In the interest of transparency I am going to admit that I really don't listen to a lot of rap. I am more of classic rock girl but when I came across DMoney and Smoove's “Wheelchair Shawty” I was instantly reminded why I left this genre behind. These able bodied men thought it would be fun to make a video mocking people who use wheelchairs. As someone who has seen a wheelchair dancer I know that the medium can actually be quite beautiful but when reduced in the manner it turns the art into something downright ridiculous.
There is not a single wheelchair user in the video. What we see is a group able bodied people pretending to be disabled and laughing.“Do the dance so good you would think I’m special and I look kinda handicap!” He is sure to let us know however, that this is just pretend. Disability is not a game. Each day we must negotiate a world that is not designed for us, while telling us to rise above, but of course that isn't fun enough for a nifty little song. Despite the laws that are meant to create equal opportunity it can all be done by a single person.
A wheelchair is much more than a disability device. For those that use one, they represent freedom - they are legs. They are not a toy and should not be treated as such. My wheelchair has on many occasions made the difference between being trapped in my home and experiencing the world and I find this song to be hateful. Honestly, I don't know where the fuck these two get off deciding that it is cool to make a mockery of a disabled identity.
What are your thoughts on this song? Do you feel it typifies disableism and how?