Frankly, there are many days I have felt like Rosa Parks.
In all honesty, I regularly feel ashamed to be a white person, as the extent of ‘othering’, and prejudice and racism continues in society today. My personal experiences of othering have mostly been since being diagnosed with dementia, but even before that, I experienced it for daring to speak up against what I have believed to be injustices in society.
In the case of dementia, I regularly speak up about dementia and aged care practices. Well, let’s make that, the lack of care… and the lack of Universal Health Coverage and adequate pre and post diagnostic support and care.
Too often, I feel like Mrs. Parkes, and have learnt that many other dementia advocates feel the same. I often question why, if we question or challenge a researcher or health care professional about a topic or practice, they are more likely to get angry with us, even lash our verbally and attack us, yet, if their colleagues did the same, they seem more willing to sit down and have a healthy debate. Obviously not all, but more than you might imagine… Some days, one could even take to screaming!
Dr Al Power presented “BeyondBPSD” for a DAI Webinar last week, and in a discussion with him prior to the event, we were talking about how hard it is to get people to see things from a different perspective. He said, he has the advantage of being a medical doctor, often why people will listen to him, but won’t listen to people like me.
Anyway, back to Rosa Parkes… I was moved to tears, and wrote about her, and other activists earlier this year, after seeing an exhibition in New York at the Forbes Building.
So, on this day, as we remember people like activists including the late Mrs. Rosa Parkes, Dr Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Aboriginal Australians such as Charles Perkins and Eddie Marbo, let us all celebrate the courage of activists, and stand together, strong, proud and united.