Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN


From: "Andrew Phelps <dis_course@yahoo.com>

To: S-ACC@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [S-ACC] disability justice

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 8:45 AM



There is much to say about my lived experience of Memphis Alternatives. That includes visiting Lorraine Motel #306 where MLK, Jr. was shot, and showing the museum staff there his speech on behavior management:  HERE

Alternatives is a political expression of the struggle against oppression which traditionally is managed by SAMHSA so that the social change impact will be kept "under control." That has always been the case, and efforts to transcend that dynamic have been tried over and over and then ways to manage them have been forthcoming. Many of us have given our best at that effort at times - politically speaking, that dynamic may be identified as "disability advocacy." The abiding purpose is to help with adjustments to keep the behavior management system in the business of overseeing what is known as the "mental illness" problem.

The CIT program also originated in Memphis. There is also much to say there, although I didn't investigate as much as I'd have liked.

The full struggle against the "oppression" dynamic involves attention to "disability justice," a project which embraces the "life projects" of the people now oppressed by the present system of behavior management. At the Memphis Alternatives, there was talk and some action in that direction, with responsibility taken to stay "on an even keel." The form this year of that dominant dynamic in the present experience seemed to be aligned with deconstruction of strong directions of paradigm shift. We have MHFA, EMM, and the Destination Dignity types of deconstruction, and my thoughts turn to the likely extension of that concern to a "treatment is good" type organizing tool.  :-(

Some of my feelings are spoken above. I also saw people I know and love and seemed to make good connection.

The outreach to "alternatives" to Alternatives (the e-conference) also helped shape the experience and the ongoing work. I saw Memphis as divergent from Charleston, SC and I'm glad I got to see what I saw and do what I did.