sometimes you need to pause, to reflect. to look around, outside of the maelstrom, ask questions that you don’t need to answer.

but events happen that push you back toward the tumult of life. so it is that some ill-advised, a mild description, and mean-spirited comments in one of the many streams that course through my computer each day have drawn me back. the comment was aimed the many 12 step programs, and in particular people with an addiction to alcohol. alcoholics. boozers.

drunks was the term actually used.

used in a derogatory and condescending manner, though couched as a wry, sarcastic remark, it went unchallenged. no one taking part in this discussion or watching from the sidelines called the person out or made comment.

that made me wonder – about stereotypes, about words we use to describe people under our breath but not aloud, about a stepladder system of ‘isms.’ racism, sexism. classism. ableism. other words – homophobia, xenophobia – all issues or people that we need to better understand and ensure there’s greater equality in society.

when i saw this remark made and then passed over as though trivial – it certainly wasn’t the issue at hand - i was perplexed and later angry. are some ‘isms’ or people who need some help more important than others? is the movement to end racism more valued than ending addictions?

because of the nature of this group in which this comment was made and dismissed, i shouldn’t need to ask. one of the core values of this group is to create a safe, inclusive environment.

apparently, a limit exists though. people with addictions need not apply. or maybe some addictions are better than an other. heroin chic versus the filthy, piss-smelling drunk. one is not better than the other, one is not hip, both are difficult to conquer. both are stereotypes that, in a time when we are careful about stereotypes, are still, sort of, okay.

even among people, who would say they are very aware of discrimination, actively work to end it and level the ground.

unfortunately, a stereotype is a stereotype. flippant, cruel remarks hurt just as much if you’re a visible minority, are differently abled or a person with an addiction.


10/08/2012 2:29am

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me


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