This is the documentary I needed to see, I just didn’t know how much.
This life-changing COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the entire population. There isn’t an adjective left to describe it, so I won’t give you a lame attempt at fresh take. So now, of course, everyone is giving their watchlist for Netflix (or whatever streaming service you love).
I will not give you a watchlist or a long winded review. But, I will give you one film to watch and my three short reflections on it.
My quarantine film recommendation is Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution.
A quick synopsis: A summer camp for disabled teenagers provides community, belonging, and empowerment that sparks a civil rights movement.
As my wife and I watched the film (available now on Netflix), there were three specific quotes that stuck out. Those quotes guide my personal reflections.
“I think generally a parent is afraid to show that their son is disabled or handicapped, or whatever you might call it. I think it’s much more out of fear than of overprotectiveness.”
– Camp Janed Attendee
This made me think about those who took care of me when I first got sick and disabled and how it seems, at times, there is a hesitation to let me grow to be independent. I used to believe it was being overprotective or overbearing, but as soon as I heard this quote, it all clicked. My loved ones and caregivers are wrestling with fear.
So, I want to just say this to my loved ones: I love you. Thank you for everything. With your help I am alive and becoming freer – not without you but for you.
“I didn’t have a lot of self-esteem when I became disabled, so you can see why when 504 told me I had value it hit home.”
[504 is the Section of the Rehab Act of 1973 focusing on eliminating discriminatory regulations in the United States]
This quote stood out because I felt – and still feel – sad for this woman. The world, society, our laws, and certain individuals communicate to disabled people that they either have lower value than non-disabled people or no value at all. I have seen this, had it directed at me, and felt the judgement of the world around me. But, the good news is that humans do not receive their value from the world but from their Creator and Maker.
God creates all people with inherent value, worth, and dignity. The world we live in treats the disabled with shame and discrimination but our Lord see the disabled as equal in all ways. Jesus lived, died, and rose from the grave to save the non-disabled and the disabled.
“David is the first person in my whole life that doesn’t care about my disability. I’m daddy. I’m his daddy.”
Okay, this one rocked me in the feels.
For those who don’t know, two weeks after being released from a rehabilitation hospital in 2015 my daughter, Eden, was born. Not a single doctor expected me to see her birth, but, I was right there. Even better, I have been blessed to see her grow up for the past 4.5 years.
There are times that make me realize how she sees me as dad, not her disabled dad. Like when she first asked me to dance with her, and when I told her I couldn’t she just said “Just move your wheels back and forth.” Or the time I was getting my wheelchair fixed and she told my wife, “I want a wheelchair.” And when she was told she didn’t need one right now, she said, “But I want one like dada.”
My daughter sees me as just dad. And she loves me as I am.
This film needs to be seen and shared. As you are in quarantine and staying indoors for a large majority of your days, take two hours to watch Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution.