I don't know what to do with my shock. I thought I was beyond shock. For the past several years I have been working intenstively on the issue of abuse reduction of people with intellectual disabilities. Right now I am working with Vita Community Living Services in Toronto and my primary job is to take the organization through a series of changes with the goal of becoming as abuse free as an agency can possiblity be. The challenge has been thrilling and we've created all sorts of structures and services with the organization. Primarily of which we are working so that people with intellectual disabilities are their own first line of defense. That rather than rely on others for protection, each has the skills to protect and report. Needless to say the organization is muchly changed.
And me, I was growing hopeful. Other organizations are getting wind of our social experiment and coming forward asking for our research and our process. It seems that the idea of providing safe services is becoming something that people finally think is important. Our relationship with the police has become much better as we take every report seriously, report every time, and every staff knows exactly how to take a report without mucking up evidence. I'm thrilled. I felt hope.
Until yesterday morning. Here, on my own blog someone asked me to go to a website, asking me to help get the word out about it. When you go to the website it welcomes you thusly: "Welcome to the British Army Rumour Service, ARRSE. The Army Rumour Service is THE unofficial British Army community website." I am not one of those fancy bloggers who can put in a url under text for you to just click on, sorry, the web address here is www.arrse.co.uk .
It’s called,"Mentally Handicapped Kids (don't read if easily offended)" follow the directions that Steven left in his response to my post "Enough Said" of two days ago and you will find it. Steel yourself and then read some of the most hateful text I have ever seen written about people with disabilities. The use of terms like 'mongs' and 'windowlickers' is bad enough but the images they write about are violent and purile and beyond disturbing. This is the deepest well of disability hatred that I have ever found.
This is the UK military. That's who the site is for ... they even make a joke - a taunt - wait till the press reads this. Well the press hasn't done anything about it as Steven pointed out in his response on that post. Why? Because Disphobia is not recognized as being of the same seriousness as 'racism' and 'sexism'. But why not? People with disabilities share in discrimination in employment, in housing, people with disabilities are the most victimized group in our society. Even so few recognize people with disabilities as a legitimate minority. That hate speach can apply to people with disabilities. That it is possible to incite hatred and violence against people with disabilities. They don't get it. Don't want to get it.
So, I say, let's do something.
I know that there are a lot of people who parent kids with Down Syndrome visiting my blog. I know there are parents of a lot of kids with other disabilities, who read this blog. The terms used 'mong' (from mongoliod) and 'windowlicker' amongst others - they are using them against your kids. One guy boasts that he's taught his children to name call and bully kids with disabilities and gives them treats if they hurt one. (I'm not kidding)
What about a campaign of parents supported by everyone else who wants to join in. Read the posts, find a news outlet in England, and write them. Perhaps some British readers could let us know who to write. In Canada all our major newspapers has a disability column written by someone with a disability. Is there someone over there. Tell us who, give us an address ... give us an outlet. I'm sitting here ready. I'll join you. Let me tell you an army of loving mothers and dedicated fathers can take on a military built on bigotry, I'm convinced of it. So ... go ...