I saw this on the news on Tuesday in a brief world news update. I’m going to give the trigger warning that this is about disability and harm, injury, and murder of disabled individuals. If that is too much for you to handle, please don’t continue reading. It’s taken me a couple of days to write this because A.) it’s emotionally traumatizing and draining and B.) I’ve been sick for the better part of three days and sleeping, but am feeling better today.
All they initially said was that a man stabbed over a dozen people in a home for disabled people.
When I heard this, I immediately went online to see what had happened. A man who was a former employee at a home for disabled people and aging people intentionally went in there to kill as many people as he could. This horrifying event happened in Japan.
It was initially reported that he was fired, but he actually resigned. More on that later.
He tied up the employees after he broke in during pre-dawn hours. All of the residents were sleeping. His intention was to kill as many disabled residents as possible, and so while they were sleeping, he murdered 19 people. He seriously injured 26 more people, some very severely. Oh… but not the non-disabled workers.
What’s outrageous is that he wrote a letter several months prior to the incident expressing his intent. He essentially wanted all disabled people with severe difficulties socializing and physical disabilities to be euthanized.
He was even committed to an institution earlier in this year, 2016, to prevent him from harming others after that letter. He resigned when he was committed. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he was discharged from the the hospital in March and the hospital never informed the care center for the disabled people even though it was requested that they do so.
So. In a country where there are hardly ever any mass murders (thanks to not being allowed to own guns), and where this is the worst mass murder since WWII… that’s what, 70 years? and this is only a blip on the U.S. radar? It’s only being kept up with updates on CNN? Really?
Do we only have compassion for people who are mass murdered now if there are bombs and guns involved? If they’re in a European country? If they’re non-disabled?
Why aren’t we outraged?
This could easily have been in the U.S. considering the attitudes people still have regarding disabled people. Anyone who is Other isn’t worthy of notice, services, or the rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Anyone in a marginalized group is Other. This has been made especially clear in Connecticut lately, if you’ve read my recent post on our Governor Malloy. There’s more to come on that ridiculousness if I remember to post about it, since that jackass spoke at the DNC, and he decided to use his disability to promote his political career. Oh hell, why not now. Governor Malloy, the governor of Connecticut, ranked tied for the worst governor in the entire United States, has mismanaged funds in the state so badly that we’re in a major deficit. Yes, he mismanaged the money. He’s ignoring that fact and telling us that it’s the “new economic reality.” He’s cutting funds everywhere he can for disabled people and aging people. For the Centers for Independent Living, the disability centers? He just cut our funding by 45%. Last year he cut us by approximately 35%. Five centers were running on only almost $500K between them in order to serve a growing disabled population due to a growing aging population. Just one center alone saves the state millions… MILLIONS of dollars a year. But he cuts the budget annually, and we have to justify why we should be allowed funding.
He gives lip service to disability rights and services. He talks about caring for us, tries to pretend he’s one of us. Except he doesn’t become OUTRAGED over the crisis of lack of services, and he doesn’t make damned sure that we stay in place to provide services in the agencies or social services or human services.
And no one is OUTRAGED when disabled people are murdered or harmed. No one is outraged. No.
Think about the sheer audacity it took to murder as many disabled people as possible at that Japanese facility, with the belief that their lives aren’t worth as much as non-disabled lives. That man believed he was performing a kind act… Euthanasia. What a nice, polite, kind-sounding word. Euthanasia. What a kind word to use in place of what he really did.
What he performed was an act of mass murder, there’s no doubt of that. Those people simply had neurological differences, emotional differences, physical differences, differences due to being aged. They weren’t animals that couldn’t be rehabilitated and needed to be put down. They were HUMAN BEINGS. They were murdered for being different and having needs that were different, accommodations that were different. This was Eugenics at work, people. Eugenics.
Euthanasia is a tool of Eugenics. Because is most instances, euthanasia isn’t carried out on a willing party. It’s carried out by someone who presumes that they’re doing a kindness to someone based on their own judgment of what someone else’s quality of life is. They assume that someone’s quality of life and value of life is worth less… worthless… if it’s not the same as someone who isn’t disabled. And somehow that gave him the power and the right to decide who lives and who dies. And there are doctors and family members who try to make this decision for other people every day based solely on the disabilities people have.
And who is outraged? Who is speaking out about this? Why isn’t this being condemned for the horror that it is? Mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, sons, friends were murdered in cold blood. For no logical reason.
Oh… do I seem upset? It’s because I am. It could have been people you know living in any disability facility. It could be you when you’re infirm and disabled as an elderly person or after a car accident when you’re convalescing.
But the story hasn’t been about them. The story has been about the man who used several knives rather than guns to commit this crime, a crime so severe that it’s been 70 years since anyone did something so heinous in that country. Not the human lives that were actually lost. Not the fact that he callously chose disabled people and chose the time of day when they would all be sleeping.
Sleeping. Please let that sink in.
The murder of 19 disabled people and the severe injury of 26 more disabled people occurred during the pre-dawn hours when they were sleeping by a man who broke into a facility where they were supposed to be safe and protected. Because they were disabled. They were targeted because this man felt their lives weren’t worth living.
Do you know what happens instead of outrage at the marginalization and murder of disabled people? Do you know why no one is outraged when rights and accessibility is taken away unwillingly? When services are defunded and ignored?
Because society still believes that disabled people don’t belong in society sharing housing and services. That disabled children don’t belong in their childrens classrooms, sharing space and air and teachers attention. Because society doesn’t believe disabled people are competent to make their own decisions just because they may need some extra physical help, medication, mental health service. People who don’t have disabilities tend to believe they “know better” than disabled people; that what they believe is for the benefit of the disabled, it’s for their own good, even when, especially when the disabled person is completely competent.
People tend to believe that any disability means someone is less intelligent, less competent, less capable of making decisions for themselves. Why? Why is that? Because they’re biased about their own disability? Of course we are! We know ourselves best.
I have chronic pain disabilities, and so do you know the first thing people say to me when I reveal that to them? They assume I’m addicted to pain pills and that narcotics were my first go-to treatment, and that I MUST BE addicted to something that I MUST GET OFF OF with their advice. Because nothing is worse than addiction. Nothing is worse than relying on medication to feel better, because THAT is apparently a step towards addiction. And of course chronic pain = doctor shopping for narcotics because I’m a pillhead looking for a fix because hey, chronic pain isn’t real y’all! And y’all know better even though I’m the one with the disabilities.
I’m an educated woman, and I’m educated about my illnesses. I keep my brain active and remain educated. I work as homeopathically as possible to relieve as much pain as possible. I work with a respected specialist who monitors my pain management. I’m not on narcotics. I have a team of doctors I see regularly for check ups, just as everyone ought to do. I know my own mind. I know my body.
But no one believes any of that because I’m disabled.
No one presumes competency. No one presumes someone with disabilities has a good life.
That means that no one presumes to know that it’s insulting to feel sorry for people who have disabilities.
No one realizes that disabled individuals aren’t sitting around feeling feeling sorry for themselves.
No one realizes that disabled individuals are productive members of society; valued members of families and friendships.
No one presumes to understand that disabled people aren’t living in spite of disabilities, or to prove something to non-disabled people.
No one thinks about how ridiculous it is to believe that disabled people’s lives are less valuable than any other life, no matter how disabled they are.
No one realizes that it’s horrific to believe that life isn’t worth living if one has disabilities.
No one realizes how absolutely soulless and outrageous it is to believe someone is better off dead than alive if they have disabilities.
Former employee of Japanese facility for disabled people turns himself in after killing 19 people in a stabbing spree at Tsukui Yamayurien facility in Sagamihara, officials say.
The suspect in a stabbing spree in a facility west of Tokyo that left 19 people dead wrote of his “ability to kill” disabled people.