Last week 19 people were killed and another 25 injured when a man entered a Centre for the Disabled in Tokyo, Japan tied up the carers and stabbed people to death.
The attacker then handed himself into the police. His intent was clear and well stated, he wanted to rid the world of disabled people.
Yet, I doubt that you even heard about this event unlike the shooting in the nightclub in Florida last month.
A few days ago, a man was found guilty of killing his girlfriend’s disabled child by putting Vodka in the child’s feeding tube. He was sentenced to just three years in jail.
Despite knowing that a man wielding a knife had a severe mental health issue police shot and killed him last year in Long Beach. It took them less than a minute for the police to fatally shoot him from when they arrived on the scene.
A young Danish girl killed her disabled brother last year for ‘ruining her life’.
Last year, a deaf man was shot and killed by the police in Florida for ‘talking too loud’.
Another deaf guy was shot for not putting down a closed knife, he had for whittling, in Seattle. He was sat in his car, with headphones in at the time. Even if he wasn’t deaf, he wouldn’t have been able to hear the police instructions.
One step on from this, with legalised euthanasia, is the disabled choosing to take their own life. When the disabled in this case, is a 14 year old girl, one wonders how much difference there is between this and the case of the teen who encouraged her friend to kill himself and has now been charged with manslaughter.
So in a world where #BlackLivesMatter, quickly becomes a debate over whether or not stating #AllLivesMatter detracts from the need to pay attention to the lack of equity in one group of the population I wonder how the disabled are still being left out of the debate.
However, nowhere in any of this debate and discussion do I see the disabled being included.
In Canada, you can not be discriminated against on the grounds of your:
- place of origin
- ethnic origin
- sex / pregnancy
- gender identity
- gender expression
- family status
- marital status
- sexual orientation
- receipt of public assistance
- record of an offence
or, of course, disability.
Yet nowhere in these debates about whose life matters have I seen the disabled being included and yet we are well represented within every single one of these other groups.
On seeing this phrase you’d assume that it was written in 1939 when Hitler authorised the killing of the disabled. In fact, it was written as recently as 2012 in an article in Psychology Today. The author was commenting on how often she hears this viewpoint, and others just like it, expressed.
Perhaps the development of amniocentesis in the 1950’s and 60’s and the resulting abortion of babies with disabilities, was just the thin end of the wedge?
Was that when society continued with Hitler’s agenda of removing the disabled from society? Actually, history demonstrates that Hitler was just continuing a trend that has run throughout all of mankind’s history, that of killing the disabled and removing them from society.
Perhaps we will only ever truly be able to say that the debate over whose life matters is over when nobody feels discriminated against. When we have fulfilled the dream articulated over 50 years ago by Martin Luther King Jr and live lives where all men are created equal and treated as the same.
When we have fulfilled the dream articulated over 50 years ago by Martin Luther King Jr and live lives where all men are created equal and treated as the same.
However, somehow I doubt that the disabled will be included even then, for in my experience, and that of many other disabled people…