"Crabs in a bucket" is a metaphor for human behavior, based on the alleged behavior of crabs (I have no idea if crabs really do behave in that way).
The story goes that caught crabs, placed in a bucket, behave in such a manner that if one crab gets close to escaping (changing his condition) the other crabs somehow manage to keep the escapee in the bucket (maintaining the status quo).
It's been used in various contexts. The way I want to use it here is about folk who should be in more-or-less unity, arguing over who should speak for or represent that unity.
This time, it has to do with the next big step in civil rights, or as Robert Rummel-Hudson said,
I believe the fight for disability rights, particularly in the hearts and souls of our typical fellow citizens, will constitute the next great civil rights movement in this country. And I believe that, with all my heart.
The very same day, Ari Ne'eman said, at a different event on the other side of the country, talking about autism and autistic advocacy:
"...it's essential that we recognize that neurodiversity is an outgrowth of disability rights, and that disability rights is an outgrowth of the civil rights movement."
What happened since: a war of words and a storm of mutual disrespect and distrust among folk who should be, at the very least, allies. Over what? In my humble opinion -- a lack of perspective on all sides.
Reminding each other, with mutual understanding and respect, that our community has many parts and perspectives -- self-advocates, parents, adults who cannot self-advocate, adults on the way to self-advocacy, children who cannot self-advocate, children on the way to self-advocacy -- is one thing. Bitter, divisive conversation among us over "who can speak for the community" is just engaging in being crabs in a bucket.
When are we going to get together to demolish the bucket?
Backstory (and this isn't all of it by any means, just the current episode)
- August 9 2011 Robert Rummel-Hudson at Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords: Just a Word: The Change-Up Edition
- August 16 2011 Zoe at Illusion of Competence: The R-Word and Perspective-Taking: Whose Perspective Are We Taking?
- August 18 2011 Shannon Rosa at Squidalicious: Parents and Self-Advocates: Be Al(lies) That You Can Be