Cripes – it’s a Crip!


I forget when the expression first got used, I think it was at some Direct Action event or other in the 90’s when there were crowds of us being corralled by the police (probably outside of Euston Station). And I think it was someone like Roy Webb who first coined it, with tongue firmly in cheek as the hundreds of boys and girls in blue tried to screen us from the general public! It’s funny how a silly expression like that will stick in your mind isn’t it?!

The general public’s perception of Disabled people generally is quite a strange one. I’ve lost count of the times when a non-disabled person has come up to me after a talk and has worked extremely hard at not using any term that identifies me as a Disabled person. And this is after I’ve described myself as being a Crip during my talk about disability cartooning. If they accidentally do mention the ‘d’ word, they then go into the most amazing verbal gymnastics, trying to ‘unsay’ the word!

Black Equality

A Black race equality trainer once told me that she had been running a workshop for some Local Authority or another, and one white middle- management type said to her, in response to her describing a negative situation she’d experienced: “But that’s just you looking on the black side of things!” Not meant as a racist comment I’m sure, and she didn’t take it as such, but she said that the look of panic that came over his face was a picture! “Oh my god; I’ve used the ‘B’ word” he was obviously thinking and probably sat there waiting for the ground to open and swallow him or a thunderbolt to strike!


It’s the same with us Disabled folk. We’ve been berating people for a while about not using terms like handicap or cripple etc., so that when we actually reclaim one of these words, like Crip, and use it in front of non-disabled people, it’s the equivalent of swearing in front of your granny!


Description of cartoon for those people using screen reading software

A row of riot police with shields held before them are standing in an unbroken line in front of a building hosting the Tory party annual conference. In front of them are a large group of disabled protesters with placards and banners saying ‘no more deaths’, ‘ATOS kills’ and ’30 plus disabled people die each day due to cuts’. They also have one hand painted red which they are waving in the air. Red leaflets are scattered over the ground which say ‘cuts kill’. A police officer is saying: “Do you get the feeling that they’re serious about this?!”

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 23/01/2020 at 14:15

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.


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