[Content warning: Ableist violence.]
Stop treating the knifeman who killed 19 disabled people in a Japanese care facility as some baffling outlier. Stop treating his comment, “I want to rid the world of disabled people,” as some derangement or lunacy.
Autism Speaks and other ‘disability orgs’ that openly support eugenics want the same thing he does; the functional differences are bureaucratic. (Please, if you have considered donating to A$, instead donate to the Autism Self Advocacy Network)
GTFOH if you really think that those who view noncompliance with police as justification for extrajudicial slaughter care for one second about keeping neurodivergent people, who make up half of those killed by police, alive.
When media outlets sympathize with parents and caregivers who murder disabled children, they embolden killers like the one in Japan; like the officer who killed Abdirahman Abdi. Broadcasting sympathy for ableist filicide has been proven to create copycat killers, and such incidents are increasing.
When the workforce discriminates against us; when governments treat us as second-class citizens and economic burdens, the proper term for those who view it as prudent to exterminate us isn’t “deranged” or “crazy” or “lunatic,” it’s inevitable.
If I seem angry, it’s because I am. I’m angry that we’re being killed; either quickly by summary execution or slowly by bureaucracy. I’m angry that you aren’t angry.
When police shot at Arnaldo Rios for being unable to comply with their instructions, many referred to him as an “autistic kid.” Some felt it necessary to excuse the officer’s act on the basis of Rios’ neurodivergence. First of all, Rios is a 26 year old Latino autistic man; by infantilizing him we reduce his value to his productivity and participation in abled society. He is a grownup who matters. Secondly, when are we going to admit that policing as it is currently practiced (yes, in Canada too) poses an inherent threat to disabled lives, particularly disabled people of colour?
When conversations around the pay gap make no mention of sub-minimum wage or towering unemployment rates or miserable government stipends for disabled people; when conversations around sexual assault stress the 1 in 4 stat while failing to mention that in the United States as well as Canada it’s 4 out of 5 for disabled women and 3 in 10 for disabled men, we are saying by repeated omission that the prosperity and safety of disabled people does not matter.
So stop acting like the Japanese mass killer’s comment doesn’t have a direct line to structural ableism that abled, neurotypical people benefit from daily as they share their “inspirational” Facebook memes about us. You might assume that you think we matter, but when was the last time you signal boosted our activists? Wrote your MP about the incarceration of disabled youth? Irrespective of whether you ID as an activist or an ally, when was the last time you confronted ableism in your own words and actions?
Stop using disability and mental illness-stigmatizing language to describe people who harm disabled and mentally ill people. The mass killer in Japan wasn’t some “crazy;” he was an ableist bigot, and bigotry is not a mental illness. By continually suggesting that it is you further blur the line between perpetrator and victim. You ignore how mainstream bigotry is.
Stop stigmatizing and erasing us and then acting surprised when these things happen.