The hate killing of disabled people in Japan is a chilling story. Let's go over a few facts, all of which are reported in the Guardian in clear detail.
1) the man turned himself in stating that 'it's better that disabled people disappear.'
2) he wrote a letter to a politician wherein he outlined the need to kill disabled people, the Guardian reported that: "In the letter, Uematsu argued that the government should permit
euthanasia for disabled people, said he would be willing to carry out
such killings himself, and detailed how he would do it."
3) a direct quote from the letter: “I envision a world where a person with multiple disabilities can be euthanized, with an agreement from the guardians, when it is difficult
for the person to carry out household and social activities.”
4) he planned to kill 470 disabled people, though he also said he'd turn himself in after killing 260 disabled individuals.
5) all this was known when he was hospitalized, involuntarily.
6) a man with clearly stated goals of mass murdering people with disabilities, a man who had planned it out, who made it abundantly evident that he had a desire to eradicate disabilities from society, spent 12 days in hospital before being released. (12 days! Less than 2 weeks. I guess mass murder of people with disabilities, clearly stated and planned, isn't that much of a mental health concern. 12 days!)
The discussion of and public endorsement of the concept of mercy killing of people with disabilities had taken root in this man with alarming ferocity. No doubt he will be spoken of as someone who has mental health issues, and maybe he does, but when you read what he says, what he says isn't far from what most people have come to believe. His statement to the police upon turning himself in that 'it's better that disabled people disappear' isn't a deranged rant by someone out of control, it's a calm statement of fact that echos the sentiment of many in society. People with disabilities know this sentiment, we hear it, we experience it and we have come to fear what it will do. Our lives are devalued, are needs seen as special and therefore burdensome, our rights are declared to be gifts rather than guarantees.
But there's more.
A specific, targeted attack aimed at eradicating a group - a mass murder of a group of people because of who they are, and no where does anyone speak of hate. No mention of this as a hate crime against people with disabilities. No. Where. I have not read every paper of course, but in my searches on the Internet the only time that 'hate crime' has been used to describe this event it's by a disabled writer on a disability blog or on a Facebook post.
Why isn't it a hate crime?
I think the answer goes deeper than 'they don't get it.' I think it's because, maybe a little, people see the logic of what he's done.
And that scares the hell out of me.