking at alternatives that are, you know, 1300 for a one hour consultation, two hour
consultation. It is absurd and it does feel predatory. It doesn’t set with me. And I also
don’t feel like I’m well enough educated to just come up with a supplement plan or a dietary
plan or, you know, herbal plan on my own which is why I feel like you know community resources
engaging with people that we do trust are key because at a certain point and scale,
whether or not it is alternative healing or standard allopathic healing, you know, western
medicine, it is still an industry. She’s speaking to your last point.
STACEY: We have a few people really echoing the need to make space and the medical establishment
being about control. We have time for a few questions if anyone has any questions. That
they would like to ask. Maybe while we’re go ahead.
PATTY: The other part of the question that I heard was about how we can engage with healing
practices without having to incorporate spiritual like insisting on spiritual framework simultaneously.
I think it is true a lot of people deal with frameworks. Either some I think where people
really are imbued with what I call like framework of love and some that are framework of like
creating small Empire of I don’t even know. Like a cult. Love personality, you know. So
I think it is a great question. Do I have an answer? No, not really. Trying to use our
best discretion I think has been, you know, important tool for survival for all of us
individually. Yeah, Mordecai, what are your points?
MORDECAI: I think from that point, Olivia, I think all your questions are really poynant
and powerful and so important right now. I think from my perspective if there’s anything
that feels coercive or forceful about a healing health experience then it is not healthy or
healing. I mean I think one of the prime one of the necessary ingredients for health in
communities is non noncoercive. If someone is working with you and it feels forced on
you it doesn’t seem like it is the right fit for you. From my perspective what is really
important is when we’re on these kind of paths wellness and heal and wholeness to orient
to what feels authentic and uplifting to us so if justice is something a vision of justice
in the world that you’re working towards is something that you can orient to that we that
we do hope will give you energy, a sense of expansiveness, when people are talking about
spirit you can just subtract that, you know, or substitute that. Or if it is the natural
world or if it is connecting with your ancestors in some way, whatever really feels meaningful
and true for you. And then I just support you and invite you to connect with others
who resonate with that truth so you can really feel held in the community and witness because
you deserve that. That is really all we need right now.
STACEY: This question is from Claire. Hi, Claire. Call doctors what did you say?
PATTY: I said hey to your little icon. Sorry. STACEY: Call doctors especially in high school
healers. What would be a more accurate for doctors in the system? And what would a true
healer look like? PATTY: I mean wouldn’t it make sense to call
doctors, doctors? Because that’s their framework. I mean that would be almost like calling a
pharmacologist a healer. I mean maybe pharmacologist has I’m just thinking all the medical experiences
I witnessed and participated in and medical allopathic medicine and they’re certainly
helpful. Some of them. And some of them are not. Gatekeepers. Contactually.
MORDECAIi: Curing looking at the symptoms and trying to remove the symptoms and addressing
the causes. Often the root causes are about the world in which we live. Not what is happening
in a single person’s body and that is I think one of the biggest limitations of allopathic
medicine and you know like we talked about a moment ago a lot of the kind of institutions
that are entangled with the medical and industrial complex and perpetuating it and kind of like
feeding profit base is what is causing the problems that a lot of people, you know, develop
illness as a consequence. So, you know, a lot of people are saying, come in. You have
a cough or something like that. Will you live in a neighborhood where the air quality is
very poor? We live in a neighborhood where the air quality is very poor or the water
quality is poor and it is you know, we have the constant low grade cold or things like
that. There is such an increase in asthma in our young people and in our communities
and neighborhood. So there is nothing really yes, there is physical symptoms that are manifesting
in a single person’s body but it is about it is about our political moment and environmental
and racism often times in a case like that. In that way I don’t know. Doctors are delusional.
They’re certainly delusional about it is not in their model to see the full picture of
causality. PATTY: And I don’t want I mean I think it
could prefer a reach and I I do think that like doctors have a cure or kill framework
oftentimes. But for people with like kind of static physical conditions/disabilities
and I think in order to access medication that we that we want or need or access durable
medical equipment or to access, you know, time to sleep because our hearts hurt from
a loss. Like those literally require a doctor doctors to sign off on. Like I know I need
a toilet. I don’t need a doctor to prescribe me a toilet. I mean, I shouldn’t need a doctor
to prescribe my toilet but somehow I can’t get one through the insurance company unless
the doctor says I need a toilet. What is this? You know, when so I think the gate keeping
function of doctors is one of their key roles. Because they as you said, Mordecai, they look
at a list of symptoms and then whatever they determine as a symptom is, you know, within
their model, right, it might not be might be a thousand things that are going on which
are more indicative but even the symptoms are kind of what is considered a symptom.
MORDECAI: Increasingly treatment protocols are being determined by insurance companies.
PATTY: Insurance companies of course. MORDECAI: Which is absurd. Those are non medical
professionals making these decisions to satisfy a bottom line essentially.
PATTY: Yeah. And so offensive ways in terms of who is seen as likely to live, you know.
MORDECAI: We are white call white collar gamblers, against probabilities.
PATTY: One thing I wanted to say also I want to change the format
STACEY: We can keep going. We have captioning until 7:00.
PATTY: People need to go on with their business don’t feel obligated. I think it will be all
these comments will be saved and what not. Don’t feel like you have to scroll back to
read everything. I want to respond to something you said, Mordecai. Regardless of the environment
I think that some of us would just have body that function better than other people. That
is okay. I would imagine that, you know, for for lots of people I’m thinking for example,
you know, friends that have polio or post polio syndrome or cerebral palsy or, you know,
myself might just with my impairment. Probably just shit that happens. Like when you give
birth, sometimes a cord is going to get wrapped around a throat and somebody is not going
to have an option. That just happens, right? And it is okay. It is okay. Like we’re crazy
on disability and disablement happens when someone that is treated as less than because
of that. You know, whatever difference or I don’t want to make it such as big deal or
difference, what is unique to that person is somehow normative is when that person is
treated, you know, as they’re less than and less access to, you know, community. Less
access to education, less access to jobs. I mean, disability of a person comes in. That
is what that that is what scribes, you know, disable meant. And, you know, there is always
going to be people with disabilities before this happens and there is going to be people
with disabilities because body are fine. They really are. You know, that is just life. It
is not I would really say I have said it before. It is not convenient to live in a body all
like it is just not. It can be very complicated, you know. Just like when you see an infant
trying to walk they’re going to fall down like 10,000 times before they get being stable,
if they ever get to being stable. That is just the process. It is okay. Not like you’re
walking fucked up. They’re just trying to live and figure out how to balance and whatever.
So from my body like it is just things just don’t connect the way somebody else’s body
connects. And it is probably never. That is that is the way it is. It means I take hours
and hours to get up. That just means my work day is going to be less. It has taken a long
time to appreciate the slowness of that. Many times I’m like why can’t this just be faster.
Or easier. And then I’m like because I’m in this body. That is why. And I like this body,
has needs that take time. And what I want to take a break from that I might take a quick
one from my routine and then go back to it or I can choose to just not do that and you
know pretend like I don’t have the need that I do and then fuck myself up really badly
in two weeks. So like we can make our choices individually. About how we want to negotiate
our needs. And for people that don’t have complexity needs at any moment, you know,
just learn because you’re going to have complex needs at some point. My brain is to be ridiculously
fast and as I’ve had to be on medication for pain and now it is different. It is really
different. Ask anybody 50. If their brain works the same way as when they were 25. It
doesn’t. But you know, I’m brilliant. It is just in a different way. It is not like remembering
it is not about facts. It is more about syntheses now. When I was younger facts were at my disposal.
Now syntheses of information is very easy for me. But fuck off I can’t even remember
what I ate yesterday. Especially when I have a tummy ache like I do now. I’m going to stop
rambling. STACEY: We have some questions. This is from
Elizabeth and relates to wondering how drawing on both disability justice and healing justice
makes it possible to more affectively minimize trauma from ableism, ableist people/institutions?
PATTY: Can you repeat the last? STACEY: Yes. Wondering how drawing on both
disability justice and healing justice makes it possible to more affectively minimize trauma
from ableism/ableist people/ableist institutions? PATTY: Many I think Mordecai you can answer
that one. MORDECAI: I think Susan has an amazing access
checklist that can be shared so for people who are doing community work, move work, you
can look at this access checklist. You can reflect on it with the people that you’re
organizing with and figure out a plan to implement it at your events. You can make sure to really
be in terms of disability justice insolidarity. Patty mentioned 10 points of disability justice
that was generated by herself and Stacey and other beautiful amazing people that are part
of Sins Invalid. Disability justice primarily is an amazing resource. I think it is an amazing
resource for those of us that experience ableism to kind of be able to heal and build resilience
from that and clear the internalized ableism and then figure out concrete ways to take
action in our lives and communities. And then I think there is just like simple practices
of like listening deeply to each other when we talk about our needs and being able to
hold that space for witness. Being validating and just asking, you know, working with other
people to kind of problem solve to meet needs that might not have been anticipated. Those
are things that we deal with disabilities or we deal with chronic illness. We often
wake up encountering problems we didn’t anticipate with our bodies when we went to bed the night
before. And that might impact how or if we’re able to work the next day and it might impact
how we’re able to move our bodies in space and time or go to the next meeting or be able
to eat. There are so many thing. So being able to have open dialogue just making that
a part of the way that we interact with each other is huge and again, you do it with gentleness.
You do it in a way that we’re honoring each other’s wholeness and dignity. Holding a space
for the dignity of that vulnerability. I think it is so important and these are a lot there’s
you know, this is such a big part of what it means to be a whole person and it is almost
like disability justice and healing justice can teach us so much about what it means to
be whole in these times and the way that that wholeness has been, you know, pretty persistently
corroded by white supremacy and ableism and all the other things that uphold and perpetuate
the 21st Century capitalism it is not the times that at the same time we’re all here
together and that is pretty amazing. We’re talking to people on FaceBook. You never know
where these little movements can be and power on the Internet come through.
PATTY: I’m thinking what you said and really it is about systems that are demanding to
us enact violence upon ourselves that are demanding us to enact violence on our bodies
and on our you know, our entirety. And like the expectation that our bodies are there
and just as a component, a production process, you know. I mean, people can think back to
if they have taken an economic class, right, that the word for human is l. Maybe labor.
How insulting is that. We talk about our bodies being inherently capitalist and when we have
disabilities yeah I mean because there is we actually can’t distract labor in the same
way from a nonconforming body that you extracted from a body that is more normative but really
they have to be extracted? I mean Mordecai MORDECAI: That is not why we’re here.
PATTY: It is absurd. And we talk about this Sins Invalid. Like sometimes we want to work
for like, you know, 12 hours straight because it is like super and enticing and you know
it is what it is what is happening at the moment, you know. Just like sometimes we want
to eat. We’re going to sit at a table and eat for like two or three hours. Have sex
for, you know, two or three hours or whatever. But then there are times that, you know, it
was in capitalism within reality we don’t feel like we’re able to work more than an
hour or two if at all. That is the ebb and flow of, you know, an energetic system. So
there is going to be a greater flow and lesser flow. That is just what happens. And to deny
that, you know, and to I mean just makes me think of like ah, so many futuristic painful
narratives, you know, like you see on TV or whatever where you are a certain amount of
television with their first watch and certain amount of food that they must eat in a certain
amount of products they must consume. We’re not units of consumption and labor people.
STACEY: That is a really interesting conversation going on in the comments and I wonder if you
can speak to it. Talking about a mind and body split. Are we in Ebony bodies or being
bodies disableness or illness. Do you have any thoughts about that?
PATTY: As a person that has experienced I have had this body which means radically from
other people’s bodies I have never walked. I have never I have I have been a chair user
for since I was out of a stroller. Someone that has experienced a lot of ableism. I didn’t
I didn’t identify with my body for a long time. I think my senses a lot of people with
physical impairments don’t identify with their bodies with ableism and part for me a big
part of decolonizing myself has been recognizing that like I am my body. Just like I am all
of myself. It is not like I can be like well my brain over there or my tongue over there
or, you know, my thoughts over there. I mean, this is all this is all of me. I think for
convenience sake when I’m talking with people and I’m saying can you help me move my left
leg. I’m going to say not just me because I don’t know what part. But you know I personally
it is not the left leg. It is my left leg. That is me. Yeah. So for me personally it
has been an integration of myself. I think that disability justice framework asked us
to I think it supports us to move towards integration of our work zones that we don’t
have to split from one part of ourselves the sense that you need to live and for me I wanted
to identify with my body. Yeah. MORDECAI: If we’re living with an illness
or a disability because it gives us a lot of information about what is working and what
is not working in society and really it gives us a deeply felt sense of what is just and
what is not just. You know, our body really knows you can’t really pull one over on your
you know, you really can’t. PATTY: I like that.
MORDECAI: It is like a part of you your gut is telling you no, that means no. And in fact
we have this saying, I just kind of like felt it in my gut. I didn’t feel comfortable in
that place. Now we know there is a branch of the parasympathetic nervous system that
actually innervates and it moves more quickly than the other branches of our anatomic nervous
system to bring information to our brain and to the sensory of our arms and legs. If you
have that feeling that felt sense in your body it means something and it is wisdom that
deserves to be honored and listened to and you know as Patty was talking about, the limitations
of our bodies need to be honored and listened to and there is just a lot of important information
about what a liberated society looks like when we kind of honor that wisdom and re centralize
what it means to be in these bodies. PATTY: So you’re awesome. I was also thinking
about the recent yeah, the recent research on the vagus nerve.
MORDECAI: Just went to a conference on that this past weekend with the founder of the
theory, Stephen. PATTY: I’m excited to read some of that. I
think that could yeah. And it is funny because these are almost like, you know, after the
fact explanations or you know I don’t want to say rationalizations but they’re after
the fact superations ain’t is like oh we just discovered, you know, this continent. It is
like this continent has been here. You know. MORDECAI: Pretty close to always.
PATTY: You know, while there may be different advances in medical sciences around what or
how our bodies function they really are kind of they’re after the fact, you know. They’re
not quite rationalizations but we can actually just listen directly to if we’re in pain or
what works for us. I mean, we are legitimate sources of knowledge.
MORDECAI: Knowledge. PATTY: That doesn’t need verification by itself.
I want to wrap up and say honestly how grateful I am that everyone was here that is here or
that will be listening. Because to us, this is partly how we form a community. This is
partly how we share our understandings which is why the questions are really important
and it has really made me think a lot and also, Mordecai, thank you so much for like
thinking and for me this is like playing. It is a way to play together. It is fun and
there is no like stakes. We don’t have to be right. We don’t have to be this is good.
And I also just want to acknowledge that we’re working on our technology so next month we
may be I don’t know. I’m thinking maybe really far back from the camera because right now
we’re all clustered up around it. We can’t see each other at all like that. We can’t
even yeah. STACEY: There is a lot of thank yous. If you
have any suggestions what you would like to us talk about next month, we’re open to ideas
and I can think about questions and speaker for this idea.
PATTY: If people want to hear Stacey Milbern talk and not just moderate you should say
that. Because I think she would be wonderful. Maybe next time Mordecai can moderate and
me and Stacey could talk or I could moderate and they could talk or something. Oh, God,
yeah. It is 7:00. STACEY: You have 30 seconds.
MORDECAI: If people are interested on taking a four week class on the social nervous system
you can pm me and you can get some information. It starts next month.
PATTY: Hopefully we’ll see everybody on Monday partly sunny Twitter chat disability and disability
project and San Francisco women against rape and Sins Invalid and disabled.
STACEY: Monday at 4:00 on Twitter. Thank you, everyone. Thank you, Mordecai.
MORDECAI: Thank you. PATTY: Bye.

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