Vilisa Thompson led black disabled activists in being outraged by the outrage about Lizzo’s use of the the word “spaz” in her new pop song.
“I was shocked but not surprised by the way that white disabled people, especially those who claim to be in solidarity with black disabled people, engaged in the conversation,” Thompson told NPR for a story published last week.
- “You are not in solidarity with us if your behavior during this time in addressing Lizzo can be read as problematic [and] offensive.”
- Thompson, a social worker, complained that black disabled people like herself were not listened to enough when they tried to explain that “spaz” is arguably African American Vernacular English that is being “reclaimed” by the community.
- While Thompson did not dispute that the term is an “ableist slur,” she said the backlash against Lizzo was unduly harsh because she is an obese black woman who “has the audacity to be comfortable in her skin.”
Thompson praised Lizzo for apologizing for using the “harmful word” and rereleasing the song, “Grrrls,” without it.