Canadian actor and comedian Andre H. Arruda was inspired by the recent viral video that chronicled the street harassment aspiring actress Shoshana Roberts recieved in New York City. So he decided to chronicle the daily abuse he gets experiences because of his disability.
Arruda stands at just three feet tall and has had a scooter his whole life.
To make the video, he spent just a few hours traveling around his hometown of Toronto, with a friend who chronicled the taunts and abuse. People gawked. People took photos. They laughed at him, pointed, and called him names. Arruda says he was the target of more than 100 rude comments. They called him “leprechaun” “mini-me” “baby” and more.
They all had jokes, and his disability was the punch line.
This is something he experiences every time he leaves home. He actually usually uses headphones and music as a coping mechanism to tune out the daily taunts.
Still, he told the Toronto News, “it gets unbearable.”
He hopes to start a conversation about the way people treat those with disability.
I feel for the guy. The calling out and taunting are way out of line. Glancing at him as he goes by is understandable.(The key word being “glancing”, not staring.) It is hard not to notice the scooter, but staring and taking photos? That is just beyond acceptable. What is it with people taking photos of strangers and posting them on Facebook and Instagram these days? There seems to be no purpose to it except to mock other people.
This video speaks volumes about how society treats people with disabilities. It’s like they are not even considered human beings with feelings and real talents. I really feel for Andre and all that he has to endure on a daily basis. I hope that this video will raise awareness of the bullying people with disabilities face.