There’s a powerful piece of writing by Tommy Christopher on Mediate about a major US network excusing the murder of a disabled child.
People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are routinely slandered in the news media, even by parents of autistic children, but nothing comes remotely close to a CBS News report that sickly excuses the murder of 14 year-old Alex Spourdalakis by his mother and an accomplice. The report has spurred a petition to have CBS News take it down, but they really need to air a complete retraction, and discipline everyone involved in this travesty.
In another powerful piece for ABC Australia Stella Young details harrowing case after harrowing case of:
Disabled people who have died at the hands of family members, and so often the media uses terms like ‘compassionate homicide’ or ‘mercy killing’ to describe the actions. But the killing of a disabled person is not ‘compassionate’. It is not ‘euthanasia’. It is murder.
Like Christopher, Young makes this point:
While the disability support system may indeed be woefully inadequate to support these parents, it cannot possibly be used to justify murder.
Of course not, but I do wonder if there is not a collective responsibility. A community, neighbours, relatives, who let down those disabled people. Professionals who, like is often reported when a child is neglected and murdered, who saw warning signs but failed to take action?
If we can understand racism or homophobia as being something pervasive, as not limited to ‘bad’ and ‘good’ individuals, as not a personalised ‘sin’, then surely disabalism is also a collective and pervasive issue? That disabalism killed these people?
If these parents were killing their kids because they’re gay then we’d understand that the parents are personally responsible but also that the community let them get away with it and allowed that level of hate to fester?