?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
27 July 2016 @ 10:42 pm
Do Not Justify Your Hand Over My Mouth.  
So, I just posted a thing over on my disabilities blog about the recent stabbings in Japan. It's been going around the spoonie community, various articles, and I've been wanting to say something, but it's so hard to formulate words about something like that. On the one hand, it felt so obscure and far away from myself, given that it happened in Japan, when here I sit comfortably in America. Otoh, it happened in my community, to my brethren, and as someone who was close to death by a caretaker - through indirect action in my case, but still violence of its own kind - it all felt too close to home. So I took my time thinking of what to say and then made the following post, which I thought I would share with all of you, in case you are interested.


*****

By now, most of you have heard about the mass stabbing of disabled people at a care facility just outside out of Tokyo, Japan. I've been contemplating what I wanted to say here about this attack, if anything. Living in America, as I do, it could just be another mass murder on a never-ending list of violence that litters our headlines everyday. But as a disabled person, it is NOT just another mass murder. It was - it is - violence against my brothers and sisters. Violence against disabled people is a world-wide problem. It happens everywhere. But it generally happens on a much smaller scale than this, so as to go widely unnoticed, or reported, by the media. And when it does get attention called to it, it is written off as 'justifiable'. Even in this instance, news reports were sure to talk about the perpetrator's calm demeanor and how good he was with children, etc. No one ever would have guessed.

Except, of course, for the detailed letter he wrote talking about wanting a world where disabled people are regularly euthanized. Why? Because we burden society? Because we burden our families? Or because we burden ourselves? We may never know this man's thought process, but the bigger point here is that IT DOESN'T MATTER. It doesn't matter what he was thinking, because all of these things are reasons that society sees as 'justifiable' when a caretaker kills their charge 'for their own good'. Or a mother kills their child because 'she just couldn't take it anymore'. Or someone shrugs and says, 'maybe the nazis were right, maybe the world is better off without them'. And then the people around them nod and say, 'That's understandable, I suppose.'

NO, IT'S NOT. It's not understandable. It's not justifiable. It's not a thing of the past or a thing only Nazis did or something that only happens in 'undeveloped' countries. Or something that society as a whole - and us as a community - should stand for. Whether or not we should have assisted-suicide is a whole other debate. But the keyword there is 'assisted'. Meaning of our choice. OUR CHOICE. The disabled have their bodily autonomy stripped of them on a regular basis. Even, in this case, when it comes to our life and death. 19 of our brothers and sisters were murdered and a few dozen more injured and the media rolled over to something new within 24 hours and once again, we are swept out of sight. Where people, like this man, believe we should be.

And yet, I sit here at a loss as to what can be done to make society see that our lives are our choice. And we should not be swept aside. Or silenced. Or forgotten by the next news cycle.

*****

Thank you for taking the time to read my words, friends.
 
 
 
Shireboundshirebound on July 28th, 2016 05:06 am (UTC)
Thank you for this thoughtful post, my friend.

dodger_sister: upsetdodger_sister on August 16th, 2016 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you. <3 It was hard to write, but it needed to be said.
Kate: Hiding Catceitfianna on July 28th, 2016 05:39 am (UTC)
*hugs* Thank you for writing this as it needs to be said and its awful that it still needs to be said.
dodger_sister: upsetdodger_sister on August 16th, 2016 08:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you for writing this as it needs to be said

Yes, it took me awhile to formulate the words, but I felt I could not be silent.

and its awful that it still needs to be said.

That's the root of it, isn't it? Eugenics on the disabled was practiced regularly in the last century. The reality that we are not past it yet it horrendous.
crucis01crucis01 on July 28th, 2016 08:38 pm (UTC)
Outstanding.
dodger_sister: upsetdodger_sister on August 16th, 2016 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It is hard to be thoughtful or provoking on something that hits so close to home for me, so your support on this article is appreciated.
lindahoylandlindahoyland on July 29th, 2016 01:38 am (UTC)
I'd never even heard about this atrocity. Why are disabled people's lives valued so little? Here there are many cases of very sick and disabled people told they are fit to work then left to starve.
dodger_sister: upsetdodger_sister on August 16th, 2016 08:36 pm (UTC)
I'd never even heard about this atrocity.

There was very little news coverage of it and those that did just featured one piece and moved on. It's not 'provoking' enough of a headline because people don't care when disabled people are killed. It doesn't bring in the readers. Which is the sad statement on our (the disabled) value as human beings.

Why are disabled people's lives valued so little? Here there are many cases of very sick and disabled people told they are fit to work then left to starve.

We discussed this and I sill can't believe that this is even happening in this day and age, except for of course how I can believe it, because this is the state of the disabled's lives. That my sister - a well educated, news watching person - had no idea that this was a thing that was happening in England, let alone had be going on for as long as it has, speaks volumes. How one of my best friends in the whole world has been declared fit-to-work and how her parents are scrapping by to try to keep her alive while she appeals (which will take what? 2 years?).

Most people would never kill us outright the way this murderer did, but they ignore us and sweep us aside and that is violence in and of itself.
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on August 8th, 2016 04:16 am (UTC)
That is a tragedy, and one I admit I hadn't heard about until I read your post. Not surprising, I guess, since as you say it cycled out of the news pretty quickly. I hate to think of the people in that facility being so vulnerable. I guess it could (and does) happen anywhere, but it seems especially horrible that it happened there.

dodger_sister: upsetdodger_sister on August 16th, 2016 08:45 pm (UTC)
That is a tragedy, and one I admit I hadn't heard about until I read your post. Not surprising, I guess, since as you say it cycled out of the news pretty quickly.

As I said in the comment above, it is not a provoking enough headline, people don't care when the disabled are killed, it does not bring in readers, it is not shocking enough or a big enough tragedy. So the news cycles onward.

I hate to think of the people in that facility being so vulnerable. I guess it could (and does) happen anywhere, but it seems especially horrible that it happened there.

From the statistics and articles that I've read, disabled people are most likely to be killed by family members, but they are most likely to be abused by professionals in charge of their care at facilities such as this. Because these people are the most vulnerable, as you said. They are in bad enough shape that they cannot care for themselves and bad enough that their families cannot care for them either. That puts them at the mercy and the will of the people caring for them and in a lot of cases, they are non-verbal and unable to even report abuse. It happens in elder care homes far too often as well.

I know I will end up in a care home long before my age, because of the degenerative nature of my disease. But I also have a better chance of not being abused based solely on the fact that I will still be verbal (most likely anyways, I suspect I'll be there because of my arthritis) and I will have family regularly visiting and checking in on me. Too many people do NOT have those things and are left by their families to wither in these places. And that makes them easy prey for cowards.