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Comedian says he chose to be disabled

Comedian tells health workers he chose to be disabled

Gay, disabled comedian and social entrepreneur Philip Patston today told delegates at the Public Health Forum’s symposium on health and human rights in Auckland that he chose to be disabled and gay to help humanity evolve.

The 37-year-old ex-human rights worker spoke about his belief in soul choice, which was described as “wacko” by National MP Katherine Rich earlier this year. “My spiritual belief is that my soul chose my life circumstance in order to raise human consciousness about diversity.”

In his presentation to the health and human rights symposium at Auckland University’s Waipapa Marae this morning, the consultant on diversity issues who runs his own business, Diversityworks, described the belief as empowering. “It means I take responsibility. I am not a victim of circumstance. I’ve moved away from the “fight for rights” struggle, towards a spiritual understanding of the purpose of disadvantaged people,” he said.

Patston argued that discrimination against disabled people is not due to ignorance and lack of awareness. “Humanity is in denial that anyone, anytime, can lose function,” he said. “In a society that values people for what they do, losing function means losing value. As a result, most people – even many disabled people, ironically – experience chronic and subconscious dysfunctionphobia.”

He described dysfunctionphobia as the fear or hatred of being unable to function independently.

Patston told the group of over 100 health workers that he believes notions of disability, discrimination and human rights need to be replaced by an understanding of functional diversity, social value creation and collective self-responsibility. “By being realistic and honest about the variety in human beings’ capacity to function, we can make far more useful decisions about social policy and create value in society. In order to move forward constructively, each and every one of us need to hold ourselves and each other accountable for the kind of world we create, instead of bickering over who is morally superior.”

Among a string of joking references he suggested he should be eradicated to curb the spread of political correctness and shared his view that the term is a nonsensical contradiction in terms.

“Political beliefs range left to right – what is ‘correct’ from one political point of view will always be ‘incorrect’ from the other,” he said. “It’s a stupid term that itself should be eradicated. I’m a disabled, gay, white man – what does that make me? Politically correct or incorrect?”

According to Patston, National’s political correctness eradicator, Wayne Mapp, and author Alan Duff, who accused minorities of “PC, morally superior bullying” on National Radio’s Morning Report last Thursday, are absurdly hypocritical. “They are guilty of the very crime of which they are accusing minorities – that of making rash and bullying generalisations about the superiority of their own kind’s agenda,” he said.

“Minorities have never questioned the rights of the majority – we have only ever lobbied for equality.”

Ends.

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