Lula’s inclusive doldrums 3 – 09/05/2023 – Just Like You

Just this week, after Lula had already gone to China, kissed the hand of the new king in England and even had the opportunity, on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, to give an auspicious hint at the War in Ukraine, the Presidency of the Republic decided to send a note to the ministers through the Official Gazette: “People are getting ugly. We have to do something for the damaged people of the parties. Is there any way?”.

After parading and photographing with diversity on the Planalto ramp, in an encouragement for times of all kinds of exclusion, President Lula treated people with disabilities as the etc of marginalized social groups and almost no effective action was taken to reverse the disaster of losses caused by the Bolsonarist mentality was taken over.

The “no one will be left out of my government” slips into a chronic lack of knowledge of the reality of an important part of the population that struggles for dignity and citizenship with its physical, intellectual and sensory challenges. Everything so far has been protocol.

So much so that the dispatch, signed by the vice-president, Geraldo Alckmin, talks about resurrecting a plan from ten years ago, Viver Sem Limites, to see if something is done, in a vague and detached collection of urgent inclusive demands.

The Bolsonaro years compromised the inclusive school in its concept and its applicability, changed the course of the mentality that having a disability does not prevent anyone from acting in society and massacred the Brazilian Law of Inclusion.

Persons with disabilities in Brazil today do not have access to technologies that try to balance opportunities –a good quality wheelchair can cost R$50,000—, there is no tax cut for anything that dignifies and humanizes life in differences, welfare it entered the debates on access to work and rights, and capacitism is even in the presidential speech.

All this is becoming dangerously entrenched in society. We once again complain about respect for reserved parking spaces, job opportunities, getting on public transport or being entitled to equity opportunities.

In a recent judicial decision, for example, a judge at the Court of Justice of São Paulo stated that a blind man who had his right to board a car on an app with his guide dog refused suffered “a mere everyday unpleasantness” and that “many people are afraid of pets”, so he wouldn’t be entitled to any moral redress and what the hell.

The case, which was published by journalist Luiz Alexandre Ventura, in Estadão, demonstrates how the absence of a government that indicates that the nation understands people with disabilities as full citizens and that will institutionally defend their legitimacy to be alive and to be, has repercussions negatively in all corners.

Just to underscore, being humiliated for one’s human condition is not a day-to-day bitterness, it is mockery, which hurts dignity, which separates, excludes, makes inferior and shames the living being; A guide dog is not a cute little animal that collects balls, but an accessibility professional that makes the lives of blind people more inclusive and safer.

There is time to leave the doldrums of thinking that government inclusion is the first lady “enjoying” the dance of people who call themselves “PwD” —whatever the hell that means— and make funny videos on social networks with a cane. It is past time for Lula to call for a serious debate on the demands of the excluded. It is no longer possible for people with disabilities to just be etc.

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