This fact, and the facts of his family's very obvious condescension toward him for his stutter have haunted me for quite some time and my involvement in this website is indeed the culmination of that haunting.
My dad is a social worker. I do not always approve of this line of work because I am a mad person and I hear the way he talks about his clients in a less than equitable manner. I hear how he judges his patients behaviors and determines when they need to be fixed.
I am fortunate that he is alive today. I am lucky that I have an (admittedly medical model) activist family member with a similar disability to me who has responded to the myriad microaggressions that one faces for being dysfluent with extraordinary forgiveness and love for those around him.
My reaction to some of these interactions has always been rage. I have not been able to excuse this series of minor moments of ableist shrapnel, that continually fly as I speak.
When I was a teenager, I was very angry at my father for letting people walk all over him. I thought he was a terrible male role model. I always felt lacking for my not being more of a conqueror and a patriarch. But in fact this lack, this extra caring, it was and is a gift.
My father's devotion to caring for people. My father's never-ending practice of forgiveness. They teach me how to be a better person. My dad is a good person, perhaps purely in an interpersonal manner, but that is a valuable trait.
Activism and speaking up for ourselves and against subtle ableist microaggressions doesn't have to be a practice in reactive aggression and anger. Activism can be born of a sense of interpersonal love, for ourselves and for our people but also for the ideal that many in our society aspires to.
My style is more disruptive than my father's. I convince people by trying to shock them. We disagree with him on methods. But there's a lot that one can learn from him and his generation of dysfluency activists.