The tears of an elected official indignant at her colleague: "Your words shocked me extremely"

It is a municipal council like any other which was to be held on November 18, 2021 in the City of Lyon. They can sometimes be lively, in Paris for example with Rachida Dati’s unfiltered exchanges with Anne Hidalgo, but this time, in the city of Lyon, it is a particularly strong discourse on disability that has attracted attention. Moving but without pathos, the speech of the first assistant of Grégory Doucet (Europe Ecology the Greens), Audrey Hénocque, left no one indifferent. The politician, quadriplegic since an accident in adolescence, reacted to the shocking remarks of the interim president of the right-wing group in the city council, Françoise Blanc.

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Her voice hinted at tears, but that didn’t stop her words from being punchy. Audrey Hénocque reacted to a speech by Françoise Blanc, elected LR of the 6th arrondissement, president of the Right, Center and Interim Independent group after the withdrawal of Etienne Blanc. The context was the deliberation examining the report of the Communal Accessibility Commission, a subject on which each party seemed to tend to agree. It is the form of the subject that struck Audrey Hénocque. “The participation of two associations, the Ville à Vélo and the Maison du Vélo made me smile (…) I did not understand that we were going to be able to make pedal a club-foot or a legless , enough with the jokes…“, declared Françoise Blanc.

Your words shocked me extremely. Everything you said relates to the oppression of the disabled by able-bodied people, it’s called validism. The words you have used are inadmissible. ‘Cul-de-jatte’ for a top amputee is as bad as using the term ‘nigger’ to refer to people of color. However, you would not dare, in this forum, to make such racist remarks as that. At the end of your talk you talk about these ‘beings’, as if there was a difference in culture between these disabled people and the others. There are no disabled people or able-bodied people. The company is made up of men and women with their strengths, their differences, their difficulties, which evolve over time. (…) I find that very shocking, you feel that I am particularly moved“Said Audrey Hénocque in reaction to Françoise Blanc’s words.

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