I did a quick Google of 'Brent Martin' to see if there had been any updates on the results from the murder trial or if there had been anything much written about disability hate crimes as a result of the murder. I had heard from friends in England that the press had picked up on it and was eager to see what was there. Well, in a word, nothing.
Except I did find a piece about the Judge expressing concern about the victimizers, the brutalizers. Apparently he was concerned about their youth. He's asked for statistics on youth crime and youth violence as part of his deliberations for the sentencing. Yes, Judge John Milford, QC, is worried about the perpetrators. There wasn't a single word in the article I read that expressed Mr Esteemed Judge's concern about the victim of the violence - about the nature of hate crimes as it affects the disability community.
He's worried about OUR YOUTH. Well, ain't that a tired old 'woe is me society is going to hell in a handbasket when our youth have lost their manners and, oh yeah, murder the disabled' song and dance. Society has been worried about OUR YOUTH since I was one. I remember my Mother moaning about how YOUTH THESE DAYS are rotten scoundrels. So there sits the Judge thinking tired thoughts about a real problem.
OK Judge ... you want YOUTH.
How about Craig Sorger from Ephrata ... he was 12 years old when he was bullied and murdered as a result of his disability.
How about Ben Adams from Halifax ... he was 14 years old when a bully murdered him ... oh yeah, he has a disability too.
How about Shaowei He who was 25 when the torture she experienced as a disabled woman killed her.
How about Kevin Davies, who was 29. And Keith Philpott who was 35. Yep, they were disabled too. But maybe that's too old for you. If so then you won't be worried about ... Raymond Atherton, 40; Steven Hoskin, 39; Carrie Anne Kendall, 36; James Byrd, Jr, 49; Cristine Lakinski, 50' James McKinney, 41. I'm going to stop there - but I've got twenty more. You see, I didn't ask for a commission I did a THIRTY MINUTE INTERNET SEARCH for the names of people with disabilities who were brutally, brutally murdered.
It would have been nice if you'd just asked, Judge Milford, QC, about Brent's community. The community of the DEAD BRUTALIZED DISABLED. But no you are flapping gums about the awful state of our youth. What did they feed you at law school ... Frosted Flakes?
Why am I so angry at you Judge Milford, QC?
Well, I was hoping for more. I was hoping that Brent's death caused in you the tiniest bit of outrage. His pleading with his murderers. The lack of his ability to self protect. The incredible violence that he faced. I was hoping that in your heart you'd have had a question about how could it be that a man with a disability becomes a target for this kind of hatred.
You care about the hearts of the murderers.
You care about how they were damaged.
Not the damaged they'd caused.
And in doing so.
You've done damage yourself.
Shame on you.