Shortly after writing a post about accidental racism, I watched the Christmas episode of Black-ish and I couldn’t help but laugh. There is a fine line between being racist and funny and it seems like the more of a minority you are the “funnier” you have permission to be. I have to admit I was a bit weary about Black-ish at first as I was worried it would be too politically correct or bring up stereotypical racial issues that I feel are way over represented. However, I was pleasantly surprised and now consider it one of the best new comedies of the season. In the Christmas episode there is a running joke regarding Mexicans. Perhaps because I live in Mexico for part of the year I have started picking up on more Mexican jokes than I used to. I find them hilarious. But, am I allowed to laugh?
While reading my alumni magazine for the University of Guelph I came across Project Revision. The project, which is led by Carla Rice, a professor in U of G’s Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, “uses arts-based methods to dismantle stereotypical understandings of disability and difference that can create barriers to healthcare, education, and inclusion in society.”
Most of the time my asthma is well controlled. Most of the time it doesn’t impact my day to day life that much. Which is really the way it should be- it’s what all doctors aim for. But it wasn’t always that way (especially at the beginning) and sometimes to this day my asthma sneaks up on me and goes into attack mode. It usually happens after I’ve been exposed repeatedly to something that I know is a trigger like cigarette smoke or dander. In these situations I know I’ve been exposed and I wait nervously for my lungs to decide if they are in a good mood. While it often passes in a few hours or a day, if I’ve been exposed I know that it’s fairly likely it will trigger a flare up. I understand how it happened and I can deal with it. I’m used to it. But, sometimes my asthma is like a ninja. It comes out of nowhere and I end up winded, blindsided by an attack I didn’t see coming. This is the asthma I can’t stand.
A few weeks ago the European Court of Justice ruled that
if the obesity of the worker ‘hinders the full and effective participation of that person in professional life on an equal basis with other workers’, then obesity can fall within the concept of “disability”.
According to BBC News:
That will mean employers must, on a case by case basis, make reasonable adjustments such as providing larger chairs or special car parking, and protect such employees from verbal harassment.
But there are wider implications. Providers of goods and services such as shops, cinemas and restaurants will also have to make reasonable adjustments for their customers, which might include things like special seating arrangements.
While I do not think that there is ever an appropriate time for things such as verbal abuse, I believe that this ruling sets a dangerous precedent that will not benefit anyone.