Ableism, Violence & Sagamihara
Tweets by Alice Wong @SFdirewolf on 7.27.16
Gonna start this mini-essay on Twitter on the #JapanAttacks in #Sagamihara. I’m roiling in a cauldron of anger, sorrow, fear & fatigue. There is such endemic ableist violence disabled people witness and experience every day, that it seriously makes you question stuff.
If you are non-disabled and unfamiliar with #ableism, what happened in #Sagamihara is a clear-cut example of as you’ll ever get.
FYI, it’s not my job to teach you what ableism is.
A man planned methodically to kill disabled people. He notified others. He imagined a world where disabled people should be euthanized by ‘guardians’. This worldview is held by many people, more than you know.
I turned on cable TV on 7/26 hoping for live coverage in #Sagamihara as I previously saw for Orlando, Dallas, Nice, and Istanbul. Nope.
It was all about the DNC. Will there be the profiles of each disabled person murdered in the news the way they would for acts of terror?
What is more terrorizing than genocidal violence? So I’m gonna just put it out there…my message to non-disabled folks…
Don’t ascribe mental illness to the killer’s actions. Hate is hate.
Don’t think this is an isolated incident & something that couldn’t happen here (wherever here is).
Don’t presume that it’s a cultural issue or that Japanese attitudes toward disability is to blame.
Don’t #PrayForJapan and think these murdered disabled people are ‘in a better place.’
Don’t #PrayForJapan. Listen to disabled people & take them seriously.
Don’t #PrayForJapan. Learn about #ableism & think about your implicit bias.
Don’t #PrayForJapan. Share your resources, platform, space to disabled people however you can.
Don’t #PrayForJapan. Recognize disabled people as part of a larger continuum of human diversity.
Don’t #PrayForJapan. Employ disabled people & support their full participation in society.
Don’t #PrayForJapan. Ask what Japanese disabled people want and need. Their story, their lives.
Don’t #PrayForJapan. Even if you’re a spiritual person, prayers won’t prevent ableism, violence, erasure, or marginalization.
Don’t #PrayForJapan. Demand accountability from the authorities when mass violence happens. Apologies & investigations aren’t enough.
So weird having to convince folks that disabled people have value. A lot of labor spent in having to defend your right to exist.
In addition to what happened in #Sagamihara, 3 Deaf women in Haiti have been murdered.
Disabled people have been beaten or killed by law enforcement, especially disabled people of color.
The most recent incident was the shooting of #CharlesKinsey and traumatization of autistic man #ArnladoRios.
This doesn’t include violence that happens to disabled people in the home, schools, institutions, prison, etc.
The world can feel so hostile and cruel to disabled people–that’s no exaggeration.
I’m not asking for sympathy or pity.
Not waiting for awareness or acceptance.
Not begging for inclusion.
Not feeling gratitude to non-disabled people for letting us live.
Disabled people are more than helpless objects of ableism & violence. We deserve the world, the universe, and more.
Disabled people are our own lifelines. This, I truly believe. No one can save us except ourselves.
For more on the mass murder in Sagamihara by disabled people:
Actions, Articles, and Statements on Sagamihara, Japan
Kit Mead, August 3, 2016
Why did the mass murder of 19 disabled people in Japan barely rate?
Carly Findlay, August 2, 2016
Is it just that it happened in Japan?
Michael Gillan Peckitt, August 1, 2016
Disabled Lives Are Worth Living
PrettyChronic tumblr, July 30, 2016
Amy Sequenzia, July 29, 2016
Disability Hate Leads to Mass Murder in Japan
Philippa Willitts, July 29, 2016
The silence around the Sagamihara disability murders.
Carly Findlay, July 28, 2016
Ableism, Mass Murder, and Silence
Annie Segarra, July 27, 2016
Nicole Mackey, July 27, 2016
Andrew Pulrang, July 27, 2016
Ableism is Deadly: Mass Murder in Japan
Bill Peace, July 26, 2016
Dave Hingsburger, July 26, 2016
Ableism is not “bad words.” It’s violence.
Lydia Brown, July 25, 2016
Michael Gillan Peckitt, July 2016
I amshocked and outraged at the absolute of media coverage of this event. Not on public or commercial broadcasters in Australia. It had to compete with AMERICAN politics and a tv expose of violence in juvenile justice system in the Northern Territory … so NO ROOM for this slaughter let alone some more in-depth coverage beyond mere reporting.
Me too. It’s very sad.
Reblogged this on Rambling Justice.
Reblogged this on Raising Cain and commented:
Worth reading. Lots of other good posts at Disability Visibility Project blog.
Thanks so much!