Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Disability Hate Speech

Like you i have read about disability hate crime and been outraged, appalled, baffled even.    how could an intelligent being persecute a fellow human, a weaker, broken, vulnerable brother/sister of the human family?     and although i didn't doubt the veracity of people's experience i don't think i truly absorbed it's reality.

As a wheelie of almost 15 years i've experienced a range of reactions from others when out and about, thoughtlessness, exasperation, indifference, annoyance but never discrimination, definitely never hate or abuse.    

I think i have imagination enough to understand how frustrating it must be to find the supermarket shelf blocked by a pink, boa bestrewed chariot with a jeni gazing mindlessly into the void attempting to discern the voice of the universe before making the vital, final, soup decision of the day......tomato or pea and ham.   probably as annoying as finding the last disabled parking spot filled with a 4X4 with no Blue Badge, but i don't use that as an excuse to blade the side of the behemoth........i might want to, but i don't put the thought into action.
So it came as quite a shock when scanning a Facebook page to find some vitriolic views expounded along the usual scroungers, fakers, benefit takers lines.   but what saddened me even more was the tone taken by my disabled brethren, attacking the attacker by rudely and crudely  denigrating her looks, her weight, her intelligence, her motives until it turned into an all out cat fight in which neither could claim the high ground.

How sad that those who are the butt of cruelty and venom should in turn use the weapons of the assailant as a defence.   it isn't edifying and it isn't effective if we are hoping to win a sympathetic audience.   a wise man said "a gentle word turns aside anger" and there was  a lot of anger being spouted.   i wish i had been brave enough to see what effect a  "gentle word" would have.........maybe next time.

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